About This Fundraiser
Why do North Korean Refugees Join TNKR?
We have learned a lot in our 1:1 interviews and feedback sessions with refugees. We have identified five main categories of refugees who join us so they can study English.”
The categories of refugees and/or reasons why they joined included:
1) College students and those applying for college.
2) Refugees with established careers who want to improve business, professional and international opportunities.
3) Employers in South Korea expect English language proficiency.
4) Self-improvement and gaining independence, for example to travel.
5) Gaining public speaking skills in order to raise awareness about human rights abuses, discuss their escapes, and inform others about refugee issues.
Refugee Student Feedback about TNKR
TNKR students are regularly asked to assess TNKR’s program via interviews and surveys with TNKR staff. The following themes are evident in refugees’ feedback and are often shared with audiences at TNKR informational events:
1) One-to-one class ratio is more productive than group classes in private institutions.
a. The learning goals of each individual refugee is the focus of each session.
b. Refugees feel comfortable asking questions in one-on-one situations.
2) Refugees want volunteers to use English only (no Korean language use by volunteers).
3) Refugees experience a process of struggle that leads to real achievement.
4) Refugees report that volunteers are dedicated, responsible, patient, and prepared.
5) Refugees indicate gaining confidence in their English language abilities.
6) Refugees report gaining new experiences because of improved language abilities:
a. Opportunities to study abroad.
b. Ability to travel abroad.
c. Increased capacity to talk with native English speakers.
d. Increased opportunities to speak publically about life experiences.
Additional TNKR refugee testimonials are available online: www.teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/tnkr-refugee-testimonials/
On March 1, 2012, I made a commitment to get involved with helping North Korean refugees. After a year of getting involved with various activities, on March 3, 2013, I co-founded along with South Korean researcher Eunkoo Lee an organization helping North Korean refugees.
Originally named "English Matching," Teach North Korean Refugees has helped more than 350 North Korean refugees with adjusting to living outside of South Korea. We have done this on a tight budget, relying on our volunteers and fans. Despite our limitations, we have had a number of success stories and are a non-profit that North Korean refugees seek out.