MTSU club raises awareness for North Korean refugees


MTSU students raise awareness for people trying to escape North Korea in the Liberty in North Korea club.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Many students wonder how they can make a difference in the lives of others, and the solution may be closer than they think. MTSU is home to a club entitled LiNK Rescue Team, which represents the parent, non-profit organization, Liberty in North Korea (LiNK).

LiNK, both on and off campus, assists hundreds of North Korean refugees trying to escape from the harsh and dangerous conditions of their home. The president of the LiNK Rescue Team at MTSU, LeeAnne Ledwell, says the mission of club is synonymous with the parent organiztion.

“There [are] two things: to spread awareness of the North Korean crisis and to rescue North Korean refugees,” Ledwell said.

Ledwell describes the duties of Liberty in North Korea at MTSU as providing important contributions to the parent organization. The club assists Liberty in North Korea by making the message known, and raising money for the cause. Members of the club also take time to create ideas to fundraise for the refugees.

Secretary of LiNK Rescue Team at MTSU, Victoria Murray, said that LiNK tries to assist North Korean refugees with little risk by helping them out of hiding in China.

“They provide funds for the refugees’ education, or help them get a job in their desired country,” Murray said.

North Korean refugees risk everything to escape the economic and political tyranny of their country. According to the Liberty in North Korea website, people escaping North Korea can usually only make it as far as China. Once they are in China, Liberty in North Korea provides the financial assistance required of about $3000 to securely rescue one refugee.

After being moved to America, refugees are provided with resources to successfully resettle in their new home. In addition to resettlement needs, the $3000 fee can prevent extreme turmoil, or even death, for a North Korean. The Liberty in North Korea website explains that these refugees can face “torture, forced labor, forced abortions and internment in a political prison camp.”

“It’s important to be aware of what’s going on globally. I’ve heard a lot of people compare it to the Holocaust. It’s a Korean Holocaust that is going on in North Korea,” Ledwell said.

“Without LiNK and organizations like it, not only refugees, but their families, would be imprisoned, or worse, in the name of freedom. And what else should Americans stand for if not for the principal our country was founded on?” Murray said.

The next LiNK Rescue Team club meeting is Wednesday at 6 p.m. the second floor of the library. For more information on the mission of the organization, visit LINK’S website.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

To contact News Editor Amanda Freuler, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com

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