If you know of other opportunities, please let us know.
Volunteer with JFNK from Anywhere
- Translating: Are you able to translate from Korean to English? (Sometimes we need the other way around, too.)
Volunteer in South Korea With Other Groups
Catacombs (scroll down): This is not volunteering per se, but a great way to learn and stay informed. Catacombs is a weekly meeting held in central Seoul by American missionaries Tim and Sunmi Peters, who’ve been working to help North Koreans for about 15 years.
Editing: We know a handful of groups that need help editing or rewriting something that has been roughly translated from Korean into English. Note, this tends to be feast or famine — you may give your name to a group and won’t hear anything for a long time and then suddenly a large amount is needed immediately. Do the best you can, but be careful not to overpromise in such situations. It’s best to review the document before giving an estimate on how long it will take to complete it. For example, two pages might mean 500 or a 1000 words and the quality of the translation might be very good or very poor. Please allow for time to ask questions about parts you do not understand or are unclear. Also, find out who the audience of the edited work will be. If it is just something that needs to be understood, , e.g., email correspondence, it does not need to be perfect and will take much less time than something that must be edited to a native speaker level — e.g., a formal report on research findings. Contact us for the latest list of groups who have expressed a need for editors.
One-On-One Tutoring: PSCORE has a program that matches North Korean defectors who are now students in South Korea with tutors in many subjects. Foreigners can tutor students in their native language. One of the criteria used to match students and teachers is how close you live to each other. If there is no student near you, you may not be matched up with anyone.
Around South Korea: This is a list of private organizations around Korea that are affiliated with the government’s North Korean Refugees Foundation. The list is in Korean, so you may need to ask a coworker or friend to find the group(s) in your area and contact them for you. Some of the groups may have programs in which you can teach English or get involved in other ways. We would really appreciate hearing from you about which groups need volunteers!
There is a demand for people to serve in shelters. Ideal candidates are of East Asian ancestry, speak Korean and/or Chinese, and have a background in social work. We do not do this directly, but can put you in touch with the right people. Before we would attempt to place you there will be a screening and training process in Seoul.
Get Involved with the Movement for North Korean Freedom from Anywhere
- Organize a screening or fundraiser.
- Host an exhibition on North Korea’s political prison camps at your school, church, local gallery or art space. SAGE Korea held a very successful exhibition in Seoul in early 2011 that saw over 20,000 visitors in under two weeks. The organizers have uploaded the contents for others to download, print, and exhibit around the world. You must use them for educational (not commercial) purposes, and they ask that you contact them by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) about your plans to make sure there are no copyright or other issues with your intended use. Most of the materials are in Korean and English.
- NKnet in Seoul has materials for a North Korean human rights exhibition (mostly in Korean) that you can borrow. Contact them for details.
- Send us suggestions and designs for campaign ideas, slogans for t-shirts, posters, etc.
- Americans can write letter to be broadcast to North Korea (a project of the North Korea Freedom Coalition & Free North Korea Radio).
- LiNK has a program to write letters to refugees in their shelters in China (scroll down to the question, “Can I write a letter to a refugee in your shelters?”).
- Do you have a technical background? Are there ways to use emerging technologies to increase the flow of information into/out of/and within North Korea? One of the reasons the regime has lasted so long is it has been an expert at hiding the reality of the outside world from it citizens. Over the last several years more information has leaking into the country through the border with China on DVDs with South Korean dramas, etc., but it’s still very hard inside North Korea for citizens to communicate with each other except face-to-face, much less in a secure manner. See these two posts and their comments:
- Mesh Networking: Another Way to Bring Cell Phone Service to North Korea?
- A DIY Cellular Network: Could This Work in North Korea?
- See also LiNK’s pages on getting involved.
- And be sure to see the next page, start your own street campaign.