Norwich-based charity pays for North Korean swimmer to compete in Paralympic Games

Norwich-based charity Care for Children is paying for a North Korean swimmer to come to the UK and take part in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

It will be the first time anyone representing North Korea will have participated at the Paralympic Games, and the charity will also pay for swimmer Rim Ju Song's accommodation in London.

The games start on August 29 and he will compete in the 50m S6 freestyle on Tuesday, September 4.

The charity is also hoping to bring the swimmer to Norwich but it has not been confirmed yet.

Robert Glover, the charity's executive director, said: 'The Paralympics are all about inclusion and though North Korea can only send one athlete, Care for Children is very pleased to help the swimmer Rim Ku Song compete in these historic games in our home country.

'In the spirit of 1966, when the whole of England cheered on the North Korean football team at the World Cup, this is a great opportunity to support the North Korean Paralympic team and build bridges within the international community.'

Rim Ju Song said: 'I am very happy to represent North Korea at the paralympics and thank Care for Children for its kind support and making us feel welcome in London.'

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The charity has forged strong friendships with the North Korena paralympic team through its work in Asia helping place orphans into good local families as an alternative to institutional care.

Care for Children, based in St George's Street, was started in 1998 by Mr Glover. In 1998 it pioneered family placement in China with a pilot project in Shanghai, and five years later it launched a national project with the Chinese Social Workers' Association.

Care for Children has worked with more than 40 project sites across 27 provinces in China, and an estimated 250,000 orphans have been placed into local families. The charity is now starting work with the governments of Thailand and North Korea.

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