In 1995 the North Korean UN ambassador turned to Agape international with the following request: “You are Christians, come and help us!” This request has grown into a multifaceted 20-year partnership that has shaped and changed both sides.
So this year we are looking back on our cooperation with North Korea and want to celebrate it with all who have faithfully supported this partnership. Therefore, in this and the next edition of Our Heart’s Concern, we will look back on some of the highlights of our project.
Following the request of the UN ambassador, the first few years were spent improving the food situation of the population. About 300 tons of rice was sent as an initial emergency aid. Soon it became clear that only a long-term help as in “help for self-help” would fundamentally and sustainably change the situation of the population. Together with experts from the North Korean Ministry of Agriculture, the Agriculture School Rheinhof and the Swiss Association of Mountain Agriculture (SAB) we started an agricultural development and partnership project in 1996.
The emphasis of our partnership until about 2006 were agricultural measures in forage production and grassland, as well as goat’s milk processing. Gras was needed for meat and milk. The good harvests in the following years, various projects of the UN and other relief and development organizations significantly contributed to the improved food situation of the population. With a new project management in 2006 the main focus of our involvement changed to and has remained in the area of alternative energy.
The aim of our involvement, namely, to promote the independence of the population has never changed and would have not been possible without the commitment of people that invested everything to reach this goal.