We make service projects happen - in North Korea

This is harder than it looks - but easier than it sounds, because we have together built up a solid channel of communication since 2001 to connect Rotarians, Rotaracters and our project partners with reliable counterparts in the DPRK - to overcome all the obstacles and get things done.

Projects may be small scale, like the Football Play it Forward project that donated 200 soccer balls to orphanages and schools in North Korea.  Or medium size like the Koryo Medicine project that donated USD 20,000 worth of medicines to Korean orphanages and hospitals after the country suffered flood damage. 

Or projects may be large scale and multi-step, like the 3 Shelterbox deployments into the DPRK that we facilitated for a total contribution of more than USD 1.5 million in disaster relief aid.

Regardless of the size, the cornerstone of these projects is our ability to connect the well-intentioned donor with an appropriate, reliable and effective project partner in North Korea.

Our success lies in our steadfast maintenance of communication with our key counterparts in the DPRK for almost two decades - irrespective of the ups and downs of geopolitical relations in the region.

 2003 Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul's theme slogan was "Sow the Seeds of Love", which we did in Pyongyang with a Rotary Foundation Helping Grant conducted by the Rotary Club of Shanghai - with support from the Rotary Club of Taipei (Taiwan) and the Rotary Club of Makati (Philippines). Here Mr. Kim Jong Gi, Chairman of the Committee for the Promotion of International Trade receives President Bhichai’s theme banner.

2003 Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul's theme slogan was "Sow the Seeds of Love", which we did in Pyongyang with a Rotary Foundation Helping Grant conducted by the Rotary Club of Shanghai - with support from the Rotary Club of Taipei (Taiwan) and the Rotary Club of Makati (Philippines). Here Mr. Kim Jong Gi, Chairman of the Committee for the Promotion of International Trade receives President Bhichai’s theme banner.

 12 years later in August 2015 we paid a visit to his successor, Mr. O Tae Bong, Chairman of the Committee for the Promotion of International Trade, within the Ministry of External Economic Relations.

12 years later in August 2015 we paid a visit to his successor, Mr. O Tae Bong, Chairman of the Committee for the Promotion of International Trade, within the Ministry of External Economic Relations.

The result is - we have been able to facilitate multiple projects in the country and to connect dozens of Rotarians from around the world (and members of the Rotary family) with willing counterparts in the DPRK. And in so doing we have planted "seeds of love" in the DPRK, cementing in the minds of many Korean leaders, that the Rotary brand is one associated with businessmen and women with big hearts – who just want to help. This ensures the door remains open for us to do even more.


We Align with Rotary’s Areas of Focus

Globally the Rotary Foundation encourages its member Rotarians to pursue projects that fit within what we call the “6 Areas of Focus”:

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution 
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health 
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development 

We believe that by engaging in dialogue with leaders and professionals in the DPRK we are working to build peace and reduce conflict between our people. By providing short term relief or longer term sustainable aid, we are helping to reduce and treat disease, improve access to water and sanitation, improve the health of children and contribute to greater educational opportunity. And by connecting Rotarian business people with Korean professionals, we can identify new opportunities for community economic development.

Read more about Rotary's 6 Areas of Focus.