Skip to main content

Mulmangcho FAQ

Every Sunday, a group of volunteers go to Yeouj to teach and mentor some children who escaped from North Korea. You are invited to join us. To do this, please send A) copy of your resume or a bio with the B) Application that we can share with the founder of the school before you help out.


Q: What is the Mulmangcho School?
A: It is a small alternative school for young refugees from North Korea. It was opened in September 2012 by Prof. Park Sun-Young.

Q: What does "Mulmangcho" mean?
A: It means "forget-me-not." Prof. Park says she wants to remind people that we should not forget about North Korean refugees after they have successfully escaped.


Q: I'm a first-timer. I have no idea what I should prepare.
A: First-timers are not expected to lead a class. It would be great if you could prepare a game or activity that can last 15 to 30 minutes. There are usually at least two or three veteran teachers to lead the class or classes, so you might want to join the Facebook group so you can monitor messages during the week and get to know some of the regulars.


Q: Yeoju?
A: Getting there:


Part 1: arrive at the bus station and buy a ticket.

Easy explanation: Go to the old bus terminal (where the Express Bus Terminal subway station meets at subway lines 3, 7 and 9), buy a ticket to Yeoju, go to Platform 23 to catch the bus. Check here for step by step directions.

More difficult, detailed explanation:
From the Express Bus Terminal (meets at subway lines 3, 7, 9) take exit 2.
Take the escalator or walk upstairs. When you get upstairs, you will see Dunkin Donuts immediately. The easiest way is to turn left, walk for about 15 seconds, then take the escalator up.
From there, turn left, walk about another 15 seconds, you will see another Dunkin Donuts. You can (A) wait there for us or (B) walk past the Dunkin Donuts, turn right and walk out the doors. Walk straight, you will walk through a new set of doors, walk straight until you get to the ticket window.

For first-timers sure they will get lost: After you exit from the subway, then contact me. I can meet you at the Dunkin Donuts that is at the top of the stairs. And if I happen to be out the week you are going, then I will make sure there is someone else there to meet you.

Part 2: Get on the bus

After buying the ticket, your next challenge is to get Platform 23, that's where the bus goes to Yeoju.
I don't want to complicate things, but FYI, there is more than one window to buy a ticket. The key is to buy a ticket going to Yeoju, and to get to Platform 23, that's where the bus waves good-bye to Seoul.

Part 3: Arrive at Yeoju bus terminal

The bus ride takes about an hour and 10 minutes, to arrive around 10:30. From the Yeoju bus terminal, wait for the ride to take you to the school to start teaching around 11.

Part 4: Returning

We typically return to the Yeoju bus station to catch the 1:20 bus, returning to Seoul by 2:30.


Q: Wonderful. I can't wait to go there to take a million photos and then post the names of the kids all over the Internet.
A: Whoa, slow down! They are fine with taking photos. But never, ever, ever mention the names of the kids. Some of the young adults have gotten on Facebook, but I still advise caution. Even if someone else happens to mention the name, don't use that as an excuse for you to do so. As I'm sure your mom told you: If everyone else jumped in a river (or off a mountain), would you do the same thing?


Q: Okay, I'm in. What do I do next?
A:  Sign up
 Sign up and send a message to to confirm your interest. Please take your RSVP seriously--the van comfortably fits 7, so if you flake out, it could mean that a non-flake could have joined to help out.

Q: Great, the more I hear, the more I love it. This will be a great a chance for me to conduct interviews for my thesis.
A: Ah...please remember to keep the focus on the students and helping them improve their English. 
Some of them come from broken homes, some are orphans, some have relatives still trapped in North Korea or other circumstances. 


Q: What's the dress code?
A: It is Sunday morning, so we understand that not everyone is ready for a fashion show.

My suggestion: Dress the way your mom would dress you. If that is business casual or business clown, that's fine. During the summer, some teachers wear shorts. In my case, I prefer a tuxedo and top hat, but that's just me.

Be aware: The International Adviser to the school is not photogenic, but he still likes to take a group photo each week.

In summary: There is no dress code, we will almost always allow you to teach, although I may give your mom a call...


Q: Why do you need my resume?
A: It is required of all first-timers. Nothing personal, we have them on hand when the founder of the school asks. A standard resume is fine. If you want to update, it is nice to know about interests or skills of volunteers.

Q: Do I need to give you a local phone number?
A: If you have one, yes. If you have a local phone number, then put that one on your resume. Not an overseas phone number...


