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 315 refugees with more than 650 volunteer tutors and coaches.