RealPal reflects the philosophy of ENoK’s mission to serve North Korean defectors, not as “teachers,” “sponsors,” or “benefactors,” but as genuine friends, brothers, and sisters. Our “Pals” do not receive any compensation for their time and commitment, except the defectors’ friendship, which we value the most.
Currently, ENoK holds regular ESL classes for a number of North Korean defectors living all across the world. Our program caters to each individual’s specific needs and wants. English level varies widely between individuals as they all have different backgrounds, but because we have one or more volunteer “Pals” guiding each defector, defectors with any level of English background are able to take advantage of our RealPal ESL program. Depending on the location of the defectors’ current residence and that of available “Pals,” our sessions are either held in person or online using video-chatting services such as Skype.
The RealPal program is not limited to ESL services but also includes guidance counseling, tutoring for other school subjects, and standardized test prep, among others.
We are always in need of more volunteer “Pals” for our ESL classes as well as for other tutoring sessions. Our current “Pals” can testify that it is not just a one-way giving and taking relationship from our “Pals” to the defectors we serve but rather, a two-way relationship where both “Pals” and North Korean defectors learn so much from each other. We believe that the friendships formed in this way help break down the wall of prejudice between the “Pals” and the defectors we serve. We hope to continue to achieve this “Unification of the Mind” between North Korean defectors we serve and those who did not know them before.