Wives from multi-racial families and North Korean defectors, residing in Changwon city, gathered at a meeting room in Naeseo-eup office on Jan. 29. That was the ‘Dialogue with Mayor’, where they confided in him about the inconveniences and difficulties they confront in their daily lives. Afterwards, they put their heads together to come up with viable solutions.
Senior city officials including the Mayor himself, wives from various Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and some 50 other North Korean defectors were present at the scene.
During the conversation, they made an urgent request for more job opportunities; the introduction of more programs to experience and learn Korean culture; financial assistance for charity organizations working for the independence of the refugees; assist in operating social enterprises whose employees are mostly defectors; provide help in getting job-related licences; give educational assistance to multi-racial families; and deploy interpreters in medical institutions.
After listening, Mayor Park Wan-su said, “I will do my utmost to handle those issues, so that people from multi-cultured families and defectors don’t have worries but can lead happy lives as members of our society.”
The event was organized to listen to citizens’ voices from various walks of life about the cities’ policies, and then to reflect them on city’s affairs accordingly. The dialogue was the second of its kind, following one with researchers in the Changwon Industrial Complex in early January.