As tourism has grown in the DPRK, so has the interest of foreigners wanting to leave a positive impact after their stay. It was with this in mind that we initially thought of the idea to sponsor a kindergarten in North Korea.
In 2015, we met Robert Grund, the Pyongyang representative of the World Federation of the Deaf and the city’s only full-time deaf foreign resident. He established the first kindergarten for the deaf in Pyongyang’s Moranbong district, wholly paid for and funded by a small German non-profit Disabled Persons Organization.
It was following this meeting, and after a tourist contacted us asking how she could help the disadvantaged in the DPRK, that we decided to become a sponsor of the kindergarten – to raise awareness and donations.
As a company that have been going into the country now for 8 years we have often contributed to various appeals, charities, or funds, but we felt we would like to do something far more personal and proactive as a way to give back to the people of the country.
Robert has long championed the needs of deaf children in the DPRK. He first came to the country 11 years ago, just after finishing school, and has kept coming back, despite the many challenges thrown in his way. His efforts have resulted in an association for the deaf and the participation of North Koreans in the International Congress for the Deaf. Young Pioneer Tours is proud to support the kindergarten, and to help improve the lives of the citizens of the DPRK.
Where does my donation go?
Your donation will bring in resources and goods to help the children of the kindergarten, and the deaf Koreans who support them. We send your donation directly to the foreign NGO, who then use the funds to contribute to projects for the kindergarten. It will not be used for any other purpose than benefiting one of the most vulnerable areas of Korean society.
Our current project is “help to self-help”; empowering the deaf people of the DPRK. Deaf Koreans design, create and publish sign language booklets, which are used by the children in the kindergarten, and other care facilities for disabled Korean children. Your donation will go to fund the design and printing of these booklets, to empower deaf Koreans and enable deaf children to learn. Everything from the computers used to create them, to the ink and paper need to print the booklets, must be paid for and this is where your donation will help. See below for an example of current workbooks at use in Pyongyang by deaf children.
Can I visit?
The kindergarten is not a usual stop on group tours, and tourists as a rule of thumb do not go there. We may be able to arrange for tourists who contribute a significant donation or otherwise raise awareness to visit the kindergarten when they come on a tour with us.
How do I know what you received and where the money is going?
Donations are collected separately from our main accounts, and the Kindergarten is accounted for separately. As we are collaborating with an NGO, the donations are sent to them directly on a quarterly basis.
If you’d like to donate and help with this cause please get in touch!