Every Sunday, volunteers are invited to volunteer at the Mulmangcho School. It is a small alternative school for North Korean refugee children who need to transition into mainstream schools.
For First-timers: Every Sunday, a group of volunteers go to Yeouj to teach and mentors 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 that we can share with the founder of the school before you help out.
WHAT TO EXPECT (for first timers)
1) Sign up
Sign up and send a message to [masked] 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.
2) The students
Some of them come from broken homes, some are orphans, some have relatives still trapped in North Korea or other circumstances. I'm not a professional teacher so I am not going to tell anyone how to teach.I guess the main point about this, especially in dealing with the elementary school kids: don't expect them to sit in their seats patiently while you explain something. From my observation, having activities works best to keep their attention. When we have enough teachers sign up then it is easier to split them up into smaller groups to maintain control.
FROM SEOUL TO YEOJU
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.
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.
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Here's a great blog post from Alyssa Green about her experience visiting the school.