Saturday, December 24, 2005

Fundraisers for North Korean refugees (2)

Tim Peters is trying to … help North Koreans fight their poverty … by holding a fund-raiser to collect more money to help the refugees. The night will include a silent art auction.

“It’s not only for raising resources,” he said at an interview, “but to raise awareness about the North Koreans.”

Refugees typically … make it to China, Peters said. From there, they must travel to another country, usually Mongolia or through Vietnam to Cambodia, where South Korean officials can begin to help, he said.

Peters has lived and done missionary work in South Korea on and off for 30 years. He said North Koreans he helps know of his religious motivation but “our help is not contingent on their acceptance [of Christianity].”

Twice, Peters has testified before congressional committees about his work with North Korean refugees, according to the Family Care Foundation. He also submitted a paper last year to the World Economic Forum during its East Asian Economic Summit.

Peters talked Monday about some of the success stories — a child who received “clandestine medical assistance” while hiding in China, a woman who managed to cross the North Korean border although she had lost all 10 of her toes to frostbite as a labor camp.

Not all make it. Recently, a 12-year-old boy, caught in China, was returned to North Korea, he said.

“You get to know these people, even if you only see them for a day of two,” he said.

[Excerpt of article by Teri Weaver, Stars and Stripes]

No comments: