Hello! My name is OOOOO and I was the in-house director of Empower House for the 2016 summer term. I am a Chicago native, and a student at the University of Chicago. In this introduction, I would like to go over how I became involved with ENoK and Empower House, my thoughts on plight of refugees, along with my experience with our Empower House students.
I first learned of ENoK through a speaker event with two North Korean defectors. I had known sparingly about North Korea through news media, but I did not fully understand the distressing human component of the situation. I thus decided to help out as a tutor of ENoK, and later as a part of the ENoK student organization. This summer, I live in the Empower House helping the students with issues ranging from college applications to medical visits to homework.
There are countless North Korean refugees scattered across the globe. After they escape the North Korean regime, they often face trials and tribulations such as unwelcoming governments, discrimination, and poverty among many others. MLK said, ”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is a critical, moral imperative for us to combat injustice and to help those in need anywhere it may occur. Even if the actions we take are small in the context of the vast North Korean refugee crisis, these actions are no less significant towards to a lasting solution and peace.
I was inspired daily by the courage and tenacity of our North Korean students. They have a resolve that is rare for those who have endured life under such precarious circumstances. I have full confidence that they will excel in any field. If they choose to, they can also be also be keystones for a Korean reconciliation. I hope that people can offer whatever time or effort they can spare to help give our refugees a helping, caring hand. Every small act helps for a lasting solution to the refugee crisis and for peace in Korean peninsula.