Leonard Read, founder of FEE (Foundation for Economic Education), talked about different levels of leadership. The 3rd Level is when people start to seek you out for your counsel. If people aren’t seeking you out, then you can draw your own conclusions about your range of influence.
Although he was talking more about the spreading of ideas rather than real action, I suppose that Mr. Read would have said that we are approaching that 3rd Level of Leadership. We have numerous people coming to us, trying to get involved.
- We have refugees tracking us down even though we don’t do any advertising.
- We have volunteers constantly popping up, locally and from around the world.
- We don’t have a communications team for media, but we still have many requests.
- TNKR has been nominated for and won awards from organizations we have never heard of.
- We are credible enough that I’m constantly sending out recommendation letters for volunteers.
- I don’t consider myself to be much of a mentor, but many people have adopted me as one!
The last few days have been busy so I haven’t had time to update, so here are several in one!
Today’s big events and activities at TNKR:
- PARTNERSHIP: The big news today is that TNKR finalized the details of a partnership that we will be announcing on Tuesday during an MOU signing ceremony. This will be absolutely fantastic for refugees studying in TNKR. We are thankful that a South Korean organization that is much larger than ours has found us and wanted to partner with us. Stay tuned! And separate of that, we had a second meeting about another possible partnership, but that one will take a bit more time.
- MEDIA: Another day, another reporter at the TNKR office. This time, the reporter recorded TNKR senior fellow Tony Docan-Morgan having a coaching session with a North Korean refugee who will become internationally known. We have already seen her improve really quickly, it will be impossible to stop her once she has sharpened her English.
- TUTORING: We had a tutoring session with one of our tutors who joined us last month but has had many tutoring sessions already. I love it that she and her student she tutored today make it a point to meet at our office. One day when TNKR is a large organization then we will be able to hold more study sessions.
- PUBLIC SPEAKING: Scott gave another speech. We weren’t able to make it, but I’m sure he was great. He has an incredible story and I can see how much he has sharpened his public speaking in the last couple of months.
- ACTIVISM: We couldn’t make it, but I heard that Hwang In-Cheol and Youngmin Kwon had a great meeting getting prepared for a press briefing at the Press Club in Seoul.
- OUTREACH: TNKR co-founders Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee, and TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan will be speaking at the 2018 Korean Association for Multicultural Education International Conference on May 24 from 4:20 pm at Korea University.
Support TNKR’s building fund
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The non-profit organization Teach North Korean Refugees held its 74th Language Matching session yesterday. We had 11 North Korean refugees and 18 tutors participate (1 tutor canceled and another was a no-show). The session started at 2 pm–the first refugee to register for the session arrived at our office at 9:50 a.m. That’s right, slightly more than 4 hours in advance!
Why was she so early? Simple! First-come, first-choose! The refugees get to choose their tutors based on when they arrive to the session. So the refugee who arrived first was able to choose first. She is a returning student with us who first joined us in 2015 at the ABC level.
The others were so disappointed, especially the ones arriving three hours early who found out they were already sixth and seventh in line.
Teach North Korean Refugees began as “English Matching” in March 2013. We didn’t have long term plans, but yesterday we held our 71st Language Matching session. We had 11 refugees and 19 tutors join the session, meaning we have now had 345 refugees and 744 volunteer tutors and coaches participate. This little “hobby” has grown into a leading organization providing practical support for refugees adjusting to living outside North Korea and building skills.
Session #71 set a number of records:
- Early early bird registration! 1:15 a.m. signup. Yes, a refugee showed up 13 hours in advance to register. The second refugee yesterday arrived at 9:35 a.m. He said that he had arrived in the area at 9 a.m., but didn’t believe that anyone would arrive that early so he waited before knocking on the door. Imagine his shock when I told him he was second.
- His own faculty: One of the refugees chose 9 tutors. Yes, 9 tutors! There were 19 tutors in the room, so he selected 47.4% of them. Whereas universities and schools have ratios of 1 faculty member to 15 to 30 students, TNKR has a student-tutor ratio in the favor of students. In the case of that student, it is a 9 teacher to 1 student ratio! So he has own English teacher faculty. He called TNKR co-founder Eunkoo Lee to let her know that he still couldn’t imagine what we meant by refugees choosing, but after going through the session, he can’t believe TNKR isn’t the most famous refugee support organization in the world. He has been with other NK refugee support organizations, he said the others can’t compare to us.
- Distance: Tutors are coming from all over Korea to tutor, including one tutor who has pledged to come to Seoul from Busan twice a month to tutor with us. That is more than 200 miles (325 KMs).
- Fundraising: Of the 19 tutors at the session, 10 had set up fundraisers before joining the session. Seven more became monthly donors before joining the session. Only two of the 19 tutors neither became monthly donors nor set up fundraisers. Usually it is the opposite, that we have ony a handful of tutors helping us build the organization. I told them that we have never had a group show so much enthusiasm and energy.
S. KOREAN NON-PROFIT PROVIDING “FREE ENGLISH LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR N. KOREAN REFUGEES,” AWAITS 501C(3) STATUS IN THE U.S.
A Seoul-based non-profit providing free English learning opportunities for North Korean refugees is gaining a lot of attention. Founded in 2013, the Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center (TNKR) has provided its services to over 320 North Korean refugee students. Kim Hyun-jin reports from Seoul.
The Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center (TNKR), located in a small corner of Seoul’s Mapo area. In a humble room of 15 pyeong, a North Korean woman in her 40s is studying English one-on-one with an American volunteer tutor.
She is still at the level of learning numbers in English, but she carefully listens to her tutor’s explanations and does her best to follow.
Founded in March 2013, TNKR, as its name suggests, has taught English to over 320 North Korean refugees.
Hear from Casey Lartigue, the co-founder of the organization: Read more
TNKR’s Million Won Fundraising Club
Dave Fry, TNKR Assistant Director and tutor, “Help me help North Korean Refugees“
Youngmin Kwon, Academic Adviser and tutor, “Support North Korean Refugees & Human Rights!“
Janice Kim. Academic Coordinator and tutor, “Janice’s 30th Birthday Fundraiser for TNKR!“
Spencer Kim, Intern Coordinator and tutor, “Fund TNKR’s Future“
Renee Cummins, November 2016 party
Sandra Durinick & Manda Sheffy, January 2018 fundraiser
We have five rooms in our office–2 study rooms, 1 common area, 1 office for directors, 1 bathroom. At one point, all five rooms were being used, with one staffer making a phone call from the bathroom so he wouldn’t bother other meetings.
Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing free English learning opportunities to North Korean refugees. For more information, take a look at our About page.
TNKR’s registration number with the Seoul City Government: 143-82-65155
US Tax ID: 82-2591748
Email: Please use this form
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