Rachel Lim '12 (far right) with North and South Korean students and two additional teachers. The North Korean students prefer to not have their pictures shown to anyone, so their faces had to be blurred.
Working to Unite a Divided Korea
Rachel Lim '12 spent the last week of June in a small countryside hostel with a group of 80 "incredibly passionate" people discussing the separation of North and South Korea. "Everything I've read about Korea and studied in my political science classes became so much more real to me," Lim said.
Every year People for Successful COrean REunification (PSCORE), where Lim is completing her CPGC international internship, hosts a Global English Camp. PSCORE is a non-profit, non-religious and non-partisan NGO that strives for mutual understanding and harmony between the two Koreas. Its aim is to provide a platform to discuss topics such as democratization, human rights and social issues.
At the camp, North Korean, South Korean and international students come together in the camp to talk about significant issues related to the reunification of the Korean peninsula. Lim was the only fluent English-speaking member of the planning committee and team for the camp.
"The most important responsibility I was given was to create the entire curriculum of the camp," Lim says. "I made lesson plans for English lessons and wrote simplified readings about the basic concepts of democracy and public policies."
For the rest of the summer, Lim will be teaching English to North Korean refugees/defectors through PSCORE's one-on-one education program, writing grant proposals and developing the English version of the organization's website.
Lim was born and raised in the United States, and working at PSCORE has given her an opportunity to learn more about Korea and about her identity as a Korean American. After reading about the country, Lim says, "I became more passionate about the efforts Koreans have been making over the past ten years to reunify their country, a country that was arbitrarily torn by the West."
Lim says the North Korean refugee community is more expansive than she originally thought, and the defectors in Southeast Asia, Canada, the U.S. and South Korea need support, especially through the education of the youth.
"The North Koreans that I've met so far have expressed interest in spreading awareness [of] the issue of reunification to the international community. I hope to do them this service by sharing my experience when I return to Haverford this fall."
--Kayla Hoskinson '11