North Koreans escape their country with little knowledge of the modern world and are unfamiliar with fundamental aspects of a democratic society. Many youth arrive in South Korea illiterate and unable to exercize their new civil liberties. NKHR helped so far over 1300 students learn the skills to become productive global citizens. In addition to providing academic and human rights education, NKHR provides career services, leadership training, internships, and scholarships to 100 students a year.
North Korea is one of the most impoverished countries in the world, and a state-enforced caste system dictates education and employment opportunities. North Korean youth are often unable to adjust to the fast-paced and highly competitive South Korean and Western education systems. The gap leads to a high drop-out rate, which in turn directly affects their earning potential as adults and makes them vulnerable to depression and harmful lifestyle influences.
NKHR's education programs focus on both providing academic assistance and building non-cognitive skills, such as leadership, civic engagement, long-term goal-building, decision making, understanding democratic values and human rights. The Hangyoreh Schools provide intensive classes in math, history and English and encourage creativity and critical thinking. Leadership and career mentorship programs provide practical training for high school and college students.
We are shaping a generation of new leaders primed to play a unique role in the Korean peninsula. The number of North Koreans entering South Korea has been steadily growing, yet they continue to be marginalized. The best way for these youth to overcome discrimination is through education and employment. One day, these educated leaders will play a significant role in shaping the economic and political future of their homeland.