The Teach North Korean Refugees Project will be holding a special session matching North Korean refugees with speech and writing coaches. If this project is successful, then we should have several North Korean refugees prepared to give speeches in English around the world.

We will post application details within a few days, but to express your interest, send an email with your resume/bio and any details we should know about your writing or public speaking experience to, but be sure to apply online here.

Initially, it will be based on our wildly popular English Matching program in which refugees chose teachers, and they then study together. We will work together in developing a timeline for each refugee speaker in the project. If you have writing, public speaking, or other experience that you believe is relevant to this kind of project, then please contact us.

This is open to people from around the world, but for the 12/20 session, it will be focused on those who can come to Seoul at least twice a month.

TNKR--FAN "Telling My Story"

TNKR–FAN “Telling My Story”

Lee Eunkoo, co-director of TNKR, visited another tutoring session.

Here are her notes:

– Fun and Relaxed class
– A lot of interaction between two students and a teacher by Q& A
– This class had two students, so they explained to each other, in English, about the things they were learning, for further reinforcement.
– Today’s focus was on idioms
– Teacher prepare material that considerd both of students` level

오늘은 또다른 수업에 다녀왔습니다. 어제수업과는 또다른 분위기였습니다. 왜냐하면 이번 수업은 남한출신학생과 북한출신학생이 짝을 이루어 진행되는 수업이었기 때문이었기 때문입니다. 수업중 이해가 가지않을때는 학생들끼리 설명해주는 모습이 인상적이었습니다^^ 또한 선생님도 두명의 학생들을 가르치기 때문에 두학생들의 각각의 수준을 고려하여 수업을 진행하였습니다. 오늘의 주제는 숙어(Idioms) 였지만, 쓰기, 말하기, 심지어 듣기수업도 하였습니다. 저도 배우는 시간이었답니다^^  오늘 저의 방문을 환영해준 학생들과 선생님께 감사드리며……영어공부 화이팅입니다. -이은구-

3 2   5   KakaoTalk_20141118_074508793

Joo Yang and Yeonmi Park will both be speakers at the Students for Liberty International Summit, according to a Website and United Liberty.  Yeah, well, before they were sought-after speakers, they were both students in the Teach North Korean Refugees Project.

Joo Yang (then known as Chanyang Ju) was matched with tutors from mid 2013 until early 2014. Here’s an article I wrote for the Korea Times about the three months she studied intensively to prepared to deliver her first major speech in English, at the Asia Liberty Forum in New Delhi, India. In addition, I also heard that she was speaking at Columbia University a few days ago, but I didn’t hear about it until a few days later. And of course, I am so delighted that she recorded this broadcast about me, to be sent into North Korea.

Yeonmi Park was in the project in mid 2013 for a short time, then returned with a vengeance from January-October of 2014, studying with 18 tutors during that time. I recently wrote about working together with Yeonmi, here are our most recent podcasts. She is now wrapping up her speaking tour that began in Europe and is ending in the USA.

Joo Yang at the October 2013 matching session.

Joo Yang at the October 2013 matching session.

with Chanyang Ju (Joo Yang) for her talk in India last January.

with Chanyang Ju (Joo Yang) for her talk in India last January.

Chanyang speaking in India at the Asia Liberty Forum, January 2014.

Chanyang speaking in India at the Asia Liberty Forum, January 2014.

Yeonmi returns to the Matching program in January 2014. She studied with 18 tutors during January-October 2014..

Casey Lartigue and Yeonmi Park, in Hong Kong, on September 6, 2014, recording "North Korea Today, featuring Casey and Yeonmi."

Casey Lartigue and Yeonmi Park, in Hong Kong, on September 6, 2014, recording “North Korea Today, featuring Casey and Yeonmi.”











Eunkoo Lee, co-founder and co-director of Teach North Korean Refugees, visited a tutoring session last afternoont. She came away very impressed with what she saw, noting that the tutor was very organized, they used English the entire time, all of the skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening, etc) were taught, that both the student and teacher were well-prepared.- Casey Lartigue Jr.-

