We’re continually inspired by the amazing people around the world stepping up to help fund Refugee Rescues. When people learn about our work, it’s one of the first programs they want to donate to. This support has allowed us to assist hundreds of North Korean refugees over the years as they make the journey out of China to freedom in a safe country. In the future, we plan to bring out thousands more.
Over the years, you’ve probably heard us say: “$2,500 can rescue ONE North Korean refugee and bring them to freedom.” While that is STILL true, we have decided to up the amount to cover additional costs related to our resettlement work with refugees. From now on, you’ll be hearing us say,
“$3,000 can rescue ONE North Korean refugee AND provide crucial support in their resettlement.”
Why the $500 Increase?
Because our work does not end with a rescue.
Our Resettlement Assistance Program is designed to ease the adjustment process for North Korean refugees arriving in South Korea or the U.S., and to offer capacity-building programs that help them fulfill their potential in their new lives.
We accomplish this through personal development, career development, education support, and financial assistance programs. You can learn more about these programs here.
For every $3,000 that is fundraised or donated to our refugee work, we’ll set aside $500 (or 1/6 of every donation) to help fund our resettlement assistance programs moving forward.
North Korean refugees have huge potential, and many of them become agents of progress on this issue. By funding both our Rescue and Resettlement Programs, your donation is providing holistic support that will empower our North Korean friends to succeed.
Where does the rest ($2,500) of the money go?
On average, it costs us $2,500 to rescue one North Korean refugee. When we commit to bringing North Korean refugees to freedom, we guarantee three things:
1. We rescue them without cost or condition.
2. People’s safety and operational security is our number one priority.
3. North Korean refugees we work with are cared for properly and treated with dignity from start to finish.
With a strong emphasis on security and personal care, we have seen an extremely high success rate since we’ve started rescuing refugees. We make the appropriate investments in infrastructure and personnel to ensure the safety of every refugee we help.
Here’s an average breakdown of the costs to rescue a refugee:
BASIC NEEDS $250
Funds to provide food, new clothes and shoes, and other necessities that are needed for their time on the journey and during their transition to a third country.
The cost to transport the refugee, partners and staff during the 3,000 mile journey.
The cost to provide shelter for the refugee and our staff along the journey.
The amount we set aside for unforeseen emergencies and expenses along the journey. Whatever is not used from this amount is rolled into a larger contingency budget or into another rescue.
RESCUE FEES $1,350
This includes all costs for fines, fees, and the network of partners and staff in the underground to bring refugees to safety.
Our work doesn’t end after a rescue. Our Resettlement Assistance Program helps resettled North Koreans reach their full potential in their new lives. The services and opportunities we provide to them include study abroad, language training, personal development, education and career development, financial assistance, and cultural activities.
If there are any funds remaining once a rescue is complete, they are rolled back into our rescue fund for future rescues.
What North Korean refugees have said about their rescues:
“I had never met anyone who helped people without conditions before meeting the staff in Southeast Asia. It’s been six months since I resettled in South Korea, and I’m still stunned by their generosity. I hope to meet them one day so that I can thank them again.”
“Spending time with LiNK staff in Southeast Asia disproved what I was told in North Korea about Americans because they were so kind and took great care of us.”
“LiNK staff surprised my daughter with a birthday cake the day after we arrived in Southeast Asia. I had felt so guilty for putting my daughter in danger and making her suffer with me on the dangerous journey out of China, but the unexpected gift assured me that I had made the right decision to bring my daughter with me. I know I’ll provide her with a far better life than what she could’ve had in China.”
Want to learn more?
We are committed to transparency. Whether you’ve been following us for a long time or are just hearing about us now, we want you to know HOW we work. Check out some additional resources to learn more about us:
Additional questions? Please email email@example.com and we’ll be sure to get back to you shortly.