We are happy to announce that the French Embassy in South Korea has granted several scholarships to young North Korean defectors!
The French Embassy in Korea has shown continued interest in working with NKDB and resettled North Korean Youth since participating in the Dream Plus Forum sponsored by the KPX Foundation in January 2020. In a further show of support, the French Embassy has decided to provide several scholarships for young people and teenagers who have defected from North Korea.
The French Embassy’s particular interest in North Korean youth began during the Dream Plus Forum, where Philippe Lefort, the French Ambassador to South Korea, began his conversation with North Korean defector youth by providing a general overview of what a diplomat’s responsibilities are and what he is able to accomplish in his role. He also shared many of his personal experiences, such as the process of becoming a diplomat. Aside from personal experiences, a broader range of issues were discussed during the question and answer session, including the responsibility of France as a member of the international community in advocating for the improvement of North Korean human rights.
<In January 2020, Ambassador Philip Lefort speaks to participants during the Dream Plus Forum at the French Embassy in South Korea>
Through this kind of unique opportunity for French diplomatic officials to personally meet young North Korean defectors face to face inside the embassy, their continued interest in the issue has led to their awarding these financial scholarships.
The scholarship recipients and beneficiaries are as follows:
- Eight students in elementary, middle, and high school born to North Korean defectors.
- Vocational education scholarships for two North Korean defectors who have participated in programs at the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration.
<Hyo Sun Shin, Acting Senior Director of the NKDB Resettlement Support Headquarters and Sandra Cohen of the French Embassy in Korea>
Further related to the scholarship provision, Sandra Cohen, a ministerial counselor to the French Ambassador, personally visited NKDB on September 23rd, bringing plentiful supplies for the North Korean students!
We at NKDB would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the French Embassy in South Korea for their continued interest and support for North Korean defectors and for activities conducted at NKDB. We will continue to make every effort to assist young North Korean defectors with their studies as well, and look forward to continuing to work together with the French Embassy in South Korea.