Do I need a criminal record check to volunteer with HOPE?



A criminal record check is mandatory if you want to volunteer teach.

If you are interested in doing non-teaching volunteer work, a criminal record check is not needed. For available non-teaching volunteer opportunities such as serving food to the homeless and helping out at an orphanage, please send an email to monthlyevents.hope@gmail.com.

If you want to be a volunteer teacher for HOPE, we require that you submit a Criminal Record Check. This is the same security check that is required for all language teachers and E2 Visa holders. You do not need to be an English teacher to apply, nor do you need the request of an employer.

What type security check do I need to obtain?
  The reason we ask for your security check is strictly for security purposes. It is mandatory for our volunteers to provide these documents due to the nature of the volunteer work, the age, and situation of the children involved. We hope you can understand the necessity of us demanding security checks. We must take every precaution necessary, as this is the only way we can screen our volunteers. We do not, in any way, pass on your information to others.


Where can I get a security check done?
  • Write a letter or email to the local Police Department/County Law Enforcement Agency (in your home country) requesting a criminal record check.
  • Send 2 scanned copies of  I.D. (i.e. passport, driver's license) with a letter requesting that this criminal record search be completed with your signed consent.
  • Pay the required fee (this will vary with each state/province).

To speed up the process, your family may be able to take care of this in person at the police station if they have your written and signed consent. This, of course, is dependent on individual state/province privacy laws, so it is best to check with the proper authorities first.

Please check with your local embassy for a more detailed explanation. 
For embassy information, visit: http://www.korea4expats.com//Embassies-service.html

Or visit the following website for additional information on police checks:http://www.korea4expats.com/article-info-sources-for-police-checks.html

Is it okay if I get the security check done in Korea?

If you have been living in Korea for longer than 2 years and are considered a non-resident in your country of origin, then you may apply for the security check here.

I heard that due to immigration laws, it is illegal to do volunteer work if you have a work visa? Is that true?


It is completely legal to volunteer in Korea if you are here under a work visa (i.e. E2 visa). As long as you are not getting paid for your volunteer work, it is now within your legal right to do volunteer work. There has been considerable confusion regarding this matter, as the immigration office has not posted information on their website and refuses to provide written documentation stating their position on volunteering. We have, however, contacted them multiple times over the phone and were reassured that it was completely fine. They encourage any individuals, uncertain of policies regarding volunteer work, to personally confirm this, by contacting their local immigration office at:

How do you screen students? How do I know the children I will be teaching are really ¡°underprivileged¡±?
  All of our Partner Host Centers are established and credible non-profit organizations operating in Seoul.  Each center works within their local community in various ways to provide assistance to children that would not get the help otherwise.  With close ties to the people in their community, each center is responsible for screening and ensuring all children being helped meet the specific criteria for underprivileged status
What is a partner host center?
  Partner Host Centers are non-profit organizations that have similar interests in helping underprivileged children. By forming a partnership with HOPE, Partner Host Centers provide the classroom and access to those students who cannot afford English lessons.
How many hours do I have to commit each week?
  You can commit from as little as one hour a week to as many as you would like. As with any educational program, especially those provided by non-profit organizations, a consistent teacher is crucial in establishing rapport with students. Something as simple as a familiar, smiling face can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the lessons, and consequently on the lives of the children we aim to help. Because of this, we formally request that each volunteer commit to at least 3 months of volunteer work.
I work weird hours. When do I have to teach?
  This is entirely up to you. You tell us the days and times you want to volunteer. We¡¯ll try to find something that matches your schedule.  However, because most children are in school during the day, most of our classes are weekday evenings and on weekends.
What if I have trouble communicating with my Partner Host Center?

To assist our volunteers, we partner all of our teachers with Volunteer Coordinators.  Volunteer Coordinators will help you find a PHC (Partner Host Center - various non-profit organizations that provide children with a location to study), help set up your classroom, accompany you to your first lesson to help you locate your PHC, provide any translation that may be needed to communicate with your PHC's administration, and answer any of your general questions while volunteering for HOPE.

Through the difficulties of trial and error, we realized the necessity for having the assistance of a native Korean speaker during the first month of classroom instruction.  Barriers, cultural differences, communication problems and the unfamiliarity of the not-for-profit sector in Korea can result in many unnecessary frustrations.  Our Volunteer Coordinators are here to make your volunteer experience as simple as possible.  Please do not hesitate to voice any concerns, comments, suggestions or questions to your Volunteer Coordinator.  They, like you, believe in this cause and are dedicating their time to help underprivileged children.

Do you have any centers outside of Seoul?
  Unfortunately, not. Due to our limited resources and the overwhelming amount of work we currently face in Seoul alone, we have no plans for expansion to other areas of Korea at this time.
What is taught in the classroom?
  That depends on the age and level of your students. Before your first day of teaching, we will provide you with a class list that includes the age, gender, names and levels of all the students attending. Some Partner Host Centers will have books available, some won¡¯t. The curriculum is fairly flexible. If you require books, we may be able to provide them for you. Because of the limited time that is spent with the children, perhaps the most important thing that is taught in the classroom is familiarity with a foreigner and exposure to a different culture.

A continuous work-in-progress, HOPE has a website set up with various classroom resources:

I need help with curriculum. What resources do you have available?
  For additional assistance, we have an academic coordinator, Retha Choi, available to help. Please feel free to contact her at joydolly1@yahoo.com with any questions or concerns you may have about your classroom instruction.

  Guest Book
 [re] official  (2010/04/18)     
How are you doing John?

Yes, we are registered as NGO since summer of 2009.

Thank you for your interest.

>I was wondering if you are (or trying to become) an official non profit organization in Korea.
>Thank you.