Bringing Hope to North Korean Children: Playground Equipment for Orphanages | Mission East

Bringing Hope to North Korean Children: Playground Equipment for Orphanages

Project Status: 

Project Aims:

To promote normal psycho-social and physical development of children living in orphanages in North Korea.


Project Background:

Orphans are one of the most vulnerable population groups in North Korea. They begin life as marginalized, underprivileged children who are denied many of their basic child rights. While starting life in an institution rather than a normal family environment is difficult for a child in any context, in North Korea where cyclical food shortages can be severe and the quality of basic services such as healthcare, water and heating are very low, this can have devastating and life threatening impacts on a child.

In addition to these basic inputs for survival, the children also lack sufficient stimulation for normal child development. The orphanages do not have enough staff to provide the children with the level of attention they need, and the staff they do have do not have a high level of training. There are few educational activities apart from singing songs, and few toys or equipment to encourage play and physical and psychological development. At the ‘Baby Home’ for children 0-5 years, and the children’s home for 5-6 year-olds, many of the children sit listless and staring, do not respond normally to playful interaction and lack a normal degree of curiosity and activity. While some of this lack-of energy is related to poor nutrition (a problem which Mission East and other organisations also try to address), it is also due to a lack of appropriate toys and play equipment in their environment, and lack of knowledge on the part of the carers to promote normal play and learning with the children.


Project Action:

1. Provision and installation of playground equipment
2. Provision of training for orphanage staff
3. Monitoring of use of the equipment



Project Code:



Haeju City, South Hwanghae Province