Who Are We?

We are Rotarians – and like minded humanitarians

Korean Friendship Network of Rotarians (KFNR) is an informal network of Rotarians and members of the extended Rotary family (Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interacters, Rotary Fellowship Groups, Rotarian Action Groups, etc.) – who wish to help people in North Korea through community service projects that are aligned with Rotary's ideals.

Rotary is a network of more than 34000 clubs and 1.2 million Rotarians around the world who are dedicated to community service at home and abroad. Rotarians are business and community leaders. We are busy people who like to get things done, efficiently. We like to plan budgets, we like to get projects done on time, we like to see results, and we like to build successful models that we can scale up – for maximum impact.

We are a Bridge to DPRK Koreans

Because DPRK (North Korea) is still a "non-Rotary country" with limited connectivity abroad, it is quite difficult for Rotarians to connect with reliable counterparts in the country to create and implement worthy service projects.

We are the bridge to these DPR Koreans.

KFNR members bridge the gap by facilitating communication between interested parties on both sides, to help projects get accomplished in a country where many would think it impossible. Along the way we build bonds of friendship and collaborate with local professionals to help those most in need.

To learn more about our members, see our Team page.

 PHF Dr. Massimo Urbani was posted 3 times to Pyongyang (with the WHO, UNICEF and the Italian government) where he first met our project partner Dr. Jong Sang Hun in 2003. Here they discuss the dream of establishing the first Rotary club in Pyongyang.

PHF Dr. Massimo Urbani was posted 3 times to Pyongyang (with the WHO, UNICEF and the Italian government) where he first met our project partner Dr. Jong Sang Hun in 2003. Here they discuss the dream of establishing the first Rotary club in Pyongyang.

Rotary’s unique role

Rotary has a unique role to play in building trust and better communication with people in the DPRK. The Fourth "Object of Rotary," our philosophical foundation, promotes:

The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Rotary's motto is “Service Above Self.” Rotarians are "wired" to serve their clubs and to serve their communities via community service projects. Service projects may be large or small, done alone within a club or together with other clubs, and frequently with outside partners.

We are all business and community leaders and it is for this reason that we are not treated by our DPRK counterparts as a typical NGO or charity organization, rather as an organization of business people. Our key partner within the DPRK is the Committee for the Promotion of International Trade (abbreviated as KOMT), within the Ministry of External Economic Cooperation. They are our liaison point, not the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that routinely handles other humanitarian NGO's. This makes quite a big difference in how we are treated.

Rotary clubs engage in community service on a global scale. Rotary clubs and individual Rotarians are encouraged to live the Object of Rotary by working in partnership with Rotarians in other countries to implement service projects wherever needs are identified. In Rotary lingo we call this “World Community Service” (WCS).

Rotary is present in more than 200 countries and regions, and WCS projects are typically conducted between two or more clubs in their own countries, often with the financial support of the Rotary Foundation. While the Rotary Foundation can only provide grant funding for activities in "Rotary Countries", nothing stops Rotarians from pushing the envelope and helping in unchartered territory. We help Rotarians bring Rotary's model of service to the DPRK (North Korea), a non-Rotary country.

We welcome your support!