Spring Newsletter 2023 🌸


한국 보육원 아동을 위한 교육

Hello OpenArms,

Our work at Open Arms feels very much a reflection of Spring - it’s a time for rejuvenation, renewal and growth! We feel truly rejuvenated by our OA community which is growing at a delightful pace - welcome new volunteers! In addition to our program at CWWC and MJ, there has been much excitement due to the renewal of our Early Years program at the DT welfare home and our Toddlers program at CWWC. Soon we will also reconnect with our friends at SMW welfare home where we will host the OA Easter Egg Hunt 2023. We have been blessed with a generous donation from our newest partner AWC (the American Women’s Club) to support our growth in 2023! We are sending our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to AWC and would also like to say a special thanks to our very own Nicole Gorman, OA Fundraising Coordinator who is also a member of the AWC, for creating this link. We look forward to a lasting partnership with AWC and its generous members and hope to see more of them at our volunteer sessions.

We are very excited at the prospect of seeing our registered members at the upcoming OA AGM 2023 and social event. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring all our dedicated volunteers together and strengthen our community. The stronger we are as a group the more support we can offer the children. The AGM will update our members about our progress, underscore the importance of our work with the children in reaching our vision, and also highlight the joy it brings us as volunteers! Growing and nurturing our OA community is critical, it is what enables us to grow the safe space we have created for the children. It provides them with hope and acceptance in a world that would otherwise be a tough place even for the most motivated and determined child. Thank you all for being part of our mission to allow the children to realise their self-worth and reach their full potential!

It’s been a few years since we created our first strategic plan. As a very young organization in an ever changing landscape with limited resources we are aware that we need to ensure that we are being as relevant and prudent as possible. If anyone is interested in being part of our strategy planning sessions in April please do get in touch, we would love to have your participation and input - I promise it will be fun! 

Open Arms Creates Open Minds!

With thanks, gratitude and love to you all,

Sanjini and the Open Arms Team,



Annual General Meeting & Social

Wednesday 12th April, 2023 @ 6:30 pm

Agnes House, Itaewon

3-8 Hoenamu-ro 13ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul



We are excited to announce the return of our Easter Egg Hunt at SMW welfare home! This is our first in person event there since the start of the pandemic in 2020. We are partnering with the American Women’s Club of Korea to help run this event.

Our Programs

Katy Freeman, Education Director

We are now running weekly programs on Mondays (Toddlers) and Tuesdays (Early Years) at CWWC, Thursdays (Early Years) at DT and monthly on Saturdays at MJ welfare homes. Every program is unique but it is clear that the children love our fun filled learning activities and time spent with OA volunteers. It’s you who bring life and joy to our programs so a huge thank you for your dedication and support. Please sign up to volunteer with us so we can continue to offer 1:1 quality time with the children.


One Caring Adult per Child

Early Years Programs:

  • MJ Welfare Home

Saturday mornings, monthly

  • CW Welfare Home

Tuesday evenings, weekly

  • DT Welfare Home

Thursday evenings, weekly

Toddler Program:

  • CW Welfare Home

Monday mornings, weekly (waiting list)

You must be a registered member to volunteer.


Toddler Program


Many volunteers were waiting on the sidelines to volunteer with the toddlers and we are grateful to be able to provide each child with individual attention. CWWH is currently the only home where we have started with toddlers and we have found a noticeable difference in their trust and interaction with OA volunteers in the Early Years program. We look forward to the years ahead with the toddlers as we help inspire them down a path of future success. Every child is precious and deserving of what the world has to offer and it is ever so apparent in these beautiful little souls.

Thank you to all the OA CWWH Toddler Volunteers: Dee Dee, Ilse, Ingrid, Johanna, Judy, Lisa & Yuna


Early Years Program


It has been great to build new relationships with the girls at DT. They are beginning to get to know us as we are getting to know them. We have learnt that they love to be engaged in practical activities where they can explore and try something new. The girls thoroughly enjoyed making some valentine candies with some English instructions, planning and making fruit smoothies and also learning the names for the different parts of the body in English too.

Our thanks go to our Thursday volunteers; Marta, Vanessa, Elena, Lauren, Maya, Ingrid, Emma, Katy, Kristine, Sally and Ash 

Early Years Program


Making the candies was also a big hit with our Tuesday night group too, especially the tasting part! It is so rewarding to see the children's progress over the last few months with some children starting to read simple sentences and with some being able to identify the different sounds in the alphabet. It truly is such a blessing to be able to connect with the children and see the joy in their faces when they make these achievements.

Our thanks to our Tuesday volunteers; Hosanna, Hannah, Lauren, Junhwan, Maya, Ingrid, Sunny, Yuna, Kristine, Kathrine and Inês

Early Years Program


The children are always happy to see us at MJ for our monthly Saturday sessions. Thanks to James who provides lots of fun and engaging activities such as, seed planting, paper flower crafts, paper hat making and the biggest hit, which is playing games! For some of the children they love to just come and spend some time with our volunteers playing board and card games. Building connections and relationships with the children is for many of us such a privileged and rewarding experience.

Thanks goes to James, Anna Z, Joohee, Sally, Junhwan, Zahra, Judy, Natalia, Marisa, Brian, Kathrine, Anna B, Cristina, Elena, Maya, Darine, Gordon, Ash, Kara and Amy

Our programs would not be possible without the leadership of Katy and Sally. Katy oversees the educational programs and her passion, energy and love for the children inspires us all. She is Everything Everywhere All At Once! Sally ensures that there are qualified volunteers for our programs in a loving and safe environment. She is truly the caring friend and mother to us all. Thank you to our volunteers for making Open Arms such a special community and organization!

 Community Fundraising & Awareness


Eric's Bikeathon

Victoria, Canada

Hi, my name is Eric Seo. In April I am doing a big bike ride to raise money and awareness for the children living at CWWH. The distance I am biking will depend on how much is donated. For every $10 (₩10,000) raised, I will bike 1 km. The goal is to raise $2000 (₩2,000,000) and bike 200km so all children can receive a personalized birthday present of their choosing this year. There are approximately 60 children and the goal is to spend $30 per gift.

In 2019, I had a chance to volunteer with Open Arms as a Toddler and Early Year's volunteer at CWWH. This experience truly changed my life and opened my eyes to the painful impact of broken families in South Korea. As soon as I met these beautiful children and experienced their resilient spirit, there was a special place in my heart that was touched. I saw the need of sharing love and providing hope for these kids, so what better way to celebrate the life of each child’s birthday than with a precious gift! With the help of the team at Open Arms, we will purchase a present for each individual child on their birthday this year and provide them with the love and hope they truly deserve.


Thank you also to Justin for your guidance and encouragement and Ms. Son at CWWH for coordinating the children's birthday gifts! In anticipation of our community's generosity, these gifts are already being delivered!


Many of our volunteers keep in touch after they leave Korea and we are so happy to have a growing world-wide community! Thank you Eric for all you are doing to help the children. We are inspired and encouraged by it!

Volunteer Voices 


Justin - Committee & Fundraising Coordinator

Hi, I’m Justin! I have been living in Korea since 2011, originally from Canada. I work in global health and vaccine research. I was first introduced to OA around 2017 and I have been serving in the role of OA Fundraising Coordinator since 2021. To me OA represents a break in the cycle of neglect that many orphaned children have experienced since early childhood. I am particularly interested in coaching adolescents who are aging out of the welfare system. These young adults are motivated to survive and excel, and with the right direction, they can overcome steep odds stacked against them. Thinking about my own childhood, relationships with coaches, teachers, and counselors were important because of their purposeful nature. I hope to provide opportunities for these kids to channel their energy into productive activities and develop confidence in themselves for the future. Through my interaction with many of these OA graduates, I have been truly humbled by their resilience and industry and encouraged by their optimism and generosity.

Marisa - MJ EY Volunteer

From the moment I started volunteering with Open Arms, I quickly realized that the organization is filled with people that are infinitely passionate about their mission and the children they serve. They welcome new volunteers with such kindness and warmth and are inclusive to anyone wanting to serve this special community of children. Being even a small part of these children’s lives and spending time bonding with them brings a lot of joy into my life and I know that our volunteers are making an impact that will influence their future in the most positive way. Thank you Open Arms for letting me be a part of something so special.

All our members are volunteers!

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

Volunteering Opportunities

Be part of our Management Team:

Korean Speaking Liaisons

Financial Controller

Volunteer Director and Volunteer Coordinators

Social Media Manager

Meet Our Team!

We are looking for enthusiastic and enterprising members willing to take on the above voluntary roles. To see a summary of each role, click above or see our Meet the Team page! 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 [email protected]

Be an Early Years Program Volunteer

Click to see Criteria

To become a volunteer, you must first register as a Member of Open Arms. If you are not yet a member and wish to apply, please fill in our Initial Interest form, and we will be in touch to invite you to find out more about membership.

Initial Interest


I am honored to be the newsletter editor as it also keeps me informed of all the amazing news happening in Korea. Thank you to all the volunteers for contributing photos and reports. If you have any questions or ideas for upcoming newsletters, please email me at [email protected]. Thank you!

Photo credits to: Joohee, Junhwan, Emma Yoon, Katy Freeman, Ilse Lauwers, Dee Dee Wasmund, Hannah Jeong-Won, Sally McEachen and all those who have contributed photos. If you would like to be given credit, please get in touch.

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ph. +82 10 2716 5644 (eng)
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