North Korean Youth Program

North Koreans escape their country with little knowledge of the modern world and are unfamiliar with the fundamental aspects of a democratic society. Many youths arrive in South Korea illiterate and unable to exercise their new civil liberties. They face tremendous challenges in adjusting to South Korea's competitive and modern society—struggling with linguistic and cultural differences, discrimination, lack of social support systems, and the lasting effects of past traumatic experiences. These differences can hinder their success at school and can result in many discontinuing their education, making it difficult to find employment. Recognizing these needs, NKHR has run education programs for North Korean youth since 1999. Our programs provide academic assistance, encourage creativity and critical thinking, and build leadership skills. Topics range from civic engagement to career guidance, to democracy and human rights. To help overcome discrimination, and to assist North Koreans' integration into South Korean society, NKHR's education programs also foster friendships and relationships between North and South Koreans. Each program is individually tailored to address specific challenges faced by North Korean youth, while also reinforcing our other North Korean youth programs. NKHR also offers monthly scholarships to North Korean students to support and encourage their commitment to education. We help fund students' tuitions or living expenses when they are unable to obtain assistance from the government, including for internships abroad. We also help students pursue scholarships and internships from other private and academic institutions. Many of NKHR's former students are now college graduates and are pursuing meaningful careers and post-graduate studies in both South Korea and abroad. Some have become active advocates for improved human rights in North Korea. NKHR is shaping a generation of leaders who will play a unique role on the Korean peninsula. When Korea is reunified, these leaders will help shape the economic and political future of their homeland.