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North Korea

Promoting the participation of people with disabilities

A young boy standing in the classroom of a special school, North Korea
© Dominique Flasson/Handicap International

Handicap International's goal in North Korea is to promote the full participation of people with disabilities. We support the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled with projects focusing on improving the accessibility of rehabilitation services and supporting the inclusion of disabled children in education.

Our activities in North Korea began in 1998 at the request of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD). The goal of initial projects was to offer direct support for service providers and this work included support for the orthopaedic-fitting workshop in Hamhung. More recently, a longer term goal has been to strengthen the organisational capacity of partners, including the KFPD, to ensure strong and sustainable services for people with disabilities.

Key facts

• Human Development Index: N/A
• Life expectancy: 69 years
• Population: 24.5 million
Source: UNDP HDR 2013

Our projects

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Improving physical rehabilitation services

Goal: To improve rehabilitation services available to people. We are improving the facilities offered by rehabilitation services at Hamhung orthopaedic hospital, the hospital at Dockchon, and the care centre for people with disabilities and older people in Tongrin. New equipment has been provided at these centres and we are organising training for physiotherapists and orthopaedic technicians.
Beneficiaries: People with disabilities in Dockson, Hamhung, Tongrin and Pyongyang.

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Improving education through adapted teaching

Goal: To support the inclusion of deaf and blind children in special schools across the country. This pilot project has several components designed to raise awareness about inclusive practices amongst teachers and other staff at the school for children with disabilities in Wonsan and five more schools in the Wonsan and Kangwon provinces. Vocational training is a key part of the project and regular seminars for head teachers and training for staff at the Department of Special Education. Renovation work at the school in Wonsan has been undertaken in order to improve conditions for students.
Beneficiaries: Deaf and blind children at schools in the Wonsan and Kangwon province.

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Support for the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD)

Goal: To build the capacity of the KFPD as a strong and influential champion of people with disabilities and to improve the quality of services provided. We organise special seminars, deliver training workshops in project management for KFPD staff and also offer guidance for the organisation's management on accessing sustainable funding opportunities.
Beneficiaries: Staff at KFPD and people with disabilities nationwide.

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