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Cablegate: S/Gwi Project Proposal: "Vocational,

VZCZCXYZ0012
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUL #0261/01 0500649
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 190649Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7105
INFO RUCNKOR/KOREA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUACAAA/COMUSKOREA INTEL SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMUSKOREA J5 SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMUSFK SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

UNCLAS SEOUL 000261

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/GWI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PREL KPAO PHUM AID CDC COM TRSY KN KS
SUBJECT: S/GWI PROJECT PROPOSAL: "VOCATIONAL,
ENTREPRENEURIAL, AND LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM FOR FEMALE
NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES"

REF: A. STATE 132094
B. STATE 412006

Problem Statement
-----------------

1. (U) Of the approximately 18,000 North Koreans who have
risked their lives and made it to South Korea, 80 percent are
women. The majority left the DPRK to escape famine and
political repression; many experienced some form of sexual
exploitation and/or economic exploitation en route to freedom
in the South. As survivors of a highly repressive,
authoritarian regime, most of these women arrive with
virtually no practical education and a limited understanding
of capitalism, much less private sector employment. As a
result, they often suffer from social alienation and
marginalization in South Korea's highly-competitive,
education-obsessed society. Although the ROK government
provides basic resettlement assistance to DPRK refugees, the
government is limited in its capacity to provide the
specialized assistance needed to successfully integrate and
empower these women.

2. (U) High unemployment and low job retention rates are the
norm for female North Korean refugees. A recent study
published by a major university found that of the 500 female
North Korean refugees surveyed, 42 percent reported having no
monthly income. The study also found that the average
monthly income of those who were employed was 75 percent less
than the average South Korean's salary. With their meager
earnings, many female refugees not only try to support
themselves but also send money and medical supplies to family
and friends they left behind. The ROK's Ministry of
Unification reports that these small remittances have become
an informal yet critical lifeline for North Korean
communities, particularly in the impoverished border areas
where the DPRK's public distribution system has collapsed.

Summary of Proposed Program
---------------------------

3. (U) To help address this problem, Embassy Seoul would like
to submit a proposal from the Coalition for North Korean
Women's Rights (CNKWR) for a small grant from the Secretary's
Office of Global Women's Issues. The title of the proposed
grant project is: "Vocational, Entrepreneurial, and
Leadership Training for North Korean Female Refugees." This
project addresses the S/GWI Small Grants Initiative goals of
promoting women's political, economic, and social advancement
by providing practical, sustainable training to promote the
economic empowerment of North Korean female refugees, one of
South Korea's most disadvantaged societal groups. The
overall budget for this 12-month grant project has two parts:
1) The USG portion is 98,283 USD and 2) The NGOs will
provide a total of 4,087 USD in cost-sharing.

Project Description
-------------------

4. (U) The project will provide employment opportunities,
skill-based certifications, leadership, and entrepreneurial
training to unemployed North Korean female refugees
struggling to adjust to life in a democratic society.
Specifically, the North Korean refugees will receive
practical and marketable vocational training in the following
industries: sewing and textile manufacturing, window blind
installation, and spa/skin care. The training will use a
"learn-by-doing" approach specifically geared towards North
Korean refugees.

Specific Activities
-------------------

5. (U) The specific activities of the project will be divided
into four stages:

STAGE 1 (Recruitment and Preparatory Education): The CNKWR
will recruit participants for this program through its
existing membership base and publicity campaigns on popular
North Korean Internet websites and in government-assisted
housing areas for North Koreans. The CNKWR will select at
least 90 women to participate. The first stage will consist
of preparatory sessions at CNKWR's Gangseo-gu office. CNKWR
will offer three classes over a 10-week period with
approximately 30 women in each class. The curriculum will


include introductory training sessions on the basics of
market economics, entrepreneurship, small-business management
basics, South Korean business etiquette and workplace
behavior, effective communication skills, and leadership.
Upon completion of this stage, participants will transition
to the on-site training portion of the project held at
participating factories and companies.

STAGE 2 (On-Site Training): In cooperation with Merry Year
Foundation partner companies, CNKWR trainers will offer
on-site skills training in sewing/textile manufacturing,
window blind installation, and spa/skin care. The sewing and
textile manufacturing course will be held for three months at
CNKWR's Bucheon city office. It will teach participants how
to operate industrial sewing machines in preparation for
work as machine operators. The window blind installment
course will be held for one month at CNKWR offices in Paju
city. This training session will teach the participants how
to install blinds, including the measurement skills required
for future employment as factory-direct sales specialists.
The skin care course will be held for two months in Seoul at
CNKWR offices. Participants in this course will learn how to
give facials and be trained in the application of skin care
products.

STAGE 3 (Graduation and Employment): All of those who
complete the program will receive a certificate of completion
from the CNKWR and an offer of direct employment with one of
the partner companies. CNKWR will provide references and
interview consultation for those who prefer employment
elsewhere. In addition, graduates who wish to establish
their own companies will be eligible to apply for microcredit
financing through the Merry Year Foundation.

STAGE 4 (Post-Graduate Mentoring): CNKWR staff will monitor
the status of newly-employed graduates to ensure that they
have transitioned smoothly. In terms of sustainability,
graduates will also enter a volunteer mentoring program with
CNKWR after the completion of their program to pass their
vocational/entrepreneurial skills to, and in some cases
perhaps hire, other female North Korean refugees.

