Mi-Sun dropped out of middle school to earn money for her family.
“I remember carrying a merchant’s sack in place of my book bag and heading out to the market. Life in North Korea was so difficult that I wasn’t able to experience happiness. I wondered what kind of wrong I had done and became angry toward my parents for bringing me into this world. I was so afraid of being poor.”
Mi-Sun escaped to China and again to Southeast Asia to escape poverty. When she got in the car to begin her journey to LiNK’s shelter, she began to reflect on the freedom and rights she would soon enjoy.
“My heart filled with anticipation. I felt I could live a new life and learn more about the world. I was overjoyed.”
Mi-Sun is currently resettled in the US and refuses to let her previous circumstances determine her future and is grateful for this journey that has helped her to find happiness.
“In North Korea, there is no trace of hope. You have to throw away the small amount of dignity you have left in order to survive, but I want to break out of poverty. I want to finish my studies and be my parents’ hands and feet.”
Mi-Sun hopes to use her education to help other North Koreans, and wishes to encourage them with this message:
“To those who are still struggling, don’t blame yourself. There are many people out there working to help us carry out new lives. Keep this in mind so you can remain hopeful for a happy life.”