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At Transcripta, we’re passionate about languages and believe in the power of the spoken word. That’s why we’ve recently donated to Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), a non-profit organisation that empowers North Korean refugees through education and activism.

There are many reasons why we’ve donated to this cause and why you should consider doing so as well. If you’ve never heard of TNKR, read on to learn what they’re about and why this is a cause worth your support, whether it be financial or a matter of dedicating your time.

TNKR – Who they are and what they do

TNKR is a non-profit organisation founded in 2013 with the aim of helping North Korean refugees learn English by pairing them up with English-speaking tutors to offer free tuition to help prepare them for life outside of North Korea.

By providing refugees with free English lessons, they gain a huge amount of independence, especially if they are trying to find decent work outside of North Korea. English being the global language, TNKR makes this important step towards their future a much easier transition.

Besides offering free English lessons, TNKR also works very hard to empower North Koreans by speaking up for them, offering them support, and more importantly, by giving them the independency that comes with education. TNKR regularly hold fundraising events and participate in humanitarian conferences to give these people a voice.

Why English as a second language is a fundamental skill

Because English is the language spoken by the largest number of people around the world in comparison to other languages, learning English as a second language has become one of the most basic and important skill requirements in the employment industry anywhere in the world and an important language if you want to travel.

Because it is so important, TNKR takes the extra step to ensure that the students’ learning potential is maximised as much as possible. The program is entirely built around a student-centred model, even giving refugees the opportunity to meet with and choose their tutors to ensure a good match between teacher and student. You can read more about their philosophy on their website here.

Every teacher has his or her own style and TNKR makes sure that that style suits the student individually. Lessons are often given on a one-to-one basis to encourage each individual student to be in control of their learning progress and to ensure that learning is fun and engaging, rather than a traditional lecture-style type of teaching.

TNKR has helped hundreds of North Koreans

So far, TNKR has assisted more than 300 North Korean citizens and plans to continue improving their programs and expand their growing team of volunteers. Over 700 people have volunteered their time to teach refugees and we’re proud to have done our part by donating to this noble cause.

Be sure to check out TNKR’s YouTube channel, especially the inspiring TEDx talk by former student Eunkoo Lee, as well.