Fall Newsletter 2022

Cheongwoon CWH Early Years Class

Hello OpenArms,

My passion for Open Arms, and every little heart and mind it impacts, gets stronger every time I help either directly with a child or indirectly planning and fundraising. Open Arms is making a real difference and to be a part of it is personally rewarding beyond words! 

I am often asked about what a day is like when you volunteer at a welfare center so here is just a small glimpse into one life changing day. The morning started by meeting the other awesome volunteers and setting up the library that was soon filled with energetic kids. We had three groups, each with about 15 kids between 6 to 12 years old. We worked together on an interactive art project with the letters of their names and then played fun games. They enjoyed talking in English showing off their skills of knowing their ABCs and colours. The energy was high and even those that started off hesitant warmed up quickly and were disappointed when it was time to leave. I can’t wait to see them all again!

This newsletter is choc full of updates on our Program activities, Community Fundraising events and Volunteer Voices. I hope you too will get involved so you can feel the personal impact of really making a difference! Together we can show these kids a world wide community supports them.  

With thanks, gratitude and love to you all,


Community Fundraising

Volunteering Opportunities!

Early Years Program volunteers

One Caring Adult per Child

Our Early Years programs at Myeongjin Wildflower Welfare Home (Saturday mornings, monthly) and Cheongwoon Welfare Home (Tuesday evenings, weekly) are up and running! You can read about our Volunteer Criteria by clicking on the link in the title above. You must be a registered member to volunteer. Please check your emails for the sign-up form!

Volunteering Opportunities!

Be part of our Management Team!

  • Korean Speaking Liaisons
  • Financial Controller
  • Volunteer Director and Volunteer Coordinators
  • Social Media Manager
  • Children's Birthday Gift Coordinator

We are looking for enthusiastic and enterprising members willing to take on the above roles. To see a summary of each role, click below. All roles require good English, some also specify ability in Korean. If you would like to be involved, or to see a full job description, please email Sally at If you are not already a member, you will be asked to join.

Role Summaries

Our Programs

Katy Freeman, Education Director

For the past year or so now, we have two very successful Early Years programs running. I am very proud to be a part of these two very inspiring programs. We have an amazing group of dedicated and committed volunteers who give up their time either on a Tuesday evening or once a month on a Saturday morning.

Early Years Program

Cheongwoon CWH

Every Tuesday night a group of about 6 or 7 volunteers meet at CWWC Welfare centre to spend time with some very special children. We currently have two groups of children aged between 6 and 10 years old. Over the past few months we have spent our Tuesday evenings making smoothies, exploring African Land snails, learning our alphabet, playing games, playing with baby chicks, tadpoles, writing our letters and speaking English with our friends. It’s always such a pleasure to be with these children and amazing volunteers.

Early Years Program

Myeongjin Wildflower Welfare Home

Also once a month on a Saturday morning a group of about 10-12 volunteers meet at Myeongin to spend time with a bigger group of children aged 5-12 years old. These sessions also involve lots of games, crafts, learning the alphabet and practising our English speaking skills. The children are a delight to be around and they always so happy to see us. I feel so grateful to be part of two very successful education programs working alongside our very dedicated and talented volunteers. My thanks goes to everyone for giving up their time and I am looking forward to expanding some of our programs to new welfare centres over the next few months.

 Community Fundraising

Nicole Gorman

StoryART Market

September 24-25

It was a privilege to volunteer at an event planned by Seoul International Women’s Association (SIWA) benefiting Open Arms. It was held at the Modern Art Museum with multiple Embassies and local artists participating. I also found it special to have five young adults (Changemakers) who are now out of the welfare system and partnering with Open Arms! They are so positive, energetic and motivated, it was so inspiring to talk with them. 

