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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Han Concert

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Han i) one, unity ii) deep sorrow

It is a fact that the people of North Korea are starving. 

542,000 tonnes of food deficit
Even at its full capacity, North Korea isn’t able to meet the food needs of its people. The recent flooding and lack of storage capacity has left North Koreans short of 542,000 tonnes of grain supply.  Hunger is a part of daily life for most in North Korea. 

The most vulnerable
Who is suffering the most? It is ultimately the ordinary people of North Korea that are suffering.   Among them, those that are most vulnerable – the young children, expectant and nursing mothers, and the old and feeble – are the most affiliated. We cannot turn a blind eye to this humanitarian crisis.  

The weakest in North Korea suffer in silence, isolated and far removed from the gaze of the rest of the world, but we should not ignore their plight.  The difference between life and death is like 0 and 1, infinitely different. The pain of an innocent human being should not be rationalized or weighed less because of his or her geographical location. 

1 in 3 children are malnourished
North Korea has one of the highest malnutrition rates in children. 1 in 3 children (45%) under the age of 5 show debilitating signs of malnutrition.

The first few years of a child’s life are critical to their development. Nutrition during a person’s first 1,000 days, from conception until a child’s second birthday, are essential to developing the ability to ward off and overcome diseases. Malnutrition in the very young will haunt the child throughout his or her life by stunting growth and retarding the child’s social and mental development. 

Stunted growth can rarely be corrected. 
But it can be prevented. 

We can do something even in a country like North Korea in a responsible and transparent manner. We can make an impact on a child’s life. 

Han Concert and Global Resource Services ( have come together for this purpose. 

Han Concert - $5 is all it takes
Han Concert will sponsor GRS’ Micronutrient Supplementation Program to At-Risk Women and Children in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). GRS is a US accredited NGO with a valid tax id and a proven track record of providing humanitarian aid to people in North Korea for the past 15 years.

For only $5.00, your donation will provide essential nutritional support for women and infants in North Hwanghae Province for one full year. Your donation of $20 will sponsor four nursing mothers and infants. A donation of $100 will change the lives of 20. 

Han, deep sorrow, is said to characterize Koreans. But Han also means unity. Over the volatile history spanning millennia, Koreans have overcome many sorrows through unity. 

Regardless of ethnicity and nationality, in one as humanity, we can make a difference. Our unity will not only fight hunger, but will also allow a North Korean child to at least have a fighting chance at his or her own future.
Let us treat humans as humans. Children as children. No longer a mere statistic. Let us, through music, treat Han (sorrow) through Han (unity).