Seoul Archdiocese helps North Korean refugees assimilate

New school helps them understand their identity and role in South Korean society
Seoul Archdiocese helps North Korean refugees assimilate

Children of North Korean refugees play at the South Korean Hanawon resettlement facility, the first stop for North Koreans who have fled their impoverished homeland, in Anseong on July 8, 2009. The Seoul Archdiocese is running a program for North Korean refugees to further help them to assimilate into South Korean society. (Photo by AFP)

ucanews.com reporter, Seoul
South Korea
May 25, 2016
The Seoul Archdiocese is providing a "good parents school" for North Korean refugees in a bid to assist with their integration into South Korean society.

Run by the archdiocese's Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, the school will help 15 North Korean refugees better understand their identity and role in South Korean society.

Five South Korean parents will also take part in the program, which will allow participants from both county's the opportunity to better understand each other.

The school will similarly offer several theoretical classes that look at the differences between the two countries' education systems.

Further classes will look at how to better understand family members by their personality types and on how parents can best communicate with their children.

The school will additionally provide classes to the refugee's children to help them form positive values and habits. English language lessons for beginners will be provided to the children as well.

Outdoor activities, such as a summer camp and an excursion to an arboretum, will also be part of the program offered by the school.

The school will be held from May 28 to Nov. 8 every second and fourth Saturday.

Since the North's 1994-98 famine, about 30,000 North Koreans who fled their country now live in Seoul, according to the South Korean government.

North Koreans who have fled their hard-line communist homeland are required to spend three months in Hanawon, a re-education center on the southern outskirts of Seoul. Instructors there give lessons on coping in a capitalist society. Protestant, Catholic and Buddhist groups have access to the center, holding regular services and offering food.

There are an estimated 300,000 Christians in North Korea with about 60,000 of them believed to be imprisoned due to their faith, according to Open Doors, an international ministry that tracks worldwide Christian persecution.

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