한국에서 탈북자를 위한 영어매칭프로그램(TNKR:Teach North Korean Refugees)을 공동운영하는 미국인 케이시 라티그(Casey Lartigue) 민간단체 프리덤 팩토리 국제관계국장은 지난해 말까지 탈북자 총 147명에게 맞춤형 영어교육을 제공했다고 밝혔습니다.

라티그 국장: 첫 영어 연설 대회를 오는 2월 28일에 개최할 예정입니다. 저희 영어교육 프로그램 학생들을 대상으로 합니다.

탈북자들에게 영어를 배우려는 의욕을 북돋아 주기 위해 대상에 미화 1천 달러를 비롯해 10명에게 상금도 수여할 예정입니다.

탈북자의 정착지원을 돕기 위해 2013년 3월 시작된 이 프로그램은 탈북자가 가장 필요로 하는 부분에서 영어 교육을 할 수 있도록 탈북자 스스로 최적의 교사를 선택할 수 있는 장점이 있다고 그는 말했습니다.

라티그 국장은 영어를 사용하는 국가에 탈북자들이 가서 인턴십 즉 직업훈련을 할 수 있도록 협상 중이라고 밝혔습니다.

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.

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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.

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