[The group of North Korean refugees] trying to cross into Mongolia decided that they had no choice but to try to cross part of the Gobi desert without a guide. The group was lost for 32 hours and [a 10-year-old accompanying the team] died of exposure.
You might wonder if someone could die so quickly. People from more developed countries might have survived 32 hours in the desert in summer.
The damage of five or six years of malnutrition in North Korea had weakened [the 10-year-old] and he quickly died, when a healthier person might have lived. An entire generation has been weakened and had its intellectual capacity reduced by famine caused by North Korea’s failed economic policies.
I came to believe that I must do something to help. The real question is ‘How could you not care?’ It is a test of our humanity and, for those of faith (whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or another faith) of our fidelity to our beliefs.
--as related by Tim Peters, Helping Hand Korea