Far From Heaven. The Unspeakable Lives of North Korean People (2016-02-29)

12733421_988790321191867_1871327598203832270_n You are invited to join WomenLabTalk when it holds a special session focusing on North Korea and North Korean refugees. The invited speakers are Sunghoon Kris Moon, North Korean refugees, Casey Lartigue Jr. and Rachel Stine.

The event is being organized by Ana Dols, an energetic lady who wants to make a difference! She writes: “I am the womenlabkorea catalyst and my goal is to use women’s collective intelligence as a driver to generate some impact in their lives and in the lives of women around them.”

This is especially relevant to the issue of North Korean refugees, about 80 percent who make it to South Korea are females.

More details and background info here.
Far From Heaven. The Unspeakable Lives of North Korean People

Register here so they can prepare.

25,000 won per person, all of the proceeds will go to (TNKR) Teach North Korean Refugees and the Underground Railroad System Project.

726-111, Hannam Dong, Yongsan Gu, Seoul, Korea 140-210 서울시 용산구 한남동 726-111

힐사이드 레지던스 오는 방법 (How to get to Hillside residence)

1. 한남대교 북단에서 직진 – 단국대학교 지나 직진 – 볼보 자동차 빌딩 – 약 100미터 지점 도로 우편(풀향기, 루터교회 지나지 않고) 힐사이드 간판따라 우회전 – 언덕 끝에서 좌회전 – 좌회전 후 오른쪽 언덕으로 올라오면 힐사이드 입구 보안실

Hannam Bridge North side – Dankook Univ. – VOLVO Bldg – go straight 100m then turn right beside PulHyangGi Restraunt – then come up to hill then turn left – then turn right and come up to hill until you find the hillside Security Post
2. 남산에서 한남대교 방향으로 직진 – 한남대교 건너기 전 고가 밑에서 유턴 – 단국대학교 지나 직진 – 볼보 자동차 빌딩 – 약 100미터 지점 도로 우편(풀향기, 루터교회 지나지 않고) 힐사이드 간판따라 우회전 – 언덕 끝에서 좌회전 – 좌회전 후 오른쪽 언덕으로 올라오면 힐사이드 입구 보안실

From Namsan to Hannam Bridge – U-turn under the overpass of Hannam Bridge – Dankook Univ. – VOLVO Bldg – go straight 100m then turn right beside PulHyangGi Restraunt – then come up to hill then turn left – then turn right and come up to hill until you find the hillside Security Post

New NK refugee education center 2016-02-19

You are cordially invited to join the opening ceremony marking the formation of a new North Korean refugee education center.
The center is being established under the leadership of Director Casey Lartigue and Vice-Director Eunkoo Lee, co-founders of Teach North Koreans (TNKR), a non-profit based in Seoul that has connected more than 200 refugees with more than 300 volunteers.
* The ceremony will last less than an hour.
The event is taking place a short distance between the Jonggak (line 1) and Angguk (line 3) subway stations. The closest landmark is the Centermark hotel. http://www.centermarkhotel.com/eng/about/location.asp
RSVP here.
* * *
Yes, we are still listening to suggestions of names for the center…. serious suggestions only, please…
* * *
The center is unfurnished. For the last few years, I have been like a man running down the street, and people asking me if they could give me a piano. At last, we have a center where we can receive donations (desks, chairs, shelves, file cabinets, computers and other office supplies).

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TNKR English Speech Contest–2016-02-27


Teach North Korean Refugees will be holding its third English speech contest on February 27 from 2 pm at the Kim and Shin law firm near Myeongdong station (line 4).

* 7 North Korean refugees will be invited to give speeches in English. They will discuss what it is they would do. We left it broad enough so they could address North Korea, rescues from China or other countries, resettlement, advocacy or any other aspect.

* TNKR will hold a another planning meeting on February 18 to finalize planning for the contest. But don’t wait until then, you can share this on Social Media.

* You can reserve a free seat here. Also, we need volunteers for this event.

More details to follow.