AWC & BASS @ Vineworks

October 1

Open Arms worked with the American Women’s Club (AWC) and the British Association (BASS) to host a fundraising event at the awesome Vineworks. Raising over 800,000 Won it was a memorable evening of friends, wine and delicious food! Funds raised will help benefit field trips and special projects in the welfare centers. I can highly recommend Vineworks for an incredible wine and food experience.

AWC Charity Gala

November 26

The next big event that will support Open Arms is the AWC Charity Gala on November 26th at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel. You will experience a traditional American Thanksgiving feast with wine and entertainment, followed by dancing and an auction. Reserve your tickets now for this spectacular event at and support Open Arm's mission to improve the lives of so many more kids.  

Volunteer Voices 


Sanjini, Executive Director

Please do try and be an advocate for the children in whatever way you can. Simply talking to others about our work and the plight of our little people will help create more awareness around the issue. We hope this will in turn affect change at both societal and policy level. These small steps will help work towards our OA vision and mission.  

Junhwan, Early Years Volunteer 

My school teacher was nice to students without prejudice whether the student was good or bad. I want to be a teacher because I was impressed by my teacher. I used to live at Myeongjin orphanage. When Sarah (from Life Together) and I first met, she helped me with English and many things. Just like they helped me, I want to help the kids as well. 

Emma, Early Years Volunteer 

Open Arms pursues not temporary help but sustainable help. I like its mission and it always needs help from volunteers who can speak both Korean and English. I love children and have experience working at a school speaking English and especially my native Korean. Emphasizing globalization all around the world, teaching English for children in Myeongjin would be very beneficial to them. Most of the students preferred to speak Korean rather than English. It seemed hard to communicate with them by speaking English and they needed Korean translators. However, interacting with foreigners could make them think more about other languages and understand why they should learn English. Whenever we wrap up the classes, children always ask, "Are you coming next week? How often will you visit us? When are you coming? You're definitely coming back, right? I will wait for you!” Hearing this, I thought I should give up sleeping in late once a month and visit. Commuting an hour and a half to see these children is very worthwhile and rewarding. I felt so happy that I found a perfect place to help with what little time I could spare. 

Janni, Early Years Volunteer

Open Arms is a very special organization and I am proud to be a part of it. It’s beautiful to see the effort that the whole team puts into not only teaching the kids English but most importantly making them feel loved and cared for and how happy the kids are to receive the love they are being given. The kids we get to work with are incredibly sweet and kind-hearted, so relationships are able to develop quickly. I’m hoping that even after I leave Korea I will be able to stay in contact with the girls that I have gotten close with. Some might say that the kids are lucky to have us but after volunteering for some time it has become clear that we are in fact the lucky ones for having met these incredible kids.

Welcome to the

Management Committee

James Loft - Program Manager, Myeongjin Wildflower Welfare Home

I am a British citizen that has lived in Seoul since 2018 with my wife, son and 2 dogs. In Korea, I love to be outside, whether this is hiking or riding my bike, and the scenery is alway spectacular. Open Arms gives me the opportunity to connect with smiling, enthusiastic children and the chance to give back to the local community. 

Kathrine Nielsen - Welfare Home Liaison, Cheongwoon Welfare Home

I am from Denmark and have an educational background in public health science. Ever since I was a teenager I have had a passion for human rights and held the belief that we all have a shared responsibility of trying to make the world a better place in whichever way we are able. This belief eventually led me to Korea where I have been based since 2021. I have had the privilege of working with Open Arms ever since I came here, and it is my hope that together we can contribute to a better future for the children and that they one day, in turn, are able to help push society in a positive direction.

All our committee are volunteers!

Thank you for your time and commitment to Open Arms as we continue to learn and grow!

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#2173, 20th Fl, 149, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03186 South Korea
ph. +82 10 5917 3214 (krn)
ph. +82 10 2716 5644 (eng)
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Photo credits to: Kathrine Nielsen, Katy Freeman, Nicole Gorman, Sally McEachen and all those who have contributed photos. If you would like to be given credit, please get in touch.