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2015-03-17 HS visitors

 


2015-03-17: The Teach North Korean Refugees project met and talked with high school students visiting from the USA. It was our second event in the last week, and both times were elegant and poignant.

Three of the refugees are in Track 2 ("Telling My Own Story") and two are in Track 1 ("Finding My Own Way"). Three of them were first timers so they had jitters but told us that they are glad they did it.
Another speaker began her speaking career five weeks ago--she has now given 7 speeches. I can REALLY see her improvement (of course, she thought she was terrible). Another speaker is an expert, she was clearly at ease.

We were encouraged and inspired by all of the speakers. It is easy to forget how dangerous it can be for refugees to speak out. Many still prefer to remain anonymous or even avoid speaking opportunities.
Thanks to the TNKR team (co-Director Lee Eunkoo, Operations Manager Suzanne Atwill Stewart and Special Ambassador Cherie Yang) for coming out on a Tuesday afternoon to cheer on our speakers and to help make the event even more special.

One of the teachers was particularly touched by what he heard. He had many questions during Q&A, then followed up with me later with a GREAT idea. So we are going to be in touch, to make it happen.

2021 reflection:

* At that time, we were a project without an office, it was all volunteer, and we had no prospects for growth but were going to do our best anyway. By then, I had concluded that I was dating a corpse, that free English tutoring was not sustainable but maybe money would fall out of the sky one day. Update: it hasn't, but we survived anyway.

* One of the speakers that day (Eunsun Kim) published her book the following year. Cherie Yang was then in the process of applying for college (she has since graduated) and later gave a TEDx Talk. In 2015, Ken Eom was thinking about grad school, he has since graduated from Korea University and given many speeches, including at Harvard and Princeton Universities. The other speaker that day has since moved back to the USA, settled down and is happily married there. 

* We have stayed in close contact with the company that organized the event that day. We have had two online events with them this year, and had another a few more last year. You can also arrange great events with FSI, by the way.

* We went from being a project at Freedom Factory, to becoming an official organization in the USA and Korea, and recently changed our name from TNKR to FSI. 

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THE SPEAKERS







Q&A





SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS








PHOTO TIME

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