Be the first to like this
Today, North Korea is experiencing a human rights crisis of unimaginable scope. Even with the United Nation’s recent Commission of Inquiry tackling the situation, many are unaware of North Korea’s various human rights violations. This is much to the dismay of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) working in to raise awareness in this field. In August 2012, I went to Seoul to do a year-long exchange program at Chung-Ang University while simultaneously participating in VIU’s Global Studies Internship Program.
Through the Global Studies Internship Program, I interned at a Seoul-based North Korean human rights NGO called Justice for North Korea (JFNK). At JFNK, I worked in a nonprofit marketing role, promoting our cause through planning events & fundraisers, recruiting volunteers and liaising with various related organizations. Upon returning home to VIU in fall 2013, I completed a 16-page research paper on nonprofit marketing challenges and opportunities, specifically in the context of North Korean human rights NGOs.
I was motivated to participate in this internship and produce the research paper for mainly personal reasons: I believe that the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time is currently occurring in North Korea. Through conducting this research, I wanted to see how NGOs doing work in this field could better market themselves, as many people are unaware of these organizations’ own causes and the North Korean humanitarian crisis in general.
Through my internship experiences and research of various scholarly and professional materials, I found that many (North Korean human rights) NGOs wrongly believe that broadening their marketing efforts will require large investments of time and money, while also potentially infringing on the privacy of individuals their organizations work to aid. Instead, I found that research and best practices show that NGOs can build increased awareness effectively and efficiently without encountering these fears.