Dakotas Christian Believers Arena
Come on in and browse 
   Home      Special Needs

This page was created for a simple purpose—to draw attention to some needs and obstacles facing North Korean escapees. When they leave their country, their journey to the south is perilous and full of uncertainty.

It is not that the South Korean government cannot help these people but with 50,000,000 people of its own there are already many hands in the financial pie. This means that aid needs to come from private sources.

The information posted here is to provide you with more opportunities to serve Christ by helping those less fortunate than others and who truly need aid. I am not talking just financial but look to see where you can lend a hand.

Ask God where you can be the best use, it doesn’t matter if they are non-Christian organizations or not. The unbeliever needs to see God at work and they need to see that God is interested in them and their work.

Some of the information is in Korean and if you need help in translation or obtaining answers to your questions feel free to contact Casey Lartigue, Jr. at cjl@post.harvard.edu . He is willing to help you get started and he is involved with the Mulmangcho school for North Korean refugee children.

Peruse the information and see where you can lend a hand.


Mulmangcho (meaning, "forget-me-not") School is an alternative, residential school educating and nurturing young North Korean refugees who live in South Korea. It is part of the Mulmangcho Center that has been established to provide assistance to former North Koreans. The Center is committed to providing them with various types of psychological, emotional and educational support.

The Mulmangcho School opened in September 2012 with 11 students (eight of them between the ages of 6-11), and three young adults (ages 19, 20, and 22). It was founded by Park Sun-Young, a former member of the National Assembly of South Korea, and a distinguished board of directors. The school gives first preference to 1) orphans 2) youngsters with North Korean mothers and Chinese or non-Korean fathers 3) young adults below the age of 25. The school provides 1 to 1 education for the students as often as possible, teaching them math, English, science, dance, art, and a host of other subjects. For elementary school-aged children, Mulmangcho’s goal is to prepare them to attend Jungang Elementary school, an excellent elementary school nearby. We will continue providing assistance to them as they enter higher grades, but the goal is to mainstream them.

A primary education purpose is to prepare older students for middle and high school entrance. This can include academic or vocational educational, based on each student’s ability and talent. We will be sure to identify students who have the potential to attend college.

Another goal is to annually sponsor at least three students to study abroad.

As of May 2012, there were 25,000 North Koreans who had successfully escaped here to South Korea. Many of them suffer from culture shock, adjustment to a capitalist society, and trauma from growing in North Korea.

Almost half of them define themselves as being in the lower-class (45.7%) and the destitute class (5.5%). Their unemployment rate is 12.1 % that is higher 3.3 times than the unemployment of the whole citizen (3.7%).  While 45% are employed at regular jobs, another 32.2% work as day workers and a large percentage are temporary workers (15.2%).

Of these refugees, there are about 1,500 North Korean refugees under the age of 25. Their problems are even more severe than those for adults. Public education is another public institution that has collapsed in North Korea since the late 1990s. Those who escape North Korea often must living in hiding as illegal refugees on the run from the police in China. They are often targeted by criminals, kidnappers, prostitution brokers and others who threaten to report them to the police and have them deported back to North Korea where they are at risk of severe punishment, torture, or even execution. Many of them are “stateless children” in China who cannot legally attend school, visit a hospital or work.

There are now many youngsters in South Korea who have gone without receiving much education until they arrived here. Lacking formal education, many former North Korean youngsters often have trouble adjusting here. Some aren’t even prepared to attend school with South Korea’s incredibly competitive children. Even those who get into school here are so far behind academically that they can’t keep up. According to one estimate, former North Korean children here are three times more likely than South Korean children to drop out.

The South Korean government provides refugees some support, but refugees still suffer from numerous challenges. We hope to provide a private alternative to schools receiving government support so that we can be more flexible in providing a customized education to former North Korean refugee adolescents. Even among North Koreans who are struggling, there are some disadvantaged North Koreans who are getting left behind. To help those North Koreans who are particularly disadvantaged, Mulmangcho was established as an alternative school providing assistance to adolescent refugee children.

We hope to educate and prepare them to be leaders by helping them study abroad. As former North Koreans, they could even be well-positioned to lead North Korea when North and South Korea reunify.

Although we have gotten support from Korean companies and individuals, we still have some challenges, namely:

1)    South Koreans were taught for years to be suspicious of North Koreans. So we still have many Koreans businesses and individuals who fear getting involved with organizations assisting North Korean escapees.

2)    We have raised local funds to build the school but have waited to accept more students until we secure more long-term funding.

B. General Groups   

General Groups

How to Help



Int'l Coalition to Stop... (ICNK)

intern, volunteer



Citizens' Alliance for NKHR





events, translating and more (see website)



Helping Hands Korea/Catacombs

meetings about their work every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Samgakgi




internship and tutoring programs



Free the NK Gulag

translating and editing



Justice for North Korea (JFNK)

help with events and activities



Database Center for NKHR (NKDB)

editing reports



North Korea Peace

sending socks via balloons to North Korea




Hana Center (near Daechi)

English tutoring on Saturdays for NK refugees


Great Vision School


Jahutah School

volunteer work including teaching English



News Outlets

Daily NK (news)

internships involving writing/editing/translating



Open Radio for North Korea



Protesting China's Treatment of Defectors

Demonstrations at Chinese Embassy

rally at the Seoul embassy daily at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

justicenk@gmail.com (for JFNK)

→ Gyungbokgung Station, exit 2, walk straight 10 min.


online petition


Letter-writing campaign

writing to Chinese officials



http://linkglobal.org/who-we-are/faq.html (see “Can I write a letter to a refugee in your shelter?”)

http://www.nkfreedom.org/Get-Involved/Ways-You-Can-Get-Involved.aspx (send a letter to be broadcast to NK, only for Americans (?))

Learning Korean



You may need to copy and paste the links as they may not work from these pages. Remember contact Casey Lartigue, Jr. at cjl@post.harvard.edu if you have questions or would like to get involved.
As a reminder, donations are always welcomed. The school relies on private donations.
Standard Chartered Bank
364 20 030012,
Recipient name: Mulmangcho

Standard Chartered Bank
Korea LTD.
Swift code; SCBKRSE.
Branch code; 233644