이번주월요일은 휴가라서 TNKR 수업을 참관하였습니다. 갑자기 약속된것이었지만, 선생님과 학생모두 저를 반갑게 맞이해 주었습니다. 수업은 저에게 참 인상적이었습니다. 수업시간이 알찼고, 영어를 수업내내 사용하려고 노력하고 있었으며, 책한권을 정해서 수업을 진행했지만, 그 수업안에는 (읽기, 쓰기, 말하기)가 모두 포함되었습니다. 그러나, 무엇보다도 제가 가장 감명받은것은 학생, 선생님 모두 이 수업을 위해 미리 준비해오고, 공부에대한 열의가 아주 뜨거웠다는것이었습니다.^^:) 혹, 수업에 저희 TNKR 팀을 초대하고 싶은 분들은 언제든 연락주세요! 시간되는대로 참석할께요!!! 이 수업참관을 허락해주신 학생과 선생님께 감사드리며…남은수업들도 화이팅입니다!!  – 이은구-

KakaoTalk_20141117_013153382 KakaoTalk_20141117_013155343

To make a donation:

-Bank account: (Woori Bank) 1005-802-774890
-Name on account: 티엔케이알(TNKR)


-International bank account: (Woori Bank Seocho Umyeon Branch) 1005-802-774890
-Name on account:티엔케이알(TNKR)
-Swift code: HVBKKRSEXXX
-Bank address: Taebongro 70, Seochogu, Seoul, South Korea
-Bank phone number: 02-3463-9596
* * *
paypal (just mark that you want it to go to TNKR)

♣ TNKR 12월  영어매칭모임 안내(TNKR English)

  • 12월 영어매칭모임이 12월6일(토요일) 2시에 있습니다.
  • 장소는 물망초연구센터(방배역 1번출구 우리은행빌딩 305호)
  • 참여확정 메일 받으신분들 참석 가능하십니다. ^^
  • TNKR 매칭 참여원하시는분들은 언제든지 신청서 작성해주세요! 영어매칭 자리 있는대로 연락드리겠습니다.!!

♣ TNKR 12월 스페인어 및 라틴어 매칭 안내(TNKR Spanish)

  • 12월 스페인어 라틴어매칭모임이 12월6일(토요일) 12시에 있습니다.
  • 장소는  물망초연구센터(방배역 1번출구 우리은행빌딩 305호)
  • 참여확정 메일 받으신분들 참석 가능하십니다. ^^

♣  12월 행사 안내(Upcoming events)

  • (강의안내)  12월 7일(일요일) 김정은시대를 경험한 북한생활 이란 주제로 강의가 있습니다.
  • (자원봉사자 모집안내) 12월 21일(일요일) 물망초학교(경기도 여주)에서 크리스마스 파티가 있습니다.
  • 자세한 내용은 추후 다시 공지하겠습니다. ^^

Upcoming events:

* December 6 @ noon, TNKR Spanish and Latin Matching session

* December 6 @2 pm TNKR English Matching session

* December 7 @2pm, Living under the new dictator of North Korea

* December 17 @2pm, Yonsei Severance Hospital, Children’s Cancer Ward (non-NK)

* December 20, TNKR, “Telling My Story,”

* December 21, Mulmangcho Christmas Party


March 2014 English Matching session



She sent the following, presented here with permission and as translated by Lee Eunkoo, co-director of TNKR.

Hello! I am Angella. I have lived in South Korea for 7 years!

As I am dealing with both studying in the university and working, I already recognized how much English is important in South Korean society. My starting point of studying English was basic level, however, fortunately I got opportunity to go the USA. Even if I had experiences to stay in the USA, still my English level was not enough. So, while I was trying to find English programmes, I heard about TNKR programme from my friend.

In TNKR I could learn English what I want and study with the teachers who I want. I met two teachers, One is Helena who taught me mainly writing, another is Chole who focused on my reading skill. Two teachers came to Dongguk University where I am studying now. While I was studying with those teachers from TNKR I knew about English Contest for North Korean students held by Wooyang foundation and decided to test my English level by myself in the contest. My teachers in TNKR supported me at the best during preparing for the contest. Then I went through the first stage only for 10 candidates and today I heard I passed successfully the final stage for only 5 candidates. My final result will be announced soon, however regardless which prize I receive, I would like to say Thank you so much my Teachers especially the teaching classes about writing and reading skill and grammar are so much helpful for improving my English. Also I really appreciate “TNKR Team ” as well so much. I would like to share with TNKR my joy and delight. Thank you again! I will do my best more studying English!

The Teach North Korean Refugees Project will be holding its 21st English Matching session on December 6, 2014, at Bangbae Station. We have so far directly matched 124 North Korean refugees and 9 South Koreans helping NK refugees with 174 volunteers.