Q; This is some great info. Where can I find more?
* On the scene report by Alyssa Green:
* "Open Door to N. Koreans" (Mulmangcho students had their visas rejected by the U.S. government) 
* Video of Mulmangcho students at one year anniversary
* Mulmangcho founder Park Sun-Young profiled in Korea Herald

Popular posts from this blog

2014-02-14 Yeon-Mi Park`s debut

Yeonmi Park, February 14, 2014, making her debut! Yesterday I was one of the speakers at a special session on North Korean refugees at the Canadian Maple International School. Wow, it was a wonderful time! * Yeon-Mi Park delivered her first major speech in English. She was wonderful! She told her story (35 minute speech without notes), discussed different aspects of North Korea, and then handled questions from students for more than an hour. She did seem to be nervous at the beginning-she took a deep breath just as she started, looked at me, then told her story from her heart. * Returning from the speech, I told Yeonmi that she had star potential. She told me that she didn't believe it, but I told her that the way she handled Q&A and told her story, I would be lucky to have her still returning my phone calls within a year. * The students had many questions. They have been learning about North Korea. They are now reading "Escape from Camp 14" featuring Shin Dong-h

Helping North Koreans 'strike the blow' (Korea Times)

H ave you ever engaged in action not because you were sure it would change the world, but to satisfy your own heart? That, I emailed to an American friend, is why I have joined the effort to help North Koreans who are trying to escape from their homeland. I can’t change the direction of policy in North Korea or China but I can row the boat I am sitting in rather than lamenting that I can’t steer the yachts somewhere else. So I have tried to do what I can: Attending protests in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul (and I plan to do so when I visit America in April); donating money to the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights ( ); educating myself, writing articles and emailing friends; and, as a member of the board of trustees, I recently submitted a resolution to the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association (FDMHA) in Washington, D.C., to try to call attention to the plight of North Koreans. Our organization’s missi

Government causing problems: Caffe Bene

According to the Korea Herald : Caffe Bene, the nation’s largest coffee shop franchise, has started cutting jobs and executive salaries, blaming regulations against expansion of its bakery and restaurant chains. Then a funny thing happened on the way to a seemingly bland story: There was actual talk about the Korean government playing a role in damaging Caffe Bene's business. Not just a throwaway line or a final comment at the end of the article, but actually tying the business's problems to the Korean government's policy. Caffe Bene took over bakery chain Mainz Dom in December despite the National Commission for Corporate Partnership’s advice to reconsider the acquisition as the panel was discussing restricting bakery franchises. The state-funded commission last month designated bakeries and restaurants as “SME-only” businesses, barring franchises to keep from opening too many stores or within 500 meters from small bakeries. Large companies in the dinin

Politician commentators

It is often mockingly said that the people who know how to run the country are driving cabs and cutting hair. I have identified a new problem...the people who are running the country are pontificating like they are cab drivers and barbers. WTOP Radio hosts "Ask the Governor" every Tuesday. This past Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine was philosophizing about Michael Vick, the former NFL player now in the slamma for killing dogs. Kaine: "I don't think somebody convicted of charges like this should be back in the NFL." What, Vick should be driving a cab or cutting hair? * * * Perhaps Gov. Kaine would like to assign Michael Vick to a job. After all, if Vick should be barred from playing in the NFL, then would what Kaine have him do? Let's fill-in Kaine's statement with some other occupations: "I don't think somebody convicted of charges like this should... "work as a waiter." "be a construction worker." "work as a tax account

Earth Hour 2013 Man of the Year!!!

In case you missed it, last night was Earth Hour. That's when people around the world turn off their lights for one hour to show concern for the Earth. The idea originated from the World Wildlife Fund. Bouncing off Don Boudreaux, I would like to announce that Kim Jong-Un is the Earth Hour 2013 Man of the Year. Kim Jong-Un, Earth Hour's 2013 Man of the Year I won't read through his resume and accomplishments to make my case, I will point out this satellite photo showing the difference between the two Koreas. North Korea, where every day is "Earth Hour." Not only is the dashing young dictator's regime focused on keeping North Koreans in the dark more than just one hour a year, but he is now leading a government that is threatening to blow up other countries for various reasons. He has ordered his military to strike with "lightening speed"--apparently confusing lightening speed with lightening, and thinking that lightening can bring ligh