Here’s coverage from TBS eFM’s Chance Dorland, with some photos added in. Special thanks to TNKR volunteer Mandi Kwan for putting together this video for us!

To read about the previous contests:

Contest #2, “What freedom means to me,” August 22, 2015

NK News

Atlas Network

The Korea Times


Contest #1, “How you can help North Koreans,” February 28, 2015.

The Korea Times

2016-02-12 A Movement, not a moment…

Last February 2, I was a speaker at a wonderful event hosted by the American Women’s Club, Korea. I have spoken at many one-time events. Then when it is over, the speakers get celebrated, but there is no follow-thru.

That’s not the case with the ladies of AWC!!!

The latest case: Today I met with Karin Hanna. She was deeply moved by the speakers at our event, she followed up with me, making it clear that she wanted to help in some way. TNKR is an all-volunteer that depends on volunteers–giving their time, but also using their brains to find their own way to help. Karin has found her niche–she will translate things into German, help link us with German speakers who might be interested in helping, and a list of other things she suggested as we talked.

She actually got prepared for our discussion! Reading articles, checking videos, reading through our entire Website.

I often have people asking me curiosity questions, but in Karin’s case, she was asking questions with a purpose–trying to figure out how she could get involved. It reminded me of a few months ago when the same thing happened with Rorry Ambers Late. She asked me pointed questions, which at first seemed like curiosity questions, but later turned out to be questions with a purpose.

Today Karin made it clear–she is trying to get involved for more than just a moment, that she wants to have a long-term connection.

I try not to be cynical, but I do make the point in speeches: I hope this will be the start of a movement, not just a moment. I don’t mean to blame people in the audience, some join events out of curiosity. Others who want to help have no idea how they can get involved. Some others want bigger world saving actions than what we are doing.

Out of every event, I hope that just a few will follow-up, try to get involved, figure out how they can help.

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2016-02-02 TNKR presenting to the American Women’s Club

2016-02-02 AWC

Click here for details.

You are invited to an AWC Coffee with guest speaker Casey Lartigue who cofounded and runs Teach North Korean Refugees with his co-director, Lee Eunkoo, and North Korean defectors who will share their harrowing stories. See this article for additional background information:  https://catalystasia.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/the-american-known-in-north-korea/.

Here is a video about their organization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbaPMOBr08o&list=PL-6_xImxyTAJw3qeFJBXFv6fSCFEOb9eG

The Eastern Welfare Single Mom Barista mobile coffee services will be selling coffee, tea and pastries. The proceeds benefit the single mothers from Eastern Welfare.

Address:  Hangangdaero 30-gil 25, Yongsan-gu (new); or Hangangno 2(i)-ga, Yongsan-gu (old)

– From Seobinggo-ro, turn onto the road to City Park, at City Park #1 (end of the street), take a left and the Asterium is on your right. Drive around the building to the right to enter the parking garage for the A building.

Yongsan Garrison – Gate 14 is two blocks from the building.

By Subway: Sinyongsan Station, Line 4

– Head towards Sinyongsan exit 2. Go up first flight of stairs, proceed straight into the LS Yongsan building (do not go outside). Walk straight, at Burger King take a left. When you reach a split, turn right. You will now enter the Yongsan Asterium Centerville passageway. Walk past Twosome Place and the doors to outside, proceed to Asterium building entrance to the right of Woori Bank. Proceed to the Third floor.



AWC Members: 15,000 Won

Non-Members 25,000 Won

Payable at Check-in.

Proceeds benefit TNKR.

AWC members, if your birthday is in February, your drink is on us.

Please join us for an interesting morning!

Lee Ann Furfey, American Women’s Club, Korea

American Women’s Club, Korea


2016-01-15 TNKR featured on KBS World Radio

Korean audio

English audio

KBS World Radio visited TNKR’s recent Matching session. The article “Tutoring Program Teaches English to N. K. Defectors,” is being translated into 11 different languages:

So far, German, French, English, Vietnamese, Korean

KBS radio upload


Upcoming activities and events

2016-02-02 AWC


2015-12-29 TNKR English speech contest–Radio Free Asia

Radio Free Asia has done a broadcast about the upcoming TNKR English Speech contest.

