Tag Archives: Mulmangcho School

2015/03/06-07 Mulmangcho/TNKR fundraiser (Refugee Kids Rock!)

“Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.”
–Longfellow

The volunteers of the Mulmangcho School and Teach North Korean Refugee project did it. They raised 2 million won in two nights. I hope they can take a break to recover and rejoice, but I heard that some will be trying to make it to the Mulmangcho School this morning.

I’m the International Adviser to the Mulmangcho School, so I don’t have any real power except to send out threatening messages. But as the co-director of TNKR, I can direct our share of the loot to an internship program we are setting up.

Thanks from co-organizer Injee Lee: “Thanks to the bands (Sons of Tiger, Lions on the Beach, Decader, The Killer Drones, Boss Hagwon, Les Sales, Pentasonic, Colin Phils), the volunteers (Aaron Grommesh, Nina Stearns,Kristen Lefebvre, Rida Hamdani, Ben Haynes, Ren Haynes, Angie Ahn), Rachel Stine who emceed and co-organized, special guests Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee who spoke about the plight of the refugees and what we can do to help, and especially Dwayne Robertson and Kirk Kwon at Thunderhorse Tavern.”

The team of volunteers started arriving at 7 pm on Friday to get set up and I heard that some remained until 3 am both nights.

Holding this kind of fundraiser is something we have been talking about for quite a while, but Injee and Rachel made it happen. They led the effort, but of course it took the team helping them to get it done.

And it isn’t too late to donate.
1) DONATE TO THE MULMANGCHO SCHOOL
(domestic) Standard Chartered Bank
364 20 030012
Recipient name: Mulmangcho
(international).
Standard Chartered Bank
364 20 030012
Korea LTD.
Swift code; SCBKRSE.
Branch code; 233644

2) DOUBLE YOUR DONATION TO TNKR
Double your donation to Teach North Korean Refugees through the Atlas Network. https://www.atlasnetwork.org/donate. Click ” I would like to designate my gift to a specific Atlas Network program,” then type in “Freedom Factory” or “TNKR” or “Teach North Korean Refugees.”

3) DONATE TO TNKR (domestically/internationally/paypal)http://teachnorthkoreanrefugees.org/support-tnkr/
Domestic/international/paypal
-Bank account: (Woori Bank) 1006-201-405817
-Name on account: TNKR
***********************************************************************
-International bank account: (Woori Bank Seocho Umyeon Branch) 1006-201-405817
-Name on account: Eunkoo Lee(TNKR)
-Swift code: HVBKKRSEXXX
-Bank address: Taebongro 70, Seochogu, Seoul, South Korea
-Bank phone number: 02-3463-9596
* * *
paypal (just mark that you want it to go to TNKR)
http://caseyandyeonmi.com/donate-casey-yeonmi-show/

Volunteering for Mulmangcho (group)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/181561475317435/

Mulmangcho School (page)
https://www.facebook.com/mulmangchoschool

Teach North Korean Refugees (page)
https://www.facebook.com/TeachNorthKoreanRefugees

Teach North Korean Refugees (group)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/451294051613839/

10167978_10153199833450087_1102364216054548215_n 10636144_882931775061951_4282831588842713497_n 11018815_10153199823470087_6673503901953116970_n 11034192_10153199833365087_5497790104272916610_n 11038880_10153199843940087_4364285960818607534_n IMG_1403 IMG_1406 IMG_1412 IMG_1420 IMG_1429 IMG_1433 IMG_1435 IMG_1437 IMG_1441 IMG_1443KakaoTalk_20150306_214212381KakaoTalk_20150306_214213157KakaoTalk_20150306_221201936KakaoTalk_20150307_234024074KakaoTalk_20150307_234024741

 

2015-03-01 Mulmangcho School–good to be back

The Mulmangcho School (for Adolescent North Korean refugees) is a small alternative school for adolescent North Korean refugees founded in mid-2012 by Professor Park Sun-young. The school opened in September 2012, I have been the International Adviser to the school since October 2012.

Thanks to Rachel Stine, the Digital Fundraising Director at the Mulmangcho School, for organizing the Sunday trip to the Mulmangcho School (for Adolescent North Korean refugees)

Thanks to regular volunteer tutors Injee Lee, Ren Haynes,Aaron Grommesh and first-timers Julie Meyer Super, Paul Grossman for pushing back the frontiers of ignorance. Special thanks, as always, to Mike Ashley who always brings goodies for the volunteers, kids and staff. Yesterday we were joined by the documentary team from the UK, Edward Lawrence,Andrew Greenwood and Lee Sanders.

