In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Handicap International assists the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD) to advance the equal opportunities, rights and involvement of people with disabilities as active citizens in their own country. The organization has been active in the country since 2001 and has 12 national staff members and two expatriates working on its projects.
In 2005, the Korean government announced that the country no longer needed international aid. When most humanitarian operators left the country, Handicap International was among six organizations authorized to remain active.
Handicap International has been working with the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD) in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, supporting the Hamhung Orthopedic Factory and collaborating in the field of sensory disability. After ten years of partnership, Handicap International now places a greater emphasis on institutional support for KFPD, and has gradually reduced its direct involvement with projects.
- Support for Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled, and disabled people's organizations
- Capacity-building: Improving physical rehabilitation services
- Inclusive education: Improving education through adapted teaching
- Disaster Risk Preparedness
Support for Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled, and disabled people's organizations
Handicap International supports the provincial development of the KFPD and the representation of new provincial disabled people’s organizations. It organizes numerous training courses and seminars to improve the understanding of disability and promote awareness-raising actions. Handicap International also helps the KFPD to build its project management capacities and develop an international network, so to identify other sources of funding and ensure its financial sustainability. This project is nationwide, but particularly active in Pyongson (South Pyongan Province), Hamhung (South Hamgyong Province), Wonsan (Kangwon Province) and Siniju (North Pyongan Province).
In 2003, Handicap International and the KFPD supported the adoption of the Law on Protection of Disabled People, which was recently amended in 2014.
Capacity-building: Improving physical rehabilitation services
Handicap International supports several structures to improve physical rehabilitation services in DPR Korea. In addition to providing equipment and consumables, Handicap International promotes the autonomous production of prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces in DPRK by improving the management of the Hamhung Orthopedic Factory and introducing more sustainable technologies. It also aims to enhance the skills of health staff in Tongrim, Hamhung, and Pyongyang in the field of physical therapy and to strengthen the provision of services to remote areas through the organization of mobile camps.
Inclusive education: Improving education through adapted teaching
With its partners, Handicap International aims to improve the living conditions and education of children with hearing and visual impairment in six special schools in DPR Korea. Launched in late 2012, the project includes the renovation of premises (schools and dormitories), the construction of greenhouses to vary the diet of the children, and the supply of educational materials and teaching aids. Handicap International also organizes sets of training and seminars for teachers and staff from the Department for Special Education responsible for teaching methods and the adaptation of training courses.
Disaster Risk Preparedness
Handicap International works to ensure people with disabilities are taken into account in natural disaster risk reduction activities, particularly by providing training and raising the awareness of the relevant authorities. The organization has also implemented an initial project in Pongsan school for the hard of hearing to make students aware of the risk from natural disasters. This project will be extended to five other schools exposed to risks by 2017.
These projects are possible thanks to Handicap International donors, and the following funding bodies: