LKL is happy to pass on this press release from Connect: North Korea:
In 2003, the first North Korean refugee arrived in the UK. Today, nearly 700 North Korean refugees live in New Malden, Surrey. Upon arriving in the UK, North Korean refugees are ill-equipped to integrate and settle into British society and few services are targeted enough to help transform their lives. In 2018, members of the EAHRNK team set up Connect: North Korea, a London-based charity. Connect: North Korea aims to change the lives of North Korean refugees by setting up a community centre in New Malden for North Korean refugees. The centre will formally open in early June at the end of a crowdfunding campaign: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/nkcommunity. The crowdfunding campaign goes live today at 9am UK time.
The centre will offer targeted, bespoke support for the North Korean community to equip them with the skills to thrive, integrate and gain economic independence. In its first year, the community centre will offer the following bespoke services: English-language learning; art therapy; psychotherapy; advice, advocacy, and guidance services; translation help; and a mentoring programme for young North Koreans. The core programme will be Connections, Connect: North Korea’s English-language programme.
Jihyun Park, Outreach Director at Connect: North Korea and a North Korean refugee, says: “Nearly 700 North Korean refugees live in the UK. They live five thousand miles away from their hometowns in a different culture and speak a different language. The Community Centre will not only support learning English and other services, but it will provide a space for North Koreans to use free of charge for social and cultural purposes. We hope that the Community Centre will be a comfortable resting place where North Korean refugees can come to us with difficulties when they are in need. Through the Community Centre, we also want to share Korean culture with British people and give each other the opportunity to become friends.”
About Connect: North Korea
Connect: North Korea aims to support and reach the 30,000 North Korean refugees worldwide and to focus on specific support initiatives for over 700 North Korean refugees in the UK. Connect: North Korea is an independent, non-religious, and non-political registered charity founded in 2017 and based in New Malden, Surrey – home to the largest exile community outside of Asia.