(Korean text), (Broadcast in Korean)

English translation by Lee Soohyun and Hayon Yoon.

The 3rd TNKR English Speech Contest to be held in Seoul

(Washington) by Yang Hee-jung, yangh@rfa.org

Anchor: An English speech contest for North Korean refugees will be held next February 2016 in Seoul.

Yang Hee-jung reports:

Teach North Korean Refugees is a free of charge English language program for North Korean refugees in South Korea. Casey Lartigue, the co-founder of TNKR, told Radio Free Asia that TNKR will be holding its third English speech contest for North Korean refugees on 27th February of next year.

Mr. Lartigue: January 4th is the deadline for the applications. And by then, applicants will send us short video clips of what they are going to talk about at the contest. After that, we review all the videos, pick seven contestants and let them know by January 11th. Then each participant can speak up to 10 minutes.

Mr. Lartigue told us they need to limit the number of contestants to seven, because the event will last two hours. However, North Korean refugees have been showing keen interest in the contest, so the original plan to hold it once a year changed to have one contest every 6 months. They have already held two contests – one in last February and the other in August.

Mr. Lartigue: The participants of previous contests tell me that it was a great opportunity to increase their confidence. It was a chance for them to think deeply about a single subject, and they get assistance from English-speaking coaches to help them with writing and speaking.

Coincidentally, the first two contest winners were refugees studying in graduate schools in the U.K. They were both winners of the Chevening Scholarship sponsored by the British government. Lee Sung-ju won the first contest. He is currently studying international relations at University of Warwick for one year until next October. Additionally, Oh Se-hyek, winner of the second speech contest, won the scholarship in 2011 and was the first refugee sponsored by the British Foreign Office to study for his master’s degree in Britain.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Lee Sung-ju said that the speech contest is a challenge for many North Korean refugees who haven’t received decent English education before coming to South Korea, but also an excellent opportunity.

Lee Sung-ju: To me, the experience itself was so meaningful. Using my experience of having lived in both North and South Korea, I could present my own opinion on how to prepare for reunification of the two Koreas. I also think the experience helped me with the Chevening Scholarship interview.

Lee also added that it was a precious chance to communicate and become friends with foreigner coaches who were helping him out.

The first speech contest addressed the question, “How to Help North Koreans.” The second contest focused on “What freedom means to me.” The upcoming 3rd contest’s theme will be: “Here’s my plan to help North Koreans.”

The Grand Prize of the speech contest will receive the equivalent to 1,500 USD, and other contestants will also receive monetary rewards as well.



TNKR Newsletter, December 2015

TNKR Newsletter – Dec. 2015 (PDF)

TNKR Newsletter – Dec. 2015 (Korean)



Dec 2015 vertical

TNKR, December 2015 newsletter

Publishers: Eunkoo Lee, Casey Lartigue Jr.

Editor-in-Chief: Amy Gradin

Publication Director: Kiyun Sung

Assistant Editor: Ashley-Nicole Harrison

Assistant Editor: Rachel Pearsall

Translator: Soohyun Lee

Special thanks to Cherie Yang, Michael Smit

TNKR Newsletter - Dec. 2015 (Korean)-page-001 TNKR Newsletter - Dec. 2015 (Korean)-page-002 TNKR Newsletter - Dec. 2015 (Korean)-page-003


Chloe Edwards on her experience with TNKR

Chloe Edwards writes: “How to leave an impact in Korea”:

I have been volunteering with TNKR since September. First I volunteered to help with their marketing. Then I wanted to really be a part of the program’s core activity by becoming a tutor. I have tutored now for three months. I meet with my student once a week in Seoul and help him with his English needs. He is a university student who studies marketing; it could not be a better match! I am blown away by his dedication to learning English. In only a year, he is pretty much fluent in English and takes college courses in English. He is always so excited to learn and improves every time we meet. Even though he has a full college work load, he manages to see three English tutors.

Read more  here: https://chlogoeshome.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/teach-north-korean-refugees/

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