Skip to main content

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



International Volunteer Leadership Academy
September 12th, 2:30-4:00 PM

* 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 

September 12, 2020, 12 noon Seoul
Meeting ID: 838 0570 2328
Passcode: 489986

Time: Sep 13, 2020 12:00 noon Seoul
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 867 6799 7875
Passcode: 424582

Popular posts from this blog

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…

2020-05-21 Goodbye, Katty Chi

I had heard through the grapevine and now it has been verified: Human rights activist Katty Chi has passed away.
She is one of the first people that I met when I got involved in this cause. The first time was in 2012, at an event at the South Korea's National Assembly. She was super cool, one of my favorites as I used to say even when she was alive. And that is the important time to say such things, when people are alive.
Whenever we met, I would say to her, "You know what happens when you meet me?"
She would say, "Yeah. Time to take a photo?"
I'm glad we did.

And from Hyun S. Song, a close colleague of hers:

And from Liberty in North Korea, the definitive announcement, August 4, 2020

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.

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

What's special about TNKR?

So you wanna be a TNKR tutor! There are some things you should know to understand why you are about to have a special experience.

TNKR is learner-centered!Students get to choose, we are their language helpers as they start or continue their journey into the world of English.* TNKR's co-founders discuss the program in a special #hashtagimpact interview.* Refugees choose their tutors at a Matching session. This TV clip from 2016 shows what the session is like (it is made for TV so it is 90% accurate). * Our process has been praised by Thae Yong-ho, the former North Korean diplomat and who is now the first NK defector directly elected to South Korea's National Assembly. (VideoScript)_________________________________________________
Why are North Korean refugees so eager to learn English?

* USA Today: North Korean defectors must overcome big challenge once free: Learn English

* Casey Lartigue's 8 part series in the Korea Times: (1

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…