1) Read the FAQs at: to make sure you understand what is expected.
2) Fill out a TNKR Teacher Volunteer Application here:
3) We can only take so many volunteers per matching session so look for a confirmation email from, if you are confirmed you will be asked to reply with a resume.
4) Join the Teach North Korean Refugees facebook page
5) Sign up for this event at this invitation page.
6) I recommend friending me while you go through the process. It will be required if you join TNKR. Once you leave TNKR, feel free to unfriend me.
7) The day before your session, look for and reply to a confirmation email from, we just want to make sure you didn’t forget!

After you have done those steps, you will receive an email from confirming you for the event.

* PLEASE NOTE: You are not confirmed for this event until you are confirmed directly by our Administrative Assistant ( via email. Talking to me through Kakao, Facebook, at a coffee shop, mailing me a letter, yelling it to me as you pass by in a taxi don’t cut it. I’ve got an assistant now, she is the one who knows what’s really going on!

WHAT TO EMAIL? You can send any extra materials you would like to use to present yourself to North Korean refugees joining. They will do the choosing, so make your case to them….

If you have never been to any of these sessions matching North Korean refugees with volunteers teaching them English, check out the FAQ with photos and a video.

And as a final step, it helps when volunteers confirm their RSVPs the day before the session (we have had volunteers go through the process, then forget later).

Please be aware this is not a socializing, friendship, research, dating, language exchange or hangout opportunity, for at least three months, we want the focus on teaching. To protect the reputation of the program, please conduct yourself as a professional at all times.

If you would like to do a research project, documentary, or other special activity, just tell us and we can work with you on it.

Feel free to forward to a friend who may be interested.

If you would like to help, but are abroad or can’t for some other reason, you can also make a donation to the Teach North Korean Refugees project.

Domestic donations:
-Bank account: (Woori Bank) 1006-201-405817
-Name on account: TNKR
-International donations: (Woori Bank Seocho Umyeon Branch) 1006-201-405817
-Name on account: Eunkoo Lee(TNKR)
-Swift code: HVBKKRSEXXX
-Bank address: Taebongro 70, Seochogu, Seoul, South Korea
-Bank phone number: 02-3463-9596
or through PayPal (just note that the payment is for TNKR)

DIRECTIONS to Mulmangcho Institute=Easy, easy, easy. Almost like they chose the location for the people who get lost within a block from home…
* Bangbae station on line 2, exit 1. Walk to the top of the stairs.
* Look to your left. There will be a Woori Bank teller machine.
* Standing, looking directly at the teller machine, walk inside the building to the right of it. Walk up to the 3rd floor, room 305.
That’s it. After you leave the subway exit, it will take you about 5 seconds to get to the building. I don’t have a Naver map for it, but if you are driving, use the Bangbae subway as a landmark. Bangbae station (line 2) exit 1 Woori Bank Bd (우리은행건물) #305호

On November 1, we will be holding the 20th “Teach North Korean Refugees Project” session. The project launched in March 2013 when Casey Lartigue Jr. and Lee Eunkoo matched 5 North Korean refugees who were teachers in North Korea with 5 English speaking volunteers. The refugees wanted to improve their English in order to improve their chances to become teachers in South Korea. We met at a Toz in Gangnam, matching them.

We have directly matched at least 117 NK refugees and 8 South Koreans who assist NK refugees with 164 English speaking volunteers. We have since hosted numerous sessions with a number of themes matching NK refugees with volunteer English speakers:

* Staff at NGOs helping NK refugees (to help refugees working at NGOs and also helping NGOs build up their capacity)
* special summer or winter study sessions (for students who have more free time during the break, look for another session in late December and early to mid January 2015)
* Bring or recommend a friend (so many refugees recommend there friends, so we have held two sessions focused on them).
* Refugee ladies on TV cable show
* Open sessions
* Newcomers or beginning speakers (we had two ladies who just gotten out of Hanawon 3 weeks before that join our session)
* Rematching sessions (for refugees who lost their teachers for one reason or another)

We have two main tracks:

1) For self-improvement. Some want to study for standardized tests, business English, writing, pronunciation, travel. Most of our time is spent on them because they are 90 percent of the refugees who enter our project. Most of them have no desire to become advocates, many are low-profile and just want to improve themselves to make themselves more competitive in this world.

alumni upload 1 final

2) to become advocates. We have had a few refugees who also had potential to become advocates for NK human rights.

We allow the refugees to take the road that is most comfortable for them, to state their interest in studying so they can be matched with appropriate teachers. It is win-win for both. Some of our volunteers have never met refugees before this, and some go on to volunteer at NGOs, to become advocates, to get involved in other ways. One former tutor is now making a documentary, another has arranged a major speaking opportunity for one of our refugee students.

Read more