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«We connect people, dreams, and bring Unification.»
As of 2017, about 30,000 North Korean defectors reside in South Korea. Dreaming of a better life, they left their motherland and hometowns. However, life in the South is not that easy. Governmental institutions provide information about resettlement, as well as resettlement support online, however many defectors are not familiar with using PCs. Young defectors, looking at this, decided to help fix this situation and started delivering relevant information via SNS.
Woorion started operating on August 18, 2015 through Korean SNS service KakaoStory and Facebook. Woorion is helping and supporting defectors (information sharing, give-aways, mentoring, questionnaire, etc.), and trying to establish connections between people of the North and the South and bring Unification closer through organizing such events, as talk meetings between young South and North Koreans, Unification Academy, 남북청년운동회, etc. The organization, balancing online and offline activities, is going to become a «Unification stepping-stone.» Now, we have 6,000+ North Korean defectors users and keep growing. We aiming to connect 10,000 North Korean defectors as soon as possible.
1. Information sharing
The main advantage of Woorion information sharing is that transmitting relevant information through SNS is very fast and convenient. Various information, including employment, housing, education, child care, etc.) provided by about 40 relevant institutions is checked and posted by Woorion staff 3 times a day. Expanding its activities, the organization grew to provide consultations considering resettlement and institutions (currently, 611).
※ In 2017, too, resettlement information is planned to be provided via KakaoStory, Facebook and Woorion homepage. Consultations were also provided on demand.
2. Mentoring program (online)
We feel that providing defectors with just resettlement information is not enough. We realized that they need mentors who can help and advise them on actual difficulties that they encounter in every sphere of everyday life. For many of the defectors identity disclosure is a step they’re not ready to take, and that is why we decided to make an online platform for consulting which is an effective, easy method for communication with mentors and asking for relevant help. As of now, 55 consultations on different topics (medicine, law, employment, IT, personal relations) took place, and 62 mentors are ready to suggest their professional help and advice.
We realized that due to difficulties in accessing the data, in South Korea there exist misperceptions about the issues concerning North Korea, North Korean people and defectors, their culture. We are conducting questionnaires among the defectors in order to provide relevant institutions and research center preparing Unification, as well as individual researchers and mass media, with accurate first-hand information. This was started when we helped Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health in conducting a research about blood type of the North Korean escapees. Mobilizing thousands of people for participation in polls and questionnaires like this is not an easy task, but Woorion staff is heavily involved in collecting and analyzing the data. In 2017, we plan to start and collect big data.
4. North and South Korea Talks & North-South Sports Club (Offline)
For us, Unification is not some political discussion but rather the process of meeting each other, making friends and being considerate. Young North Korean defectors have a chance to listen to the stories shared by the South Koreans, fix misperceptions and by sharing each other stories’ realize that actual people, in fact, are not very much different. Also, we help people from the South and the North to feel unity through collective sport activities and enjoy free time after, by having party and dinner all together.
5. Unification Academy (Offline)
We are preparing for Unification by giving a chance for South Korean young people, who did not have many chances to learn much about North Korea, or meet North Korean people, to come together and broaden their horizons. During the course, which lasts 6-8 weeks, young leaders, who dream of becoming a part of the Unification movement, have a unique opportunity to learn more and to design their own Unification strategy. After the last lecture of the course, we plan to design and prepare our own Christmas-themed project, which will become the next step on the way to Unification. By doing so, we hope that each and every one participating in these activities will become a part of a better future.
※ November 13 — December 18, 2017 (6 weeks, each Monday at 19:30)
December 22 — North-South Christmas
Contact Us : firstname.lastname@example.org
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