Monday, July 28, 2008


On July 4 – 5, 2008, the Volunteers of the May 18 Memorial Foundation had a field trip and training program to Busan. There were around 40 volunteers, 6 staff, and 2 international interns. This program is conducted every year, but the program is always different each year. The training program is always conducted during summer vacation (middle of year).

The May 18 Memorial Foundation have 3 groups of volunteers, namely :
1. Research and Education Volunteer
2. Culture and Solidarity Volunteer
3. Media Team Volunteer

Each group has different work. They must help and provide assistance to the following teams: Research and Education Team and Culture and Solidarity Team. In the case of media team volunteer, they provide help to both teams.

The aims of the training program were:
1. Each group of volunteers made a presentation about their program and activity for the year. The presentation served them and the Foundation to compare program and activity for a year.
2. Volunteers should know and learn from each others program and activities.
3. Share and exchange the program and activity with the volunteers from Busan Democracy Park.
4. The volunteer from the May 18 Memorial Foundation already past their work for a year, so this program is a refresher for them.

We left the office at 9 AM by bus, and arrived in Busan around 12.30 PM. The first place we visited was the Busan Democracy Park. After, we had lunch together at their canteen.
At 2 PM we gathered in the hall and meet with the Volunteers from the Busan Democracy Park. The first agenda was introduction. After that, the program was announced.

The Volunteers were divided into 4 groups. The way of introduction was interesting. Each person must know not only the name but also age, favorite food, and the reason why they joined the program. One group included volunteers of the May 18 Memorial Foundation and Busan Democracy Park.

The next agenda was a tour around Busan Democracy Park’s area. The volunteers from Busan Democracy Park were guiding us around the Office. We went to some places, which are:

1. The roof of the Foundation. We could see the city of Busan. The guide explained about the 4.16 bridge. It is the first bridge to connect the city to the port.

2. The exhibition hall. Inside, we saw some pictures that includes the information about the history of Busan. There are 2 jail rooms in there.

3. Lobby of the Office. There is a painting depicting the uprising movement in South Korea including the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising.

4. The altar for prayers.

5. The Monument (outside of the Foundation). The Monument was built to commemorate the victims of the 4.16. There is a place to pray and shows victims memorial.

Ms. Jeong Lynn from the May 18 Memorial Foundation and Ms. Yun Hye-sun from Busan Democracy Park were responsible in coordinating the activities.

We had games in the beach near the hotel at around 5 PM. The games were sports, quiz, etc. The volunteers prepared the games, they already planned it before.

Everyone enjoyed the beach. At around 6 PM we had dinner in the Sea Food Restaurant across the beach. The volunteers continued to play in the beach.

At 8 PM we started the next agenda, volunteers from each Foundation made presentation about their program and activity the year. For the May 18 Memorial Foundation’s Volunteer, they also made a video. The story was about a dream.

The presentation finished around 10 PM, and after we separated in some groups. It was a time for solidarity with other volunteer.

In the morning, after breakfast in a restaurant near the hotel, at around 10 AM we gathered together in the big room at 6th floor. We separated into groups and everyone must write their opinion about their friends. After we took some pictures together in front of the hotel.

We also visited the Busan Modern History Museum. The museum is close to the city. In the museum we watched the documentary video and tour around the museum with a guide.

We went to the street and a book store when at the 4.16 there was a book writer wrote about the democracy and sold the book in the store. After that, we walk to one place which have stairs called 40 steps. We also went to the 40Gyedan Culture Center. The tour finished around 2 PM, and after we had lunch.

At 3 PM we left from the restaurant and went back to Gwangju by bus. In the bus almost everyone were sleeping, they were very tired because the schedule was very tight. We arrived at Gwangju at around 6 PM.

The training program was successful, but the time was very short. Should the time have been longer, the volunteers and the staff from each Foundation could have enjoy more sharing with each other.

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