top of page


Open Arms is a volunteer-driven organisation.

Meet the passionate and hardworking leaders of Open Arms!

Our Founder

Barbara Bai

I am a Korean Canadian who has also lived in Belgium and Korea. I have volunteered with various international and social welfare organizations throughout my 17 years abroad. Living in Korea completed me. It was the missing piece I never knew I was missing. I am proud of my beautiful heritage and passionate about learning and sharing its culture. I also love cooking, especially for other people. My chocolate chip cookies will always remind me of the children and their smiles while eating them.

Inger Winther Johannsen
Executive Director | Danish

I live in Seoul with my husband, daughter and the cat, Mandu. We have been here since 2022 and love the city and Korea. Before coming to Korea I have worked with welfare development and the rights and wellbeing of placed children. Being a part of Open Arms is therefore a meaningful way of continuing this work and making a difference in the children's lives. Important work with good people. 

Alicia Chung
Representative DirectorKorean Canadian

I am a Korean Canadian currently based in Seoul and a mum of a lovely young son who attends Seoul Foreign School. I believe God has led me to this beautiful team and to the precious children to be of good service in many ways, especially in my field of dealing with boring government documents in Korean or tax/accounting numbers, etc. I can finally make good use of what I have painfully learned thus far as a certified public accountant…LOL

Katy Freeman
Educational Director | British

I am originally from the UK but have lived overseas for the past 20 years teaching in various International Schools along with my husband and 2 daughters. I am currently a teacher at Seoul Foreign British School. Being part of Open Arms is a very special part of my life here in South Korea, opening up my world to some amazing people and beautiful children.

Finance Director | Hungarian

I am a wife and a mother of two teenage boys. I used to be a fraud examiner and financial consultant in my professional career. We are excited and happy to be in Seoul. I love to explore the city and its art, I read a lot and enjoy cooking. I love to be outside and spend time with my friends.

Justin Im
Communication & Fundraising | Canadian

 I am working as a field epidemiologist and have been involved in vaccine research focusing on preventing infectious disease in the world’s poorest populations. I love being outdoors, particularly on my bike somewhere in a quiet and picturesque part of Korea. 

Colleen Allan
Communication & Fundraising | American

I am from California and moved to Seoul in 2022 with my husband and 3 daughters. I am a marketing consultant and frequently volunteer at Seoul Foreign School. I love reading books, playing tennis and planning international adventures. I enjoy volunteering with local organizations like Open Arms that support children.

Amethyst Etessam
Volunteer Director | Canadian

I'm in Korea with my husband, while I study sociology with a focus on at-risk-youth, abroad. My career background in disability employment and recruitment. I am a fitness fanatic!

Nancy Kim
DT Program Coordinator | Korean-American

 I am recently transplanted to my birth country of Korea by way of NYC and most recently, Houston, Texas.  I have a background in commercial real estate with a special interest in Urban Planning and how the built space impacts the socioeconomic outcomes of the underprivileged.  It is an honor and a privilege to get to serve some very special kids in Korea! 

James Loft
Academic Team Lead | British

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. 

Dee Dee Wasmund
Toddler Team Leader | American

I am a mom with a heart for parentless children. I love volunteering with the Open Arms team to share encouragement with the precious children in local welfare homes in Seoul - with hopes of helping them build a brighter future.

Emma Yoon
Welfare Home Liaison

Bio coming soon!

Kathrine Nielson
Welfare Home Liaison | Danish

I have an educational background in public health science. Since I was a teenager I have had a passion for human rights and believe that we all have a shared responsibility to make the world a better place in whichever way we can. 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.

Joohee Byon
Welfare Home Liaison | Korean

As a reflective practitioner, I am a Change Management Consultant for adult organizations and shaper for kids.  An inspired traveler worldwide and the mind to share my experience and knowledge is my life. As Henry Miller said, our destination is never a place but a new way of looking at things.

bottom of page