We had an orientation with refugees entering TNKR’s 52nd Language Course. Wow, it was a special session! So much love for TNKR, they can’t wait to meet the volunteer tutors. Read more

I met her shortly after she escaped to South Korea in 2014. It is hard to believe that she started in TNKR at the ABC level. She has now reached the level that she can tease me in English. Her sense of humor is so sharp that I feel like she is bullying me–in English!

In this photo, she was trying to stand on her tippy-toes, so I stood on her foot.

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She is co-director of an organization in Germany helping young immigrants (mainly from Africa and the Middle East) adjust to living there. She is South Korean, she saw the tvN special about us, and says she was so touched by it.

She started crying as she talked about what we are doing and the struggles that her own organization is having. She said she got some good ideas about her own organization after getting advice from us.

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In the last few days, Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) has received donations from fans in four cities in three different countries! Austria, the USA (NYC and Iowa) and South Korea!

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TNKR ambassador Rachel Kim stopped by again for a discussion. We also did an interview in English, which was probably more stressful than fun for her!

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I had a great conversation with TNKR sponsor Renee Cummins. She was a volunteer tutor with TNKR back in 2014 when we were just getting organized. She returned to us last year, holding an incredible Fireworks and Jazz fundraiser for TNKR with hubby David and ably assisted by TNKR board member Karin Hanna  That fundraiser gave us unexpected breathing room.

Renee is now asking how she can help us in other ways!

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TNKR started in March 2013 as “English Matching.” We didn’t have a long term plan, there were virtually no guidelines, we had no office, website, phone. A key moment is when we began to raise the level of expectations. Tutors began to take it more seriously and refugees began referring friends and they began returning. It was about our fifth or sixth session that every refugee had been referred or was returning to the program.

This morning I was visited by a refugee who studied with us shortly before she studied abroad. As she was returning, she contacted me to let me know that she would like to rejoin us!

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A sister and nephew of TNKR co-founder Eunkoo Lee came to visit. Her nephew showed up eager to get involved! But he also quickly showed what is wrong with nepotism.

Immediately, he started working on our future plans. But instead of helping, he completely destroyed everything we had planned, then scribbled in his own activities.

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TNKR ambassador Rachel Kim dropped by the office tonight. I first met her in 2014 when she was still a high school student. She joined TNKR as a student last March, and has remained close to us!

Every meeting with her is so great, everyone in the room feels so inspired.

Here’s her YouTube channel, subscribe and like her videos! I have the feeling she will have more bilingual videos in the future. Also, she says she would like to interview me one day. 🙂

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I had a great time this morning speaking at a winter camp for middle school kids. They were so lovely, well-behaved, and inquisitive. I would like to give myself all of the credit, but I’m sure it helped that about 10 moms were sitting at the back of the room.
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