As a young child, Kyung lost both of her parents and was raised by her loving grandparents as their sole grandchild. She remembered attending school and feeling more privileged than the other students, and she smiled as she reminisced about that time in her life admitting that she felt fortunate to have been so loved.
But when Kyung was around ten years old, her grandfather became mentally ill. Because the situation at home was not safe, she and her grandmother left to go live with her aunt and she was forced to drop out of school. They soon found themselves very poor. Kyung’s aunt later made plans to escape to China to earn some money and agreed to take Kyung with her.
Despite being in China “illegally,” Kyung was amazed at the freedom she experienced there compared to her life back home. This newfound freedom opened her eyes to a whole new world outside North Korea that eventually led her to decide to leave China.
With LiNK’s help, Kyung made it safely to South Korea where she is finally attending school again! Although she finds her studies to be stressful at times, she’s eager to be learning again and is grateful for the encouragement she receives from her teachers and fellow students. And in spite only recently arriving, Kyung has already been recognized at school with certificates for her incredible efforts and academic accomplishments.
UPDATE: July 2013
Kyung started high school and admits that the classes are much harder than she had expected, but she maintains good grades. She recently met foreign volunteers at her school who consoled her after she’d been having recurring dreams about her family in North Korea. She feels lucky and blessed to have met so many people who motivate and encourage her.