Through learning can we
begin to transform the lives of
North Korean refugees

Through learning can we begin to transform the lives of North Korean refugees

The Challenge

While headlines across the world focus on nuclear proliferation in North Korea, 120,000 North Koreans are currently detained in the most appalling conditions in Gulags, thousands are being exploited in forced labour conditions acress the world for profit for the North Korean state, and millions across the country have their rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, association, movement, and opinion heavily violated. This crisis is harming the potential of 25 million North Koreans.

IN THE PAST YEAR, 1,000 PEOPLE MADE THE CHOICE TO LEAVE NORTH KOREA AND MAKE BETTER LIVES.

It is the biggest choice they will ever make as it is illegal to leave the country without permission, but that's only the beginning.

If they can successfully avoid detection at the Chinese border, North Koreans have to avoid sex traffickers, the Chinese authorities, North Korean agents, and Chinese citizen who might report on them to make it to safety in a 3rd country after crossing thousands of miles. Most who overcome this challenge choose to live in South Korea, but some choose a new life in the UK.

SINCE 2003, OVER, 1,000 NORTH KOREANS
HAVE ESCAPED FROM THEIR COUNTRY
AND MADE NEW LIVES IN THE UK AS EXILES
AND REFUGEES.

The majority have settled in New Malden, a small
suburb in southwest London.

SINCE 2003, OVER, 1,000 NORTH KOREANS HAVE ESCAPED FROM THEIR COUNTRY AND MADE NEW LIVES IN THE UK AS EXILES AND REFUGEES.

The majority have settled in New Malden, a small suburb in southwest London.

Despite North Koreans
being in the UK for
many years, little has
been done to support
their integration.

While there are different reasons for North Koreans leaving the country, they all face unique and significant economic, political, cultural and societal differences to integrate. North Koreans rarely speak English so they arrive in the UK unable to communicate and navigate a society that is very different to their own. From renting housing, using the National Health Service, to using ATMS and applying for jobs, there are many barriers to overcome for North Koreans to integrate. Learning English whithin the context of how a modern society functions is tied explicably to their integration.

In June 2019, we launched our North Korean Community Centre in New Malden. This is the first community hub dedicated to Improving the life-skills, English-language acquistion, and mental health of North Koreans anywhere in the world.

Our Community hub offers:
  • ENGLISH LEARNING
    PROGRAMME

  • DROP-IN ADVICE
    SESSION

  • MENTAL HEALTH
    SUPPORT

In our community hub, North Koreans can take part in our English-language learning programme to learn the English language and cultural acclimatisation skills they need to find work, to develop friendshops, to communication with their children's teachers, to speak to their GPs, and to integrate into the UK. While North Koreans work to achieve their goals for language acquisition, we also provide drop-in advice and guidance sessions to ensure they are properly supported before they can support themselves. But language isn't the only issue. A significant number of North Koreans report mental health problems - from complex PTSD to depression.

In response, we set up an outreach and mental health programme run by a qualified psychotherapist. North Koreans can access weekily therapy sessions to help them process the trauma they exprienced before they came to the UK, enabling them to overcome the psychological barrier to learning the skills they need to integrate. We also support the next generation through educational support in daily homework help sessions.

Together, we
can transform
their lives.
Together, we can
transform their lives.

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