Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thank you for a wonderful 16 months!

Goodbye from Chloe...
After almost eighteen months with 518, the time has come for me to leave the Foundation. Over the past year and a half I have learnt so much from the staff and volunteers at 518 and from many citizens of this remarkable city, Gwangju. When I first arrived back in March 2009, I could hardly imagine what the next year had in store. From the very beginning we were busy with the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights and preparations for the International Peace Forum. Our team was much smaller then, but although sometimes the work was stressful, I was grateful for the opportunity to be fully involved in these events. The Forum and the Folk School, in particular, were great opportunities to meet activists from around the world and to learn about human rights in Asia. For me, the feeling of solidarity during these two events made all the hard work worthwhile! I will never forget the memories I have of those times.

As I prepare to leave the Foundation, I would like to thank all the staff at the May 18 Memorial Foundation for their kind welcome and continued support throughout my time in Gwangju. Many of these colleagues have become good friends: I look forward to keeping in touch in the future and hearing about all the wonderful things life has in store for them.

In particular I would like to thank my team - Chan Ho, Lynn, Subash, Che Ung, Hee Jung, and now Maria and Santiago too – for their patience, encouragement, guidance and good humour! I cannot imagine my time here without them: they have been a huge part of my experience both in and outside the office. I wish them all the best in life, and of course, I hope we keep in touch!

Finally I would like to thank the following: our 518 volunteers for making me feel like “one of the team”; the staff at GIC and KONA Centre who are doing an amazing job of pulling our community together; Pete Rahon for his long-distance support; Wolgwang Church for being my “home from home”; Sungkonghoe University for inspiring me to keep learning; and everyone else who has contributed to a wonderful time in Korea. Thank you and God bless!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Experience sharing and best wishes of previous interns on 30th Anniversary:

Madhav Prasad Gautam
Investigation Officer
The National Human Rights Commission, Nepal
Previous Intern, 2006

I had very good experience with May 18. It was my pleasure to work with May 18 as an intern in 2006. I learned many aspects of Korean culture, democratic struggle of Korea while I was in May 18 Memorial Foundation. Besides that I had chance to learn about democracy and human rights in Asia. I felt that Korea has a very rich culture and their loving nature towards us was very unforgettable moment for me. In my experience with May 18 was very pleasant and excited. That period was one of the happiest periods of my life. I got more confident from there. I learned about documentation of human rights and democracy. One of the important aspects of my experience was I knew how to work with multicultural team. I am using that experience and skill here in Nepal while working in human rights protection and promotional work.

I would like to congratulate May 18 Memorial foundation family in these auspicious occasion and good wishes for their future work. Hope one day I will have opportunity to visit May 18 family again.

Tumenbayar Chuluunbaatar
Lawyer and Program Officer
The Program Combating against Human Trafficking
The Centre for Human Rights and Development
Previous intern, 2007

Foremost, I would like to say that working as intern in The May 18 Foundation was good opportunity for me. I learnt lots of things about Korean history especially democratic movement of Gwangju and other cities of South Korea as well about Korean culture. So, I respected Korean people's courage and struggle for democracy. I realized that any kind of development without democracy can not be helpful for its citizen.

I think that Gwangju Democratic Movement was not only for democracy. This movement also was for freedom and for keeping people's dignity. Moreover, it influenced to change people's thought about democracy and next activity and movement for democracy in South Korea. Therefore, I think that 30th Anniversary of Gwangju Democratic movement is a special occasion for all over the South Korea not only for Gwangju city.

So, this is my feeling.

Amin Shah Iskandar
Asian Public Intellectual (API) Fellow for 2009-2010
Previous Intern, 2006

I'm glad to be one of the International Intern of the 518 Foundation (2006-2007). From there i've learn a lot on how the Gwangju citizens sacrifices themselves to fight the military dictatorship for the sake of democracy.
Gwangju citizens has shows the world that with people power, everything is possible!

Thency Gunasekaran
Pursuing a Masters of International Studies
Ewha Womens University
Previous Intern, 2007

In a nutshell I would say that my internship opened my eyes to the importance of international solidarity
in the human rights movement. My internship enabled me to meet activists from different parts of the world and learning about
the work that these activists do inspires me a lot.

Gregoria Barbarica Kristina Ritasari
Previous Intern, 2008

I know it is already too much late, but I am still want to say CONGRATULATION for the 30th anniversary. It was an amazing time when I was an intern in May 18 Foundation. I always miss that time, especially Gwangju people. They were really nice to me. And i love the Korean food.;-). Success!

