About This Fundraiser
TNkR을 만나기전까지 저의 이름은 박은빈이었고 항상 사진속의 저의 얼굴은 무언가에 가려져 있었습니다. 북한사람으로 살아가는것이 가끔은 원망스러웠고 한국정착을 하는데 걸림돌이 되기도 했으니까요. 누군가가 나에게 가장 오래오래 기억하고 싶은 순간이 있냐고 묻는다면 이 단체를 만나서 세상의 아름다움을 보았다고 말할것입니다.
Before I found TNKR, my name was Eun-bin Park, and my face was always hidden in photos. I sometimes hated the fact that I was a North Korean, and it was often an obstacle to adapting to the South Korean society. If someone asks me what is the moment that I will cherish the most as long as I live, I would say it is the time I found TNKR and saw the beauty of this world.
TNKR은 탈북민들에게 영어를 가르쳐줄뿐 아니라 우리가 진정한 정체성을 가지고 당당하게 한국사회에서 자신감을 가지고 살아갈 수 있도록 새로운 삶의 기회를 열어주는곳입니다. TNKR을 통해 저의 부모님이 지워주신 진짜 이름을 말할 수 있게 되었고 북한사람으로서 대한민국에서 당당하게 살아갈 수 있었습니다.
TNKR does not simply teach English to North Koreans; it opens up new lives for them, lives where they can live as who they really are in South Korea. Thanks to TNKR, I was able to say the name given to me by my parents, and to live without a shred of embarrassment at my North Korean origin.
저와 같이 많은 북한사람들의 세상의 아름다운 빛을 볼 수 있도록 당신의 도움이 필요합니다.
We need your support, so that more North Koreans can see the beautiful light of this world.
Eunhee Park at the Asia Liberty Forum on February 10, 2018.
" Who pays for study sessions?" That question is asked by many tutors and students joining TNKR for the first time.
* Some of the refugees have told us "I have no extra money." And we know that some of them are trying to save money either to help relatives still in North Korea or even to save up enough to rescue relatives, friends or other loved ones still in North Korea. Knowing their situations, we have done our best to keep TNKR tuition-free for refugees.
* Some tutors are in debt from college. One told me, "Casey, I'm $60K in debt, but I will do my best." This is on top of them already engaging in free tutoring, so we hate it when they must spend money in addition to volunteering.
One of our previous volunteers said people can "give a little or a latte." She's right!
Refugees and tutors in our program can study at business centers or cafes, but they can expect to pay at least 10,000 won per session. Some tutors have told us that they had to cut back on tutoring sessions with refugees not because of a lack of time or willingness, but because of the cost (transportation, costs of booking rooms).
At the most we can handle one or two study sessions at a time, but because we lack full-time paid staff, it is hard to keep the office open for study sessions or to accept appointments in advance. And we often need to use the office for our internal meetings and staff.
TNKR is now taking a big step: Converting our current office into a study center for refugees.
We hope to reserve the office for study sessions that can be held most of the day. To make this happen, we will be moving our operations into the office of a partner organization. It won't be as comfortable for our volunteer staff, we will lose some of our autonomy, but this can provide more opportunities for refugees and tutors to be able to study without cost being an issue for them.
You can help by becoming a monthly donor. We hope to have at least 100 monthly donors donating at least 10,000 won each (about $9) a month.
At cafes, TNKR students and tutors must battle loud music, loud customers, plus it can get crowded at times, and sometimes it is hard to get a good seat. Plus, it isn't a professional situation for refugees to be studying English, especially those who are studying it for the first time.
At business centers, they must pay at 10,000 won per session, leading back to the problems stated above.
* Study rooms are usually a cheaper alternative, but they are built either to be really quiet situations or there is a problem with being pushed out for the next customers.
* Refugees sometimes are embarrassed about beginning their journey into the world of English and would prefer not to be studying in open settings.
* Refugees getting help with public speeches sometimes discuss sensitive topics that may be uncomfortable discussing in a cafe or another open space.
We would like to get away from these problems by having TNKR students and tutors meet to study at our Study Center. It will give us a better chance to get to know them, they will feel better connected to TNKR, and they can study in a quiet study center expecting them. You can give a little or a latte. :-)
Donations to this project can be made anonymously and the amount you give won't be posted online, so a monthly donation can help us provide a safe space for refugees to study.