,

2017-09-29 Distinguished Global Lecture Series, “The American Known in North Korea”

I had a fantastic time yesterday, I was the speaker at the Distinguished Global Lecture Series at the Graduate School of International Studies Ewha Woman’s University. It was one of the most welcoming and active audiences that I have spoken to in quite some time. They listened patiently, interrupted me during my speech with questions, then had plenty of questions at the end. TNKR co-director Eunkoo Lee declined my invitation to join me as a speaker, but she joined during Q&A to add additional points.

Thanks so much to Assistant Professor Hannah Jun for inviting me to speak. We met earlier this year, after she learned about me she said that she wanted to invite me to speak at Ewha. And it happened yesterday!

There are many South Koreans who are hesitant to invite speakers talking about North Korean related topics, so it is a special thing to have been invited to discuss TNKR! One very eager international student signed up as a volunteer a few hours after the event.

Support TNKR

Read more

, , , , , ,

2017-06-27 American high schoolers visit TNKR

Support TNKR

***

Some American high school students visiting South Korea stopped by TNKR to hear speeches from two TNKR Special Ambassadors. As co-founder of TNKR, it was another beautiful moment, seeing two speakers who came to us in 2015 blossoming the way they have.

  • One if now a graduate student, the other is an undergraduate.
  • They both have improved their English a lot.
  • They have both improved their ability to make speeches. Practicing many times and working with many tutors and coaches has definitely helped them improve.
  • And they thank us TNKR so many times for the impact that it has had on their lives. Not only do they say this when they are with us, but I have heard from others that they praise us.
  • They both even raise money for TNKR! Thank you Ken Eom and Eunhee Park.
  • The students said they learned so much. It is really a great opportunity for them to learn directly from North Korean refugees the reality of that country and the challenges that refugees have when they make it to South Korea.
  • TNKR will continue making a difference in the lives of refugees and volunteers who join us.

Read more

, , , , ,

2017-06-12 Harvard Global Networking Night

Brag, brag, brag, that’s what people were doing at last night’s Harvard Global Networking Night. It was great, we were able to tell some influential people about (TNKR) Teach North Korean Refugees. Best of all, some of them were already familiar with TNKR!

TNKR co-directors took a break from work to join Harvard Global Networking Night. It is great to join networking events where people are expected to talk about their activities. So I shamelessly introduced TNKR! I often encounter people who are afraid that others are bragging or having a good time, so it is was fun meeting with people who want to hear about what others are doing and also want to inform you about what they are doing.

It was delightful when we met some influential people who said they were already aware of our important activities.

Read more

, ,

2017-05-30 TNKR at CSR International Conference

I’m usually a terrible conference forum attendee. I have actually attended conferences where I did not attend a single forum, only the keynote and luncheon speeches; instead, I was usually outside talking, networking, taking photos. Today, I attended a Corporate Social Responsibility conference in Seoul along with TNKR National Director Eunkoo Lee and Fundraising Manager Anna Martinson. Eunkoo focused on each speech. Anna took notes. I was waiting for the next break so I could talk and meet with people. A great thing about having a bigger staff is that I can be me.  I could be irresponsible while Eunkoo and Anna learned. I didn’t even even open the program book.

Kosri, the main event organizer, profiled me a few years ago. One of the organizers of the conference volunteered along me at the Mulmangcho School a few years ago with one of TNKR’s volunteers. I thought I recognized her but I wasn’t sure. We handed out plenty of our business cards.

We didn’t pick up any new donors, it was a conference where they were studying about CSR, not engaging in it. But you can support TNKR until they wise up.

 

, , , , , , , ,

2017-05-18 TNKR presentation to Australian students

Thursday was one of those days we could really appreciate how much TNKR has grown. With very little money, we have created an NGO that provides practical learning opportunities for refugees and has gained respected internationally.

We have had more than 570 volunteer tutors, but just a handful have committed to us long-term. Of the 270 refugees who have joined us, the same is true, just a handful have stuck to us. Having people around us has taken a lot of pressure off us. And now a new thing is happening–we are no longer at the center of every activity.

Read more

, , , , ,

2017-05-13 “Hello Konglish!” TNKR at KOTESOL

TNKR presented “Hello Konglish!” at the National KOTESOL conference. TNKR International Director Casey Lartigue introduced the organization’s main activities, TNKR National Director Eunkoo Lee discussed her findings based on feedback sessions with refugees, refugee Jinhee Han discussed her experience as an English teacher in North Korea.

We also had an information table. We were delighted that Leonie Overbeek stopped by our table, she has donated art work to TNKR.

*** Read more

, , , , , ,

2017-05-04 New Volunteers, New Projects

Jenny stopped by the office to give us feedback about a new project idea. It is always delightful seeing us, she first joined TNKR in 2015 and comes back to us sometimes.

Read more

2017-03-02 A new focus on TNKR

TNKR’s co-directors had a super fantastic meeting today with Jang Jin-sung, a former poet propagandist to NK dictator Kim Jong-il. A few months ago, Mr. Jang featured TNKR in an interview (English) (Korean). After today’s meeting, he has a new focus on TNKR. He let us know how much he admires what we are doing and said he would like to help build up TNKR. He also gave us some direct advice about some changes we might want to make.

You also might want to check out his book Dear Leader.

Read more

, , , , ,

2017-02-28 Don’t Even Think About… Taking My Photo

TNKR volunteer tutor Arrooj Nawaz was teaching her student the phrase “Don’t even think about…”

As usual, they showed the enthusiasm of military draftees when I said it was photo time. So I taught the student the phrase: “Don’t even think about taking my photo.” I think such ‘Live English” helps students remember key phrases. 🙂

Read more