DPRK on August 11th 2010
One month after the 1st visit of the President of WFD, Mr. Dr. Markku Jokinen, and the sign language interpreter, Mrs. Liz Scott Gibson, President of World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI), to Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 18 deaf participants from 6 different nationalities (USA, Japan, Germany, Morocco, China, and Finland) and a sign language interpreter from the USA took part in the 2nd GOOD FELLOWSHIP in Pyongyang on August 11th 2010.
Based on the principles of independence, friendship, and peace the GOOD FELLOWSHIP has made active contributions to promoting the development of human cultural undertakings for deaf and disabled people, enhancing the cultural exchange of deaf people from different countries, thus building friendship among deaf and disabled people.
Mr. Kim Mun Chol, the Vice-President of the Central Committee of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled in Pyongyang, welcomed all deaf participants and introduced the deaf situation in the DPRK: the deaf education of the DPRK has developed since 1959 with the foundation of 8 deaf schools in 8 different provinces of the country. The DPRK government has adopted the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities on June 13th 2003. This law includes the protection of and care for the deaf people.
The GOOD FELLOWSHIP is an international deaf meeting in Pyongyang which has taken place two times already and is planned to be continued once a year jointly organized by KFPD and WFD. Independence, friendship and peace are the main ideas of the Good Fellowship, i.e. deaf people in the world strive to live independently and in friendship. In this way we deaf people live peacefully.
The 1st visit of the WFD-President to the DPRK in July 2010 was the highlight of the year showing the intensive international work KFPD has performed over several years.
During his visit, Dr. Markku Jokinen emphasized that the cooperation between KFPD and WFD will be further deepened: “KFPD will make valuable contributions to promote mutual understanding and friendship among the deaf people of different countries according to the UN-Convention of the Human Rights for People with Disabilities.”
After the inaugural address given by Mr. Kim Mun Chol, the deaf Koreans performed Korean traditional dancing on the occasion of the visit of deaf foreigners to their country and on their participation in the 2nd GOOD FELLOWSHIP in Pyongyang. The guests were deeply impressed by the grace and elegance of the deaf dancers exactly following the musical rhythms, their excellent dance movements and their facial expression.
Job Convenience in Pyongyang
Finally, Mr. Robert R. Grund, Chairman of the German NGO “TOGETHER – Special Education Center for Deaf, Blind, and Non-Disabled Children Hamhung”, handed over the salutation letter of the President of World Blind Union (WBU), Mrs. Maryanne Diamond, to Mr. Kim Mun Chol and expressed his hope for all of us together opening up the chapter of dedicated and fruitful cooperation between KFPD and WBU. Our joint work will unfold under the Law of the DPRK on the Protection of Person with Disabilities for blind children as it did for the deaf children.
As a gift to all blind school children in DPRK, the international participants in the 2nd GOOD FELLOWSHIP brought Braille Writing Boards with special Braille pens and Braille paper from Beijing to Pyongyang. KFPD will distribute this donation to all blind school children in the DPRK as a symbol for the solidarity of all people with disabilities and their attitude of independence, friendship and peace. Mr. Robert R. Grund expressed his gratitude to the German Embassy in Pyongyang for the financial support for this project of 255 Braille boards:
“The German Foreign Office shows great interest in the development of the disabled children in the DPRK and appreciates the organization of GOOD FELLOWSHIP.”
All participants enjoyed the free and direct communication and the snack with the deaf Koreans for about two hours. At the emotional end of the afternoon, all deaf guests paid farewell to their deaf hosts thanking them and appreciating the cooperation and organization of KFPD, of the Korean International Travel Company (KITC), and of the Korean government, especially the Embassy of the DPRK to Berlin for the 2nd GOOD FELLOWSHIP as an unforgettable and emotional event that helps them to understand the people of the DPRK. Finally they embraced each other before leaving the GOOD FELLOWSHIP.
TOGETHER-Hamhung and KFPD
“Together-Hamhung” will arrange another trip for the deaf to DPRK in 2011. It is scheduled for october 1st till 6th October 2011. All deaf people are warmly welcome to the DPRK. If you are interested to participate in this trip, please feel free to contact Robert R. Grund: firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Good Fellowship