LiNK and Village of Hope
LiNK’s Campaign to Aid Refugees
LiNK stands for Liberty in North Korea. Founded in 2004 by two people who started organizing college students to advocate for the North Korean people, the organization has become a “movement of activists empowered by the stories of refugees and motivated by the urgency of the issue.”
North Korea is the least free country in the world. In the last two decades it experienced the loss of one million people through famine. Out of desperation, often for food, many people have fled the country through the northern border into China. Many refugees try to go back to bring food or other aid to their families. If they are caught they are usually never seen again. It is worse for women, who face other abuses before internment or death.
The ones who stay in China with hopes of resettling elsewhere are in constant hiding. If found, the Chinese authorities will send them back to North Korea. And they are vulnerable to sex trafficking and other forms of slavery.
LiNK’s work focuses on “awareness through mobilizing the grassroots and telling these stories of hope and survival.” Through their work they are able to “meet with governments, NGOs and institutions to advocate for the North Korean people while working directly with refugees through a network of shelters in China and Southeast Asia – protecting, educating and assisting them to eventually find freedom and empower them to live new lives.”
Sometimes these refugees not only make it out of North Korea safely, but get to the United States. Here they have no knowledge of English, no work options, and the isolation of utter culture shock. Having spent a whole life in North Korea makes large quantities of food, vast wealth, and freedom of religion all very difficult to take in.
Those reasons, along with many others, are why LiNK is hoping to open a center to aid North Korean refugees in the U.S. They want to provide counseling, job and language training, medical care and more to the people who land here in a much different position than even the typical refugee.
LiNK has the opportunity to open this house through Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Campaign. I have mentioned it before: they are in the running to receive 250,000 to open this house and begin this important work. They have consistently ranked at 7th place, but need to be at 1st or 2nd by the end of March to win this grant.
What you can do:
VOTE for LiNK every day until March 31st. One vote per person per day. No strings attached. You will be asked to log in with an e-mail address and password. After that, you may vote for this cause, and you will see a thank you come up.
I will be reminding the readers of this blog every day to “Vote for LiNK.” It is an easy way to care for the people of North Korea who land on American soil. It is the neighborly thing to do.
Update on Village of Hope
The international press conference with the Village of Hope families has been postponed to Tuesday, March 16, at 3pm CET/10am EST. As always, you may check Save Village of Hope’s Facebook page for updates, follow the campaign on Twitter, or visit Village of Hope’s website.