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2020/09/11-13 Weekend of meetings

The Lives of North Korean Women TNKR Webinar US East Coast Time: September 10th, 5:00 PM Korea Time: September 11th, 6:00 AM RSVP at
International Volunteer Leadership Academy September 12th, 2:30-4:00 PM

Apply at: * Zoom September 12, 2020, 12 noon Seoul Meeting ID: 838 0570 2328 Passcode: 489986
Facebook Live
Instagram Live (Casey Lartigue)
Instagram Live (TNKR)
Track 1 English tutoring September 12th, noon September 13th, noon 

Apply at
September 12, 2020, 12 noon Seoul…
Recent posts

2020-09-07 I should have walked off during the recording!

TNKR will be featured in an 8 minute segment on MBC TV in South Korea, this Saturday morning September 12th during the show Unification Observatory from 7:20 a.m.저희 TNKR이 MBC 통일전망대에서 소개될 예정입니다! 이번주토요일(9월12일) 오전 7시 20분입니다~An MBC film crew spent more than 5 hours at the TNKR office today, interviewing staff, volunteers and students.Have you ever seen a lousy movie and wondered, "Why didn't the actors quit during the filming?" That was my feeling today as we were being recorded by MBC TV. Most of it was wonderful and I am sure it will look great on TV. And it will be even better if they cut the worst scene I have ever been in during my many years of being featured in media. The main reason I didn't walk off the set? Lovely Sharon Jang called me an angel during the middle of the scene, so it might not have looked good for the angel to storm off in a huff.By the way, I don't…

2020-08-26 Kuang-Ok from Eye Contact: From mentorship to partnership

We had a special VIP guest today! Kuang-ok, the young lady who was with me on the TV show "Eye Contact."

I think we first met almost two years ago, when she joined TNKR as a student. She had been in South Korea for less than a year at that point, so things were still new for her. I still remember when she first joined TNKR, a few years older than her peers in school. She had already made some decisions about her life.
Her English has improved so much, her confidence is sky high, she is focused on her goals, and takes action. She is born determined and goal-oriented, but also flexible and still looking to learn.
She may still need mentoring, but it seems more like it will develop more into a partnership than a mentorship.
Sometimes people ask those of us volunteering or working at TNKR why we do it. The meeting with Kuang-ok today was a wonderful reminder why.

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Here are four clips from the show. I haven't watched the show, but have heard from severa…

2020-08-25 When a fan comes to visit

As someone who has been a writer, talk show-host, analyst, activist, educator, etc., I have gotten used to criticism. Most critics can be safely ignored because they rarely have constructive things to say. If they could do what they were complaining about, they would do it rather than complaining about what someone else was doing. As someone who is used to critics, how do I to respond when a fan comes to visit?

TNKR August-September 2020

2020-07-24 Pandemic Tutoring

The question comes in various forms, as a request, a recommendation, a plea, an insinuation, an accusation, and sometimes (or most of the time) it is a demand and complaint at the same time.
In my in-box yesterday: "And I wanted to know if TNKR also transitioned to online services as any other educational institutions globally under the pandemic."
This was from a previous volunteer who is now in the USA, so I took more time to answer him, and will expand it now so I can share it with others asking.
As context, TNKR started in 2013 as an informal volunteer group connecting North Korean refugees with volunteer tutors. In 2016, we became an official organization despite lacking funding. Mainly because we have limited resources we keep focused on our main mission, but try to expand based on the needs of North Korean refugee learners. We have developed a learner-centered organization that has a great reputation among North Korean refugees. That means we are not a social club or refe…

2020-07-24 Matching Donation ending

It has been said that there are three kinds of people in the world. * People who make things happen* People who watch things happen* People who ask, "Hey! What happened?"We had some people who made this Matching Donation Challenge happen! These are the people who will storm the bastille with you! Our fans at the University of Alabama issued TNKR a challenge--and TNKR met it!* Donor Participation! We had almost 500 donations overall. At times we had so many donation notifications coming through that our Alabama fans felt like they were under attack! As I stress--participation. So many people seem to be embarrassed about the amount they donate, but I make it clear when I donate, as I slam the money down on the table. "And you're lucky you got that!"* Fundraising! We raised about $42,000, a few donations are still pending, so please wait before declaring the final amount, I will announce that after we RECEIVE it.* Sharing! I sometimes hear people say they don't…