North Korean Youth Para-Ensemble Concert Tour 2015
19th February to 3rd March, 2015
DULA International is an independent, non-profit charity organisation (Charity No.
1131120) dedicated to the promotion of disability rights and welfare of handicapped
people in North Korea. DULA International’s work with disabled people of North
Korea began after a visit by the KFPD(Korean Federation for the Protection of the
Disabled) during the 2012 London Paralympic Games. This was followed by a visit to
Pyong-Yang in October 2012, and has recently established student-run societies based
in Oxford and Cambridge, UK.
We began by supporting young people with disabilities and as part of efforts to raise
global awareness of human rights for disabled people in North Korea. DULA is
currently organising a European concert tour for the North Korean Young Artists
Para-Ensemble. The arts delegation comprises of 11 students from the schools for the
handicapped and one adult performer, who will be accompanied by 12 supporting
individuals. The tour marks the first time in history that disabled North Koreans will
perform outside of their country. This event will therefore be incredibly meaningful
not only for the performers, for whom we hope this will be a chance to gain and
develop disabled rights as North Koreans, but also for many others who are outcast
from society on account of their disabilities.
Disability in North Korea
The population of disabled people in North Korea is estimated to be around 1.5
million, many of whom suffer from malnutrition, social ostracism, and lack of shelter
and heating. Reports indicate a chronic shortage of teachers proficient in sign
language and facilities in North Korea, with only one functioning Braille machine.
Consequently, the average retention rates in these schools are very low. In total, there
are 11 schools for disabled children and young people but none of them are in the
capitol, Pyong-Yang, and only around 1400 students make up the 11 communities,
who live and support each other at the schools.
What lies at the heart of disability rights in North Korea is the pervasive social stigma
against people with disabilities. The treatment of handicapped people make is akin to
second-class citizens, to the extent that families often attempt to conceal disabled
members and rarely acknowledge them, let alone pursue their opportunities in life.
The Para-Ensemble’s concert tour in Europe would provide an incentive for the North
Korean government to seriously reconsider the rights of disabled people and invest in
long-term efforts to improve their welfare. We hope to begin this process through
tackling three of the biggest issues that the schools supporting disabled youths face.
1. Health and Nutrition
To support nutrition of the 11 schools, we are setting up agricultural projects which
will be succeeded by nutrition programmes this year. The plans were created with careful consideration, so that students would be provided with nutrition and food
supplies even without the need of transport and electricity.
DULA is working towards enhancing the students’ education in two ways: providing
much-needed supplies (Braille printers, Braille stationary, study tools and specialist
books for those with hearing impairments, and so on) and by developing English
language courses, exchange training programmes and seminars.
3. Extra-curricular activities
Social attitudes in North Korea have yet to recognise that people with disabilities
share many abilities that are equal to or greater than those without disabilities. We
aim to expand opportunities to participate in cultural programmes – such as art, music
and sport – in order to encourage deeper understanding between the separated
1. North Korean government to replace ambivalent attitude towards disability rights
with long-term commitment to the amelioration and expansion of education and
rehabilitation for the disabled.
2. Creation of network between organisations, including European NGOs and
education, medicine, sport and music associations, which aims to improve welfare for
disabled people of North Korea.
3. Disabled youths in North Korea to have music- and sports-related international
exchange, exposure to foreign culture, and the possible opportunity to study abroad.
Use of Collected Funds
The monetary aid collected will be utilised in the following ways:
1. Costs of concerts and seminars.
2. Acquire and equip schools with educational materials, such as Braille printers,
musical instruments and other miscellaneous items.
3. Acquire specialized equipment to facilitate the rehabilitation and nutrition of
disabled children in North Korea.
BANK : HSBC / DULA International Sort Code: 40-26-12 Account No: 41773712
CHEQUE TO / DULA International 30 Hoppingwood Avenue New Malden, KT3 4JX
www. eventbrite.co.uk Search for DULA International
Website www.dula.org.uk / Email: email@example.comContents and Schedule of the 2014 Event
1. Event Contents
The vice chairman of KFPD will give a speech about KFPD’s role, activities, and
future plans for the disabled. Other speakers will then discuss other related issues,
such as ways in which the living conditions of the disabled could be improved.
KFPD will meet various international organisations to obtain their support such as the
Paralympic committee, therapy organisations, education organisations, visit to the
Parliament, and so on.
12 disabled North Koreans will be singing, performing ballet and instrumental pieces
on the gayageum, accordion, cello and violin along with other North Korean and
2. Concerts and Seminars
a) University of Oxford
Concert: 20th Feb at Sheldonian Theatre 7:30 pm
Seminar: 21st Feb at Nuffield College 10:30am
b) Royal College of Music, London
Concert: 21st Feb at Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall 7:30 pm
c) University of Cambridge
Concert: 2nd March at Trinity College Chapel 7:30pm
Seminar: 2nd March at Trinity College Hall 3:00 pm
d) France Tour
Concert 1 : 23th Feb at SPF (Secours populaire français) 7:30pm
Concert 2 : 24th Feb at INJS (Institut national des jeunes sourds) 7:30pm
*This event will be seen by various members of the government and by embassies.
We are planning to contact broadcasting media groups and major newspaper
Significance of the Tour
The participation of a North Korean athlete in the 2012 London Paralympics Games,
as supported by the UK government, has since made significant impact on the lives of
disabled people in North Korea. According to UK Government report of DPRK:
“Its success was reported in all of the mainstream of DPRK media, leading to a
sudden increase in enquiries from disabled people and their parents into how they
could get involved in sports.” – UK FCO report, April 2014.
We hope that this concert tour will bring about similar reactions and changes in the
social perception and treatment of disabled people in North Korea.