Thanks to a Great Team of Volunteers
for a Very Successful MPAK Gala
The 5th Annual MPAK Gala Held to Raise Funds for Orphans and Vulnerable Children of North Korean Escapee Women
MPAK held its 5th Annual Fundraising Gala to raise funds for the orphans and vulnerable children of North Korean escapee women on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the City Club Los Angeles, with 300 people in attendance.
According to a 2008 United States Congressional report, approximately 70 percent of North Korean refugees are women. Of these women, 80 percent have been trafficked - bought and sold like a commodity in black markets for brides or sex slaves.
According to UNHCR, there are approximately 20,000 to 30,000 children that are born from the escaped North Korean women. And many of these mothers are captured and repatriated back to North Korea, and the children would grow up without mothers. Many fathers abandon the families, or have special needs and simply unable to work, and the hardship suffered by the children is staggering.
MPAK strongly believes the only way for these children to have a chance at life is through education. So the main purpose of this year’s fundraising was to provide scholarship funds for them to go to colleges or vocational schools. While MPAK cannot reach thousands of children, at least we can try to reach and help some.
Our hands are small, but our collective heart was big, with over $260,000 raised for the children.
Ms. Connie Chung, a daughter of North Korean escapee parents, was the keynote speaker. She shared her childhood difficulties and being homeless. With some help, she overcame her obstacles and went to Harvard and graduated with a Doctorate degree. Her story moved many hearts to tears. She was a testament on how a little help can go very far.
Mr. Yungbum Jeong was a nine years old boy when he was adopted by an MPAK family in Korea 20 years ago when MPAK first began. Over the years Yungbum and MPAK grew together. Today, Youngbum has become a premier Bipa (Korean Mandolin) player in Korea. He gave a stirring performance that impressed everyone in the room.
MPAK Christmas Celebration
The 20th Annual MPAK Christmas Celebration Held on December 7, 2019
MPAK celebrated the Christmas gathering on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at the Orange Canaan Presbyterian Church (오렌지 가나안 장로교회), Santa Ana, California.
The gathering was a real success with kids having so much fun. Mr. Minh Tran performed a magic show that was magical, and both the kids and the adults enjoyed the show.
MPAK honored the volunteers that have contributed their time and resources to help out with the gala and the retreat.
But it was also the night of appreciation and farewell to Shin Aera (신애라) and Cha Inpyo (차인표) family as they will move back to Korea after Shin Aera finished her school. It was five years ago when Shin Aera first visited our MPAK Christmas Celebration, and ever since then, she has been very active with our MPAK group. As a parting gift, we presented her a poster with a collage of photos capturing the memories of her time with our MPAK families. On the poster, many families wrote warm messages of farewell. We will certainly miss them, and we wish them well in their journey.
A fond farewell to Shin Aera (신애라) and Cha Inpyo (차인표) family returning back to Korea after five years of activities with MPAK.
Shin Aera (신애라) holds the poster presented to her with "Thank you for the Memories" From the MPAK Families. She really appreciated this poster.
Kids loved the magic performance by Mr. Minh Tran, who really knew how to work the kids.