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2017-03-24 Be Nice to Your Favorite NGO

Meeting #1: South Korean professional visiting from Hong Kong. He wanted to find ways he could help from Hong Kong.

Meeting #2: Feedback session with a North Korean refugee who arrived in South Korea in December 2015 and joined our program December 2016 after waiting for a few months.

I imagine that some of my peers who are involved in advocacy, abstract or analytical work about North Korea rarely or never have NK refugees seeking them out to thank them. Some of their work may be valuable, but it isn’t the type of work that leads to the people who benefit from what they are doing to praise them.

It happens to us every day–and we never get tired of it! The refugee who visited today is a sweetheart who is always laughing and smiling when she comes to visit us. She was at the ABC level when we first met her last year. She arrived in South Korea in December 2015, has been trying to find her way, then she learned about us in September after TNKR was profiled on TvN’s “Little Big Heroes.” She was desperate to meet us, so she came in a few times to just practice a few English phrases with me.

Then she joined TNKR in November 2016. She can now put together some sentences in English. She was thanking us for helping her without expecting anything in return, saying she has been inspired by TNKR. She loves her tutors (she is still studying with 1 of the 3 she first chose late last year).

After meeting with her today, I learned that she had posted a note in her Social Media after studying one day with some of her tutors.


Earlier in the day we had a meeting with a South Korean professional who is now based in Hong Kong. He admitted that his daughter had ordered him to meet us, apparently she is a big fan although I’m not sure who she is. Meeting with him was another uplifting experience. He praised us, he listened to what we are doing, and he was even moved to give us a donation on the spot! We are definitely going to find a way to get him involved from Hong Kong. He would like to tutor, but we know he has other skills to help us build our capacity.



Today was a quiet day, only one study pair was at the office. That is a big contrast to Thursday when it seemed the students might push me out of my own office. Tae In was back, with a refugee who just joined our program for a second time.


This photo is actually from Thursday night–Assistant Academic Adviser Youngmin Kwon getting prepared for TNKR’s presentation at KOTESOL (today) Saturday March 25.

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