Our Great MPAK Volunteers at the 2019 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.
We wish to thank our Platinum Sponsors that have donated $20,000 or more throughout the year.
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.