Desired Outcome and Performance Measures
----------------------------------------

6. (U) Broadly speaking, the desired outcome of the
vocational training program is that the number of trained,
employed female future leaders/entrepreneurs in the North
Korean refugee community will increase and that their ability
to pass on valuable skills to other female refugees will be
strengthened.

7. (U) To ensure that the desired outcome is achieved, the
following performance measures will be used:

-- Attendance at the training sessions will be a mandatory
100 percent, with exceptions only for family emergencies and
illness (for example, a participant that contracts the H1N1
and needs to be quarantined at home);

-- At least 80 percent of the participants will graduate;

-- All graduates will transition into full-time employment
with the companies associated with the project, other
companies, or their own start-up business;

-- At least 20 percent of the graduates will volunteer as
mentors for other unemployed female North Korean refugees;
and,

-- The CNKWR project manager will, with guidance from the
Asia Foundation during the project, meet western NGO
standards of competence in program management and financial
oversight.

Detailed Budget: USG Portion
----------------------------

8. (U) The budget below is in USD (calculated with an
exchange rate of 1 USD equals 1160 Won).

ADMINISTRATIVE
--------------

-- Asia Foundation Project Director 10,020


(835 USD x 12 months)

-- CNKWR Project Manager 20,400
(1,700 USD x 12 months)

-- Transportation to/from training 21,600
(6 USD x 120 days x 30 participants)

-- Recruitment materials (web ads/posters) 431

TOTAL ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS: 52,451 USD


STAGE ONE
---------

-- Lecturers' honoraria 1,557
(173 USD x 3 lecturers x 3 trainings)

-- Lecture space rental and office supplies 86


TOTAL COST FOR STAGE ONE: 1,643 USD


STAGE TWO
---------

-- Sewing Machines (used)

(1,121 USD x 10 machines) 11,210

-- Window blind installation machine 1,121

-- Installment and maintenance 5,173

-- Electricity at textile factory 3,879
(431 USD x 3 months x 3 trainings)

-- Sewing materials 4,653
(517 USD x 3 months x 3 trainings)

-- Skincare products 4,653
(517 USD x 3 months x 3 trainings)

-- Sewing instructor 6,750
(750 USD x 9 trainings)

-- Skincare instructor 4,500
(750 USD x 6 trainings)

-- Window blind installation instructor 2,250
(750 USD x 3 trainings)

TOTAL COST FOR STAGE TWO: 44,189 USD

TOTAL COST OF USG-FUNDED PORTION OF THE PROJECT: 98,285 USD


Detailed Budget: NGO Cost Sharing
----------------------------------

9. (U) The budget below is in USD (calculated with an
exchange rate of 1 USD equals 1160 Won). It reflects the
value of in-kind contributions that the NGOs will make to
help share costs.

Project director transportation costs
(Asia Foundation) 466

Conference room use for meetings between
Project director and project manager
(Asia Foundation) 517


Conference rooms for trainings/briefings
(CNKWR) 3,104


TOTAL NGO COST-SHARING (IN-KIND): 4,087


Recipient Organization and Partners
-----------------------------------


10. (U) While the CNKWR is a strong local NGO with dedicated
staff and a solid track record of handling small grants, the
organization does not have technical and management capacity
to implement a grant of this size effectively. Therefore,
CNKWR will be assisted in implementation by the Asia
Foundation and the Merry Year Foundation (MYF), each of which
has extensive grant experience. Specifically, an experienced
Asia Foundation program officer will allocate a portion of
his time/duties to serve as the project's director,
periodically assisting the CNKWR's day-to-day project manager
in preparing quarterly and final reports, making progress
assessments, doing program monitoring, and preparing
evaluations. The Asia Foundation officer will also provide
financial oversight to ensure that the grant is being
implemented by CNKWR according to the stipulations outlined
in this proposal. MYF will assist the CNKWR with the
practical aspects of providing vocational/entrepreneurial
training to this relatively large group of participants.

NGO Bios
--------

11. (U) Here are short descriptions of each NGO that will be
involved in this project:

COALITION FOR NORTH KOREAN WOMEN'S RIGHTS (CNKWR): CNKWR was
established by a group of North Korean female refugees in
Seoul in August 2006. The group's mission is to assist in
the resettlement process and protect the human rights of
North Korean women refugees. The organization has more than
250 members. Despite being a relatively young organization,
CNKWR has a strong reputation for running sound programs with
measurable results. The group has significant ties to the
local North Korean refugee community and past experience
implementing small-scale vocational training programs
financed primarily by the ROKG's Ministry of Unification.

MERRY YEAR FOUNDATION: MYF is a non-profit, well-known
micro-credit NGO founded in 2003 to provide work
opportunities for underprivileged groups in Korea. MYF
maintains vocational training partnerships with a diverse
group of local companies and has worked with the CNKWR on
projects in the past. MYF has agreed to help facilitate job
placement opportunities for this project's participants
through MYF's network of private sector partners. MYF will
also provide micro-credit opportunities to project graduates.

THE ASIA FOUNDATION: The Asia Foundation is a non-profit,
program management NGO with more than 50 years of experience
in the region. The foundation will provide program/budget
oversight and evaluation of this project and will help
significantly strengthen the grant management capacity of the
CNKWR project manager.
STEPHENS

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