Dear Friends,

Many of us work in corporations and I thought that you could actually help me by sending a small request to any type of internal forum you might have at your company! I will very much appreciate if you can forward the text below to your company’s forum. It’s as simple as copy-paste and click on “send”. Unless your company’s forum is rubbish, which I sure hope it’s not!


My name is Tom and three months ago I went to North Korea. The experience was crazy, to say the least. It was sad and beautiful at the same time – a country so beautiful that you feel like you would want to spend months just admiring it. Yet, at the same, the landscape was filled with communist posters and slogans, a disturbing view. The people were fantastic, a lovely bunch of smiling faces. Yet, most of them have never seen a white man in their lives and every single one of them had to proudly wear “The Great Leader’s” lapel pin on their chest. People have their own opinions about the world, but they will never share them with you for fear of being persecuted by the Government. Their opinions are also based on the knowledge and facts that are fed to them by the Government and state-controlled media. This knowledge of the world is limited. I had to explain the concept of the Internet to a well-educated North Korean. What I heard in return was “Well, you might have the Internet, but we have our libraries”. Picking my jaw from the ground was not an easy task.

There are many resources out there to learn more about North Korea. Here are a few shocking facts about the country:

* An estimated 60% of North Korean children suffer from malnutrition as food is poorly distributed. The military gets most of the food produced in North Korea.
* The country has a mobile phone network, which is within the range of its middle class. You cannot call anyone outside of the country nor can anyone call mobile phones. We tried both ways. It’s impossible.
* North Korea gets an estimated 1,500 Western tourists a year.
* A few thousand North Koreans escape from the country every year. It’s a grueling challenge involving financial and organizational challenges – the Chinese government wants to send you back as quickly as possible and sex and human traffickers are on the watch for any North Koreans.

I have found an organization that contributes to the well-being of North Koreans refugees and helps them make their way to better life. It’s called LiNK and I am currently helping them raise funds. I will appreciate any funds you could send. Please also take advantage of any corporate gift matching programs at your companies. As the year’s end nears it might be a great time to do that.

You can donate through a credit card at this page:

I hope to raise $10,000 by the year’s end! I would also like to direct you to my website, which features a photo story from my trip to North Korea. I’m sure you will enjoy it! The address is

Thank you in advance for all your help. Let’s advance this cause together!

Best regards,
Tom Zacharski

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Beginning February 2011 I have started a new job at Google in its EU HQ in Dublin, Ireland. I will be responsible for AdWords-related issues for the UK / Ireland market.

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