Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Information For The GAHRFS 2006 Participants

Background Information and Travel Advisory on The Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School 2006

1. The May 18 Memorial Foundation

The May 18 Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1994 by the survivors of the 1980 Gwangju Uprising, and their families and the citizens of Gwangju. The Foundation aims to commemorate and continue the spirit of struggle and solidarity of the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising; to contribute to the peaceful reunification of Korea, and to work towards peace and human rights throughout the world.

Since its establishment, the Foundation engaged in organizing memorial events, scholarships, research, public information dissemination, publication, international solidarity, and the annual Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Awards.

2. The Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School 2006

2.1. Goals
The Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School 2005 aims to contribute to the development of democracy and human rights in Asia by giving those who have been working for human rights and peace organizations in different Asian countries a chance to learn about the history and process of the development of human rights and democracy in South Korea.
2.2. Education
a) The Asian Human Rights Folk School will introduce the participants to Korean history and to the movements and struggle for democracy, including the 1980 Gwangju Uprising, through both theoretical and practical experiences such as seminars, discussions and field trips to the sites of democratization movements in Korea.
b) The participants will be asked to prepare and present group and personal reports, and to participate in the cultural night by making a cultural (group) presentation.

3. Travel Advisory

3.1 Pre departure
a) You will be staying away from your homes for three weeks so please prepare psychologically, spiritually, emotionally so that your learning experience here will be a fruitful one.
b) The following documents should be in your hand-carried bags
- Passport - Visa - round trip ticket - invitation letter from 518MF
c) Pocket Money: Bus fare is 35,000 won while snacks/meals at the bus stops cost 3,000 to 5,000 won. There are a number of banks inside Incheon International Airport that change dollars to won at approximately $1 to 1,000 won. Get some coins from the bank or from any convenient stores inside the airport as you will need them to make a call.
d) Clothing – The autumn season is approaching so bring light jackets to keep you warm. For the visit to Panmunjom, please bring collared shirts/blouses, closed shoes, and slacks or pants. (Jeans, rubber shoes and non-collared shirts are not allowed). Please bring formal attire for the opening day. The rest of your stay will be in casual wear. Please also bring your traditional dress/suit for our cultural night and rubber shoes for our hike to Meudeung Mountain. There’s a swimming pool nearby so you may also bring swim wear if you plan to swim after the sessions.

3.2 Arrival at Incheon

a) Proceed to Incheon International Airport -Passport and Immigration Control. At the Immigration Counter, you will have to show the following documents:
Your valid international passport, containing your visa (if applicable)
Your Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School 2006 invitation letter.
Evidence that you intend to leave the Republic of Korea at the end of the program (normally your round air-ticket will suffice)
If you did not bring your visa before your departure from your home country, the immigration officer at the airport may refuse your entry.

b) After Immigration Control counter, collect your luggage at the Baggage Claim area, then proceed to the Customs area. If you have goods to declare, fill out a Customs Declaration form. If you have no goods to declare, you must still go through Customs and submit the form notifying that you have nothing to declare. For more detailed information on the arrival procedure, please refer to Incheon International Airport website: (But don’t worry, it’s easy.)

c) Check your bus schedule and purchase bus ticket. At the airport’s gates are bus stations to different destinations. Proceed to Bus Stop 8A and purchase ticket to Gwangju City at the counter nearest it. Please note that there’s another place in Seoul called Gwangju so you have to say “Gwangju Jollanamdo” to be sure.

d) Make a call. Once you know your bus schedule, please call any of the contact numbers listed at the end of this document. Public phones inside and outside the airport gates enable you to make calls to land phones and handphone/ cellphone after dropping in a 100 won coin. Instructions on how to use the public phones are in Korean so you will need to seek the help of a Korean. Don’t worry, they will be very willing to help you .Your call will allow us to know what time we should come and pick you up at the Gwangju bus station when you arrive.

3.3Arrival in Gwangju City

All buses arrive on time and at only one station. We will be there to pick you up and bring you to our lodging place. There are public phone booths at the bus station as well, in any case.

Have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Contact Persons:

Should there be any problems or changes with your planned trip to Gwangju, please contact the May 18 Memorial Foundation through
Mr. Chanho Kim
Director, International Cooperation Team
Mobile: +82 10 4642 6650 (international)
010 4642 6650 (local)

Mr. Jonghak Jung
Staff in Charge and Interpretor
Mobile: +82 10 2676 6776 (international)
010 2676 6776 (local)
E-mail :

Mr. Amin Shah
International Intern
Mobile: +82 10 5696 0518 (international)
010 5696 0518 (local)