This is the moment you have been waiting for...the new Iphone 6 has arrived. Just kidding. You probably were not waiting for this moment, but here's our Annual Report for 2013 anyway. It's done up using Microsoft Word, so it's no eye candy. But we did put a lot of thought and effort into our work, and into the thinking behind it. We hope that this report helps us share part of that thinking. Key highlights for 2013 were:
1. The Women in Business program in DPRK 2. Programs targeting a provincial audience 3. Surviving a very turbulent year, and working through a war mobilization and a purge
The following is an introduction to our report from our Managing Director:
Despite being a turbulent year, 2013 saw a number of firsts for Choson Exchange as we continue to scale up our activities and impact. We launched our “Women in Business” program (WIB), focusing on female managers and entrepreneurs in North Korea. Despite “war mobilization” in March and April, we continued to deliver opportunities for young professionals in Korea. About 260 Koreans took part in our workshops in 2013, with a majority being female participants.
We also started to look at how we can more systemically bring knowledge and exposure to the provinces. In November, we launched our first ever workshop outside Pyongyang. 5 provinces sent representatives to attend this event.
The year ended with drama. The shocking news of Jang Sung Taek’s arrest and execution revived analyst claims of a hardline/moderate conflict. While it is too early to see what impact Jang’s execution may have on the type of programs we run, our partners assure us that programs for 2014 will proceed. During the same period the news broke out, a program was cancelled.
As we look to 2014, we anticipate that the fundraising situation will continue to be difficult: few countries consider North Korea an urgent issue or are able to build consensus on a long-term strategy for integrating North Korean society into the international community. We will continue delivering cost-effective programs to young professionals. We also look to continue our successful pilot in the provinces and develop better ways to institutionalize our relationships with our program alumni.