We have been working in North Korea for over 20 years. In 1995 the government challenged us: “You are Christians, come and help us!” Countless staff members and experts that we are friends with have shared their knowledge with the local experts. Over 150 North Korean experts have been able to visit Switzerland in all these years and have undergone further training in Switzerland for 3 to 12 months.
As well as a young gastrointestinal specialist. He was interning in one of the best Swiss hospitals. He said that he learned something new every day and that he wanted to share this knowledge with the hospital he was from. We enjoyed spending time with him, going on a few excursions together and celebrating his 33rd birthday with his host family. The children of his host family were excited about trying the Korean food that their guest normally cooked for himself!
He invited some of his medical colleagues to a meal of raclette for his farewell party because he loves raclette! We hosted his farewell meal in our home and enjoyed serving him and his medical colleagues. It was nice to see that warm relationships had replaced the initial scepticism. “I am very pleased that so many came. I feel so blessed!” he said.
Yes, his instructors were full of praise for him and would have liked him to prolong his stay. This was not possible due to the tighter UN-sanctions in effect since July. We hope that this year of specialist inputs, building new relationships, insights into Switzerland, sharing life with diverse people from our circle of friends will have ripple effects in Switzerland as well as in Korea. Thank you for being part of our work so that we can invest in individual people and build bridges!