These children deserve something better

Published on October 19, 2015

Originally from Bishop’s Falls, graduated university in Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently living in central Asia, I’ve been residing in South Korea for almost 10 years. I’ve been afforded the rare opportunity to see and photograph the world, especially throughout Asia. On my adventures I have met many people with interesting stories. Meeting people and hearing stories have made me realize how fortunate I am, how blessed I am. So much so, that recently I started a campaign to reach out and help these people.

Living in South Korea, there are over 30,000 refugees from one of the coldest, harshest and militant countries on earth: North Korea. These defectors from the North know nothing about modern life and do not know how to survive in 2015. From education, to getting a job, to developing social skills, to learning how to speak normally in a relaxed environment, these people start with absolutely nothing and strive to climb the ladder of success. The journey from North to South is a very long one, a painful one, one all too often that ends in death for the defector.
If they make here alive, the North Korea regime makes life a living hell for their family stuck in the North. These people, with a courageous spirit to make the journey to South Korea, I want to help them.
Let me focus your attention on a small village in the deep mountains of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). It took me about 20 hours to reach this village by a minivan. The roads were non-existent and at times we drove through shallow rivers.
Finally I arrived in a small village called Mindat. It was a bustling place. Elderly ladies with giant holes in their ears whose faces were completely tattooed, shopped and managed the local market alike. Children ran off to school and the men did what they could to bring home a monthly wage. They would be lucky if they could bring home between $5-$10 per month.
Finally, I visited a school. Situated atop of a muddy hill, the two-storey structure built with bamboo and other tree-like materials was the school.
Food was scarce. A normal playground was nonexistent, as was educational material and sanitary drinking water. I felt these children deserve something a little better. I want to help them.
I started a campaign on gofundme.com and created a Facebook page. My goal is to raise money and give back to these people who are a part of my life. I challenge you to do the same. gofundme.com/patrickscampaign is the direct link to the campaign page where you can share and donate. My Facebook page is Helping to Help Others. Thank you in advance for your love, support and prayers.
Patrick Penton, South Korea