Monday, April 05, 2010

New Interns for 2010

Hello, my name is Maria Hussain, from Bangladesh and new international intern at May 18 Memorial Foundation.

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another”- I believe these words of Dalai Lama and really want to do something to provide peace for other people. I completed my Bachelor of Social Science Degree from Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. This specialized subject helps me a lot to feel interest in such areas like peace education, conflict resolution, Human rights and democracy. That’s why since 2005, I am involved with Liberation war Museum of Bangladesh, at first as a volunteer than as a program Assistant, where I specially work in outreach program which run to aware the children about our Liberation War, human rights of mass people, civic education and peace education and also with the cultural section of museum. For that reason my organization selected me for this internship to know much about my interest area. And I am thankful to May 18 Memorial Foundation for giving me opportunity to come here which help me to know better all these things. At the same time I am excited because this is the first time I get opportunity to know other culture. So I hope it will be my memorable moment for my whole life.

My name is Santiago Ximenes Vaz and I am one of the new interns, 2010 at Gwangju the May 18 Memorial Foundation. I come from Timor Leste, the newest nation in the world, and it’s categorized as the Least Developed Countries (LDC).

I have worked as a research staff before in Peace and Conflict Studies Center (PCSC). Personally, research is a center of studying and education information among students and based communities in order to sharing information and knowledge to each other in field work of human rights and as the features of concrete action to contribute in preventing violation and the steps of promotion and protection of human rights, democracy, and peace.

m great honored to be here and the May 18 event is one of remarkable fact for people all over the world that democracy is fundamental part of human rights, thats why it is necessary to be implemented and to be struggled as our heroics and martyrs re done for our freedom and with their dead for our future.

I trust that my instant with 518 will consent me to increase my live through and upgrade comprehension of Asian human rights.

At this time, I stand and invite people to sacrifice your instance and intelligence to support and build network of consciousness education for human rights wherever and whenever you are. Through this kind of awareness, it will be helpful for people to understand and achieve the right to have dignity and enjoy the live in anytime and elsewhere.

Santiago is genuinely cared to see new environment and its people making relationships and learning new thing for future where there is peace and social justice for all.

After all, his deepest thank goes to the May 18 Memorial Foundation for giving such an occasion as a process of learning by doing.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Call for nominations for Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award 2010

Each year, the May 18 Memorial Foundation announces this award in a spirit of solidarity with those working towards democracy. The award goes to one individual or organization who has contributed to the promotion and advancement of human rights, democracy and peace in their work.

Candidates eligible for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights are nominated by other individuals or organizations. An individual cannot nominate himself or herself.

Core criteria:
1) A person or group who is actively involved in the promotion of Peace and Human Rights and the development of Democracy.
2) A person or group working for the reunification of Korea.
Nominations will be taken from November to the first week of May. Preliminary and final reviews of nominees take place from May to April, and the winner of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award will be announced in the last week of April.
November 2009
Announcement and nomination forms are sent out. The Committee sends out invitation letters containing forms to persons who may be interested in making a nomination.

01 March 2010
Deadline for submission of the form and related documents. The Committee assesses the candidates' work and prepares a shortlist.

April 2010
The committee reviews the shortlist and consults advisers as to their knowledge of chosen candidates. The advisers do not directly evaluate nominations nor give explicit recommendations. On April 23, 2010, committee members will choose a winner and the next day a public announcement and press conference will be held to announce the winner.

18 May 2010
Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award Ceremony. The prizewinner receives the award.
The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award will be presented to the laureate at a ceremony in Gwangju, Republic of Korea on May 18, which is the 30th Anniversary of the Gwangju Uprising. The Award consists of a gold medal, a certificate and a 50 Million Korean Won (KRW 50,000,000.00) grant to support the ongoing work of the laureate.
The annual Gwangju Prize for Human Rights has the following aims:1) To enhance the spirit of the May 18 Democratic Uprising by recognizing individuals, groups and institutions who have contributed to protecting the human rights of the excluded, impoverished and disempowered at the grassroots level.2) To reward individuals, groups and institutions for promoting the goals of the May 18 Democratic Uprising as a movement toward peace, unification and cooperation.
Application Form (Download)
The application deadline is 01 March 2010.
Email: gwangjuprize@gmail.com