PSCORE’s educational support, which I found out about last year through my friend OOO, has given me great hope. At first, I was worried that I would not be accepted for the educational support program even if I applied for it. So half out of curiosity and half out of a desire to receive educational support, I went into PSCORE’s homepage.
Although it has been three years since I came to South Korea, [omit] mathematics has remained a big concern for me. I thought extracurricular work in math would help me greatly, so I picked up my cell phone and called PSCORE. Thankfully, I was connected to someone on the other end, and I gladly went to PSCORE’s office. I was introduced to instructor Yoo Jung-mo for my mathematics studies, and I have since been learning math from her.
My life in South Korea has been half-filled with fear and half-filled with joy. There have been situations in which I did not know how to act, and these instances evoked much distress and difficulties. It was not easy to adjust to a sudden change of lifestyle. Even now, South Korea remains a place that is sometimes fearful, terrifying, and difficult to adapt to.
There are many things for which I am thankful to PSCORE [omit], but if I am to choose three, I would say firstly, I am grateful that a meeting place like PSCORE exists. Many people may favor eventual unification of the Korean peninsula, but it is very difficult to make this a reality and even more so to contribute to it with a part of your life.
People for Successful COrean REunification…
This phrase has such deep meaning yet is so pure and hits close to the heart. Reunification. Every North Korean refugee has desired unification of the North and South at least once.
I, for one, sincerely wish for it…
Secondly, I am thankful that PSCORE provides free tutors to refugees who have difficulties studying. I have been studying in South Korea for four years and there have been several instances that I wanted to kill myself.
It was the grades…
The report cards that follow midterm exams and final exams have disappointed me very much, and they created in me an adverse reaction to studying. Even students born and raised in South Korea find English difficult, dislike math, and probably do not find studying easy. To make matters worse, I was struggling with adapting to a new environment and raising my grades, which proved to be difficult and burdensome. So for 2 years I wandered from place to place, unable to adapt to school life.
As I was struggling with life, news of PSCORE’s educational support program was very pleasant and exciting to hear. Weekly meetings with my instructor Yoo Jung-mo never end with studying. Although we do study, we also talk about how the previous week went; I share about life in North Korea and ask about life in South Korea. Academics are important to me, but what I needed was a teacher with whom I can talk and who could also help with my studies.
The third reason to thank PSCORE has to do with how we are one step closer to reunification. I like how I can express my thoughts about unification and I can read news about North Korea in one glance from PSCORE news resources. Unification is not something that can be achieved in a single effort. Only with time and effort can reunification happen. No matter how much I want it, my desire cannot achieve unification. If people are interested and they participate in the effort, then the process of reunification will progress and ultimately be achieved. I believe that PSCORE is fulfilling these necessary roles.
I will study diligently. At times the stress associated with studying tempts me to kill myself, but I will resist. There are so many people who have helped me that ending my own life would be wronging them.
I want to study hard and send money to my father in North Korea, and I want to become a good person to stand confidently and boldly before my parents. Just as I received so much help, I want to become someone who can also give help to others and stand by them in times of their need.
I want to thank the PSCORE instructors for not only tutoring me, but also for helping me find a dream and a hope. I also want to thank instructor Yoo Jung-mo for teaching me math with sincere efforts. I will remember all those who have helped and comforted me live with energy and confidence wherever life may take me.
Translated by Sooyeon Kang / Edited by Christal S. Yim
2011 PSCORE. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.