About This Fundraiser
I have recently begun volunteer teaching through TNKR (Teach North Korean Refugees), a non-profit humanitarian organisation that provides free English lessons to North Korean refugees who are trying to integrate into South Korean society. One month ago I attended a matching session, and was selected by a man in his 40s, who years ago bravely made the journey from North Korea, through China, Laos and Thailand, to South Korea. He and I now meet once a week, and I teach him English. I can honestly say I have never anyone taught as enthusiastic, appreciative and humble as he is. Teaching him is an absolute joy. I'm now raising funds so that more students like him can be matched with other willing tutors, and TNKR can continue to grow.
You may be wondering why North Koreans living in South Korea need English at all. It may surprise you to learn that a strong English ability is often mandatory to get a job or study at university here in South Korea. Despite speaking the same language as their South Korean peers, when North Koreans arrive in South Korea they are often at a major disadvantage, as they are competing against South Koreans who have been studying English their whole lives.
However it's importance stretches further than that. TNKR not only gives North Korean refugees the tools they need to create a new life in South Korea, it also allows them to build bridges with the rest of the world, and raise awareness of the atrocities being committed in North Korea. Since it's establishment in 2013, TNKR has managed to provide free English opportunities to around 250 refugees, some of which have gone on to deliver speeches and publish books detailing their experiences of living under the Kim regime (most famously Yeonmi Park - watch her incredible speech for One Young World here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufhKWfPSQOw).
Without support from TNKR, these brave voices would've gone unheard. However, it is estimated that around 28,000 North Korean refugees are currently living in South Korea, which means there is still a long way to go!
TNKR is completely volunteer run. Not a single person who is part of this organisation receives a salary. Each and every penny raised for TNKR goes towards keeping the organisation running, which is why I'm asking for your help! Even if you're only able to spare little, it will truly make a huge difference to the lives of so many.
If you're interested in volunteering with TNKR, or you'd like more information about the work they are doing, please visit http://www.teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/ or http://teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/about/
Thank you so much for your time and support!
N.B. This site asks you to donate in Korean Won. Please see the approximate conversion rates from Korean Won to GBP
£1 = 1,500 KRW
£5 = 7500 KRW
£10 = 15,000 KRW
About General Fund
In November 2016, the Ministry of Unification in South Korea reported that the number of North Korean refugees escaping to South Korea had surpassed 30,000. Various media report various challenges that refugees face in adjusting to South Korea. An estimated 35 percent of refugees are unemployed, 80 percent work in menial jobs, and refugees who are employed earn 50% of what South Koreans earn.
Escaping North Korea is the first battle many refugees face. Many report that English is a major barrier for many of them, as they struggle with "Konglish" words that have seeped into the South Korean language. TNKR helps refugees by connecting them with volunteer tutors. Since its founding in March 2013, TNKR has connected more than 250 refugees with 492 volunteer tutors and coaches.