A group of LINK interns wearing LINK merchandise.
Liberty in North Korea (LINK), a human rights activist group, made a stop at Cal State Fullerton last month on their journey to spread the message about the North Korean crisis and the internship opportunities that the organization provides. Students were moved by the interactive, emotional presentation, and were inspired to help make a change.
North Koreans are denied the most basic rights of free speech, free movement and information freedom. What do these restrictions look like?
With extreme border patrol, it is illegal for North Koreans to leave their country without the regime’s permission. Travel is restricted even within their country, as they must attain permission from the government to access another city. There is no freedom of speech, as any criticism of the regime or the leadership in North Korea will cause one to be sent to a political prison camp. In addition, freedom of information is restricted in order for the regime to prevent resistance towards their propaganda and ideology. The regime makes great efforts to maintain an information blockade – deeming radio, international calls and Internet illegal.
These restrictions, along with an extreme shortage in food supply, create great challenges for the North Korean people. However, there is hope for North Koreans as more resources and opportunities are available today to help them achieve their freedom.
LINK is a nonprofit organization working across the United States, South Korea and Southeast Asia to fight for freedom for the North Koreans. They rescue North Korean refugees through a 3,000-mile underground railroad and provide resettlement support for them to begin a new life. All of their work is completely funded through donations and fundraisers. They host events in the United States to help educate broad audiences about the challenges in North Korea and to provide opportunities for people to help. Along with their executive team of 18 individuals, they are able to accomplish these rescue missions with the help of their interns.
Charlie, Christine, and Tatjana, CalWest nomads for LINK.
The LINK team provides many internship opportunities for college students including positions focusing on communications, graphic design, translation and other areas. They give students a chance to utilize their skills, gain useful experience and make a change.
Marketing students may be interested in the communications and social media internship, which requires interns to manage LINK’s social media channels and monitor advertising content on the Web. Branding and finding the best ways to reach new audiences is a huge part of LINK’s success. The human resources and recruitment internship, potentially a good fit for management students, requires interns to assist with posting new job and internship opportunities, conducting interviews and implementing new recruitment strategies. Human resources interns are the basis in helping to find the best people for the LINK team.
A LINK nomad educating students on the North Korean crisis.
What may be the most unique internship of all is the nomad internship. Nomads work in a group of 15 and travel across North America to help educate people about the realities of the North Korean crisis. After five weeks of training at the LINK headquarters, the nomad team sets off to locations such as Google, West Point and Harvard. During each visit, the interns introduce themselves and their campaign and provide an engaging presentation about the North Korean crisis. The team then shares information about their goals, programs and how the members of the audience can get involved. Although interns are not paid since LINK is a non-profit, they are provided free housing and $500 to cover costs while on the road. They are also able to receive internship credit from their universities.
To apply for internships, or to learn more about the North Korean crisis, visit www.libertyinnorthkorea.org.