Saturday, November 26, 2005

Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School Graduation Ceremony

Myungsuk Cha
Executive Director, May 18 Memorial Foundation
Addresses the 2nd Batch Graduates of Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School

I would like to congratulate the 22 participants who have participated whole heartedly for 3 weeks to the Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School (GAHRFS). You have traveled to Gwangju, Busan, and Seoul to study Korean democracy movement and its history. I hope our second time of conducting this event is an invaluable time for you young activists who work so hard for the progress of Human Rights in Asia.

Our Foundation believe that the folk school gave some ground for you to study Korean democracy movement as well as having an opportunity for solidarity with other activists.

I hope that all of you who have met here will continue to grow solidarity and networking amongst yourselves for the improvement of democracy in your own nations. The May 18 Memorial Foundation promises to be with you always in solidarity and networking in the improvement of democracy in Asia.

I hope you will not forget the Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School and be proud of your achievements here. I want to thank all of you for your participations despite our many shortcomings. Also, I would like to thank the executive committee, lecturers, and staff.

I hope you stay healthy and leave with great memories and new hope. Thank you.

Progress Report

Jo Jintae
Secretary General, May 18 Memorial Foundation presents Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School Progress Report.

Greetings ! My name is Jo Jintae, the Secretary General of the May18 Memorial Foundation. On behalf of the education committee of the Gwangju Human Rights Folk School, I will give a report on the progress of the Folk School.

From November 7th through 25th of 2005, Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School has been going on here at Gwangju Public Servants' Education Center. We have 22 participants from 14 different nations including 2 participants paying for their own expenses. Participants had field trips and visited various places like Mangwaldong, The May 18 National Cemetery, The May 18 Liberty Park, Busan Democracy Park, Korea Democracy Foundation, Korea National Human Rights Council, PSPD, Jeonteil Memorial, Soedaemun prison, the previous site for KCIA, Ganghwa Island, Presidential Blue House, etc. Because of personal reasons, one of the participants had to leave early so a total of 21 participants are here today for the graduation ceremony.

Participants had time to learn about the Korean Democracy movement and human rights issues, and had time to discuss about the identity of Asia and Asian people. Our lecturers were leading experts in theory and practice, including Mr. Lee Gwangsu, co-representative of Asian Peace and Human Rights solidarity, Mr. Francis Daehoon Lee from PSPD, Kim Dong Chun, Park Eun Hong, Park Honggyu, Lee Haeyoung, Cho Hee Yun, Cho Jintae, Sanjeewa, Fernando Varenesse, Han hong Gu, Jeon Sunok.

I would like to mention that there were many difficulties encountered. I do appreciate the efforts of the staff to execute this program.

As I told you in our opening ceremony, learning from our shortcomings of the previous folk school, we have emphasized the effectiveness of site visit to educate. Time was devoted as well for networking with other Asian Activists. Discussion about the local situations of the participants and their organizations were also done. I believe the success of the folk school was possible due to the strong suppport, trust and confidence of The May18 Memorial Foundation to its International Solidarity Department.

I promise you more progress next year’s Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School, and I want to congratulate you all for completing the education program. This conclude my report. Thank you.

Participants Sharing their Experiences

Awarding of Certificates

Ms. Ros Zerrudo of the Philippines chosen as the Best Student for the 2nd Batch Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School 2005, being awarded her prize and interviewed after the graduation ceremony


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