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!


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