I have been the International Adviser to the Mulmangcho School since October 2012. Because I have been traveling and Teach North Korean Refugees, I don’t visit the school as often as I did in the past. Now when I visit, it is not in the capacity of being an organizer of the volunteers–rather, it is now as a donor and the International Adviser.

Don’t forget about the Mulmangcho/TNKR fundraiser this weekend. Injee confirmed with me yesterday that she would like me to speak at the event. https://www.facebook.com/events/1522073321387434

1 2 3 4 5 6

Continue reading 2015-03-01 Mulmangcho School–good to be back

A Magnet for Freedom (Korea Times, 2/11/14) by Casey Lartigue, Jr.

I’m sure that some North Korean refugees try to motivate their loved ones still in North Korea to escape by sharing information about the outside world. I am humbled to learn that I have become part of that information.

One of the refugees participating in theTeach North Korean Refugees project I co-founded with Lee Eun-koo recently told me that she has been trying to convince her sister to escape from North Korea. “Come to South Korea,” she has been telling her. “You can even study English for free with as many teachers as you want. It is because of a nice American who wants to help North Koreans.”

North Koreans are warned from a young age about evil blood-thirsty American beasts. It is wonderful that I am being cited as a reason for a North Korean to flee to freedom.

Other North Koreans in North Korea have heard about that “nice American.” Last summer, a North Korean refugee interning at Radio Free Chosun did a shortwave radio broadcast into North Korea about me. That could have gotten me on North Korea’s enemies list, or bumped me up a few spots, but it is rewarding to know that someone in North Korea could be inspired to flee because of my activities. I would prefer to have the regime target rather than praise or positively cite me.

How quickly things change. Five years ago, I was ignorant of the scope of the human rights crisis in North Korea and had no idea what to do about what I did know. My life changed in early 2012 when about 30 North Korean refugees caught in China were going to be sent back to North Korea. I began organizing “meet-up” sessions to attend protests in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul. Then on March 1, 2012, I was inspired by Prof. Park Sun-young’s hunger strike in front of the Chinese embassy to protest the looming repatriation.

Prof. Park was sitting in a tent across the street from the embassy. I approached her and told her that I was going to get more deeply involved. Not realizing it was a life-focusing moment for me, Prof. Park did the equivalent of patting me on the head and saying, “That’s nice to hear, dear.” A month later, we protested together in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C.

I later became the International Adviser to the Mulmangcho School for North Korean refugees founded by that lady in the tent. Prof. Park asked me if I could teach English to the children, but I declined. Even when I was employed as an English teacher, I wasn’t a good one. Instead, I suggested to her that I could try to recruit volunteers who, I hoped, would relish such an opportunity. For at least one year, I told her, I would be a “magnet” to the school attracting volunteers. That was almost three years ago.

In the book “The Tipping Point,” gadfly Malcolm Gladwell writes that there are three kinds of people who share information. One, “connectors” are the type of people who always know somebody who knows somebody. Two, “mavens” are the people who know a lot about a particular topic. Three, salesmen are the people who can persuade others of something.

I like those three categories, but my slight difference (perhaps without a distinction) with Gladwell’s lineup is “salesman.” I don’t care if people are convinced by me ― I’m fine with them knowing about my activities. Instead of being a “salesman,” I try to be a magnet for a cause.

In addition to North Korean refugees, I have heard from our volunteers how inspired they have been to have participated in the Teach North Korean Refugees project. Some have gone on to make documentaries, join other NGOs, and inform others about the crisis in North Korea. Most recently, Cherie Yang, a North Korean refugee who lives in America, contacted me to tell me that she had been inspired by my podcasts with North Korean refugee Park Yeon-mi. It reminded Yang that after escaping North Korea to freedom that had promised herself that she would try to help North Koreans escaping to freedom. Inspired, she has now joined my company as a volunteer intern and as a participant in TNKR.

It now usually takes North Korean refugees about two to three years to get to South Korea or a third country after escaping from North Korea and through China. I will never get to China to rescue North Korean refugees, but perhaps the day will come that I will meet someone who escaped North Korea or China after hearing about me. For now, I’m thrilled to know that I have been cited as a reason for North Korean refugees to escape to freedom.

The writer is the Director for International Relations at Freedom Factory Co. in Seoul and the Asia Outreach Fellow with the Atlas Network in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at: CJL@post.harvard.edu.

casey_lartigue_jr profile photo to upload