STUDY TRIP

We have been supporting the organization TOGETHER for several years. Robert Grund, deaf since birth, is giving a voice to the concerns of  the deaf.

Although there are special schools in  every North Korean province, deaf and blind persons are not visible in public. Many persuasive efforts are necessary to enable communication between the deaf
and the blind among each other and with the hearing and seeing.

Special kindergartens and schools for deaf children are part of the efforts, as well as assistance for communication between parents and their children. Thanks to your donations, Agape international has repeatedly been able to offer financial assistance: We printed
sign language booklets and purchased technical equipment to access intranet.

Robert Grund, Project Director of Together Hamhung, has further plans: „It would be a milestone to insert a sign language interpreter during the broadcast of national television news. So far there is no practical experience in this area. I want to offer a study trip to Europe in 2017 so that interested parties can gain practical experience how this is done.“

A visit to the Swiss Foundation procom (www.procom-deaf.ch) would be interesting within the study trip. Procom promotes communication possibilities of hearing-impaired people among each other, as well as between the hearing-impaired and hearing persons. It offers sign language interpretation services and organizes a telephone service for the hearing-impaired.

We want to enable meetings between deaf Swiss and Korean persons.

 

EMERGENCY AID AFTER THE FLOOD DISASTER

After the flood disaster in North  Korea in the fall of last year, many people lost their homes and their provisions for the winter.

In the meantime, the container that we sent after the request for aid from  the North Korean embassy and in  proven cooperation with GAiN Germany will have arrived.

In May we will travel to the region Yonsa that  was most affected by the flooding to supervise the distribution of the relief goods. I know from experience that it is good to explain  how to use the baby food on-site.

Stirling in Action

Our partner engineer in Pyongyang, is working to make a simple utilization of the Stirling engine possible for North Korean homes.

Now it is our task to provide North Korea with expertise on the „Stirling“. We are planning a workshop in Pyongyang. I will travel to Pyongyang in the spring for the preparation and discussion of the project progress and for a first hand impression of the Stirling engines developed by the Non-Conventional Energy Development Center.

I also hope to send another container with extra material to be used for training purposes.

My Brothers and Sisters in the North

This is the title of a film about the people of North Korea. I was able
to view this film in the course of a Korea event in the Ethnographic
Museum at the University of Zurich.

This impressive film portrays different people from the northern part of the Korean peninsula. Every person that film director Sung-Hyung Cho portrays on her journey through the country was
defined beforehand by officials.

Because of the film director’s unbiased approach, her respect and genuine interest in the farmers, soldiers, and seamstresses, the
conversations are heartfelt, similar to my own experiences. A quote from the cover: «Experience a joyful people whose love to ‚their leader’ appears peculiar more than once and who has not given
up their hopes and desires for a unified Korea.»

If I have roused your curiosity, you can buy the DVD on http://www.buch.ch for CHF 23. Avalable in german/korean with
german subtitles.

I very much appreciated meeting the film director personally when she took questions after the film and said: «The most difficult part was to see what was really there. Not the images of my mind and not the images that the North Koreans wanted us to see. I wanted to discover how much daily life there was in this totalitarian system. I
wanted to know how much system and state ideology was present in ,normal everyday life. I wanted to speak as open and honestly with the individuals as possible without endangering or embarrassing them. By doing this I learned not to equate the government with the people. I discovered that North Koreans are people like you and me.»

I am very happy that Sung-Hyung Cho is planning to portray Robert Grund’s work with the deaf in her next film!

Fundraising for North Korea