I was surfing the internet at the time, using StumbleUpon to find new & exciting websites. One of the topics that I regularly surf through is ‘Activism’, and that’s the channel that I was on when I came across an article about the crisis in North Korea. It detailed the atrocities that were occurring right under my nose, the lack of international response to the situation, and the desperation of the people involved.
As I explored the crisis further, plans that I had had for the day ahead disappeared. I read article after article, watched videos that brought me to tears, found stories from survivors, and was touched by tales of underground bloggers and journalists. I couldn’t put my computer down, and by the time the night came, I was convinced beyond a doubt that I somehow had to become involved in the solution to what I now knew was a massive problem.
Throughout my research, I kept coming across one organization that was making a noticeable difference to the people of North Korea: LiNK. I was inspired by the fact that unlike other organisations, LiNK didn’t simply fight from afar; they were on the ground, assisting people to escape from the country, supporting them to develop educational and workplace skills, and helping them to relocate and live lives full of freedom and choice. By the end of that fateful day, I was a monthly supporter of LiNK.
One day in April this year, on a morning like any other, I received my regular email update from LiNK. This time, the update was a little bit different to normal. Although there were still inspiring stories of change that had been created as a direct result of supporters, there was also a call to action: Become A LiNK Nomad.
A nomad? I thought. What's that?
Off I went to the LiNK Nomad website, where I found a little description that read:
Don’t wait for others to be the change. Be on the frontlines, rewriting the history of North Korea. Are you ready to make this your story? Become a Nomad...
Above this description was a video, and it was a video that ended up changing my life:
LiNK Nomads travel across the USA in a van, reaching out to anyone they can. By raising awareness and raising money, they are creating change for those suffering in North Korea.
I soon learnt that Nomads were individuals who spent 3 months volunteering with LiNK to raise awareness about the horrors in North Korea and funds to help support the incredible work that LiNK does. They do this by embarking on a road trip across the beautiful United States, where they host movie screenings, present speeches, and get LiNK merchandise out into the world. This collective action results not only in more and more people being inspired to make a difference to the lives of North Koreans, but also helps to get money together to assist people to escape from the regime.
Within a week, I had submitted my application. Within another, I had been accepted. In two weeks, I am off to the United States to change and save the lives of people I might never meet, but who I now know will experience a freedom that I take for granted on a daily basis. Join me on this incredible journey by following this blog, coming to one of my fundraisers, donating to support my Nomad Project via PayPal, or simply letting your friends know about what you've learnt about North Korea.
P.S. The haunting images in this post were sourced from CompleteAll.