Renee Sang

The Liberty in North Korea club at Seminole spreads awareness and raises funds to help North Korean refugees.

Taylor Harris, Reporter

Seminole High School’s new club, Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), held its first meeting on March 9. LiNK is dedicated to assisting North Korean refugees by rescuing, resettling and empowering North Koreans while changing the way that people view North Koreans.

The SHS club is a rescue team under the larger nonprofit organization, Liberty in North Korea. Seminole’s LiNK consists of about 20 members who are working toward aiding North Koreans. LiNK raises money to fund refugees’ journeys to safety, including transportation, housing and other basic needs.

Ms. Emily Painter says, “When Madison and Richa approached me with the new club idea, I was delighted to see how a discussion from our AP Human Geography class had impacted them in such a way to want to make a difference by fundraising for the benefit of the non-for-profit national Liberty for North Korea organization.”

According to the the parent organization, the key to solving problems in North Korea lies in its citizens. They are attempting to break away from the regime and change their society. LiNK’s role is to help speed up the process. Besides funding North Korean refugees’ escape, Liberty in North Korea hopes to assist the refugees in overcoming resettlement challenges by providing support, information and resources as they adjust and become more self-sufficient. LiNK also aims to empower North Koreans by helping them reach their potential by creating media and change how the world views North Koreans through campaigns to spread awareness regarding the challenges they face.

When asked about the club’s goals, co-president freshman Richa Bhavsar states, “So far, the club has raised over 300 dollars in fundraising through candy sales. We have also collected 10 dollar dues in order to raise seed money. We hope to host a spirit night at a local restaurant and collect a portion of the [proceeds] to help us achieve our end of the year goal of 500 dollars.”

Donations assist with the refugees’ journeys out of North Korea;however, if unable to donate, the club still urges people to spread awareness. LiNK plans to hold spirit nights at restaurants, and sell candy and water to fundraise.

Sophomore Royce Newman comments, “I think the club will help spread awareness of global problems, and prompt people to develop their own opinions and think about how these problems affect them.”

Students interested in joining Liberty in North Korea can speak with Ms. Painter in Renegade 202. Meetings are held every other Wednesday.