Medical Counseling, Coaching, Doctors, and Medical Supplies
are Desperately Needed Among Refugees
There are almost 32,000 North Korean refugees in South Korea, but most of them hesitate to reach out for help because of cultural barriers and fear of discrimination. In fact, 9 out of 10 North Korean refugees arrive with untreated physical illness and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but many fear going to the hospital.
That's why we've discovered that the people who are best equipped to help North Korean refugees are North Korean refugees themselves.
Every week for 6 months, North Korean refugees who aspire to counsel fellow refugees come to our class to develop and practice their counseling skills. Once they pass the written and oral exams, they become the world's first and only certified North Korean refugee counselors. Thus far, we have helped license more than 220 counselors.
These counselors guide their fellow refugees through the South Korean medical system so that they can get the treatment they need in addition to providing mental health services.
For some refugees, these counselors become their only family and friends.