Volunteer in North Korea
YPT Charitable Programs
As tourism has grown in the DPRK, so has the interest of foreigners wanting to do, and experience more in the country. It was with this in mind that we initially thought of the idea to run a farming volunteer program in North Korea.
When we approached our partners in Pyongyang back in 2013, not only were they extremely positive about our idea, but they suggested that rather than simply popping into a farm, doing our thing and then leaving that we go meet them first, build a rapport and see exactly how we could help them practically through a tourist program.
It was following these meetings, and running our initial extremely successful farming volunteer program that we decided to adopt this particular cooperative farm as our YPT charitable project.
Why adopt a Cooperative Farm?
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. It is with these factors bore in mind that we decided to begin sponsoring our adopted collective farm.
What does sponsoring a farm entail?
The main thing that it entails is bringing in money and goods to help the farmers and residents of the cooperative farm. The goods we bring in are not just random, but are things that we have discussed with the people that run the farm, and quite often entail simple things like school books, or clothes for the children of the cooperative farm, or other things harder to get hold of in the country. As for the money that we bring in, we are fully aware how charitable projects and cash being handed over can often end up in accusations of foul play, or corruption, so we do not donate cash, but instead donate fuel vouchers to the value of the money raised to donate towards the running of the farm.
What is your Farming Volunteer Program and why should I do it?
The Farming Volunteer Program is our way of taking our Pioneers to contribute physically, socially and most importantly. You enter via Pyongyang do some cool tourist stuff like normal, but most importantly step very far from the beaten track and go see how life living and working on a cooperative farm really is. Quite simply not only is the one of the most unique tours you can do in the country, but your efforts truly do help.
How much money does YPT make from Farming Volunteer Program?
From 2016 our North Korea Farming Volunteer Program is being run as a strictly non-profit enterprise. All profits from the program after legitimate expenses are given directly back to our farm as either fuel vouchers or purchased goods, which is why we charge slightly more for the program than for a standard tour, meaning more money getting to source.
How else can I help or donate?
We tend not to take physical donations due to the logistics of bringing in goods, and being able to make sure they are practical and worthwhile, but we do take donations either through our dedicated charitable PayPal account, or as an optional donation when booking a tour.
Is this something you plan to expand on?
Very much so. In the long term we would like to extend our helpful reach to other places, not just to one particular cooperative farm, and are currently in negotiations will locally based charities, and an orphanage about how to also help them. We also plan to donate should there be emergency situations in the country, such as the terrible flooding that affected Rason earlier this year.
How do I know what you received and where the money is going?
All donations are collected separately from our main accounts, the farming program is accounted for separately, and everything related to donations will be published on a yearly basis.
Tell us about your farm?
Chilgol farm is located in the far outskirts of Pyongyang city. This farm is operated by over a hundred different Korean families capable of growing cabbage, rice, strawberries, plums, tobacco, sesame seeds, potatoes, corn, cucumbers and chillies.
We’ve selected this farm specifically to give our volunteers an exclusive insight and an experience to not only work hard, but to get a better understanding on the rural families within these parts of the DPRK.
2017 Farming Volunteer Program – link
A YPT western guide will accompany you to not only help you with the dirty farm work but to also show you the must see sights of Pyongyang to give you a better understanding of the country. This is an incredible and unique opportunity to not only have you build relations with farmers and their families but to learn a thing or two about traditional organic farming, a skill that the DPRKoreans are renown for.
If you’d like to donate and help with this cause please get in touch with us and we’ll supply you with our payment details