Friends of Korea Letter

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 04, 2001 - 9:43 am: Edit Post

Friends of Korea Letter

Friends of Korea Letter

Friends of Korea

C/O 7970 South Vincennes Way, Englewood, Colorado 80112 USA
Tele: (303) 771-8600 Fax: (303) 771-8681
E-mail: swerner@creativeleadership

February 11, 2001

An Nyong Ha Shim Ni KKa!

The image of South and North Korean athletes leading the world into the Olympic stadium was stirring and reenergized many of us to form a Friends of Korea group. Who would have thought that a South Korean president would travel to North Korea or the Secretary of State of the United States would be welcomed so warmly in North Korea. These are wonderful times for all of us who received so much from our Korean hosts.

For many years, a small group of us – RPCVs and former Peace Corps/Korea staff – have talked about organizing a Friends of Korea group (FOK). Recently, we organized a Steering Committee and we affiliated with our parent organization the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). If you have received mailings from NPCA or attended RPCV meetings, you know that most Peace Corps countries have a group that organized to conduct education, community service, social, and friendship building activities here in the U.S. and back in their host countries. We hope to do these things and more for the people of Korea.

While organizing any group takes a few people to step forward, we very much need for you to step forward to join as a member and to be active locally and/or globally. The Third Goal of the Peace Corps was for RPCVs to share their experiences with Americans. While I am sure that most of us have carried out the Third Goal individually, FOK can be another way for all of us to do more. We have also received encouragement and offers of support from the Republic of Korea ambassador and embassy staff. We have included a letter of greeting from them.

Here are some of the projects the Steering Committee came up with at the first meeting:

* To join with Habitat for Humanity International’s Jimmy Carter Work Project in August 2001 when they build homes in six sites in South Korea.
* To conduct a symposium for Korean and U.S. Korean Peninsula scholars to determine the best way that NGOs can assist with humanitarian and bridge-building activities on the Peninsula.
* To assist the Republic of Korea Cultural Center and consulates when they bring visitors or delegations to our communities. Also, to assist the Korean Cultural Center by conducting educational activities around Korea Founders Day.
* To assist with an upcoming Korean Festival held in the District of Columbia, which is being planned as an annual event.
* To assist the State Department and Congress’s visitors program by hosting visitors to our communities.
* To organize reunion trips back to South Korea on a regular basis.
* To seek out community service projects for needy Korean families or children either in our local communities or back in Korea.

In addition, the Korean embassy has indicated that they would like to extend invitations to our members to meet distinguished Korean visitors when they come to the Washington, D.C. and when they visit communities around the U.S.

We invite you to join FOK by filling out and faxing/mailing us the membership form. The Steering Committee voted to have a combined dues structure with NPCA, which means that you can join both organizations at the same time. Annual dues for an individual will be $40 ($25 for NPCA and $15 for FOK) and $55 for a family. Your dues to NPCA will provide you with many benefits including an award winning quarterly international magazine, a newsletter focused on news about Peace Corps people, conferences, Peace Corps updates and more. Your dues to FOK will provide a newsletter with news specifically about Korea, Peace Corps/Korea people, and projects. We will also have a web site to make it easier for members to reconnect with one another. You will also receive information about receptions and events, trips, and ways for you to show your friendship with the Korean people. Part of your dues will also be used to support community service projects. You can join NPCA and FOK by returning the enclosed form or by going to the NPCA web site:

If you already belong to NPCA and a local RPCV group, then you can simply send us $15 or make a note of that when you log onto the NPCA membership page on their site. For example, Patti and I already belong to NPCA and the Denver area RPCVs, so I will be paying the difference of $15. At this time, we don’t have a provision for a family rate, so the $15 is a real bargain! All membership forms and checks should be sent to NPCA or done through their web site.

The real value of joining FOK is to reconnect with friends – Koreans, RPCVs and staff –, carry out the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, and to tangibly demonstrate our friendship with the Korean people. We will be having our first event in the early spring, most likely in Washington, D.C. and we will hold our first annual meeting of all the members during NPCA’s 40th Anniversary Conference in September 2001. We look forward to hearing from you.

On behalf of the Steering Committee,

Steve Werner, K-38

Kevin O’Donnell, First Country Director, 66-70 Richard MacIntyre, K-4

Sylvia Fubini, K-4 Margaret Pollack, K-43

Jon Keeton, Country Director 74-76 Russ Sveda, K-3

Frances Alford, K-42 Kathi Wright, K-26

Robert Nilsen, K-28

P.S. We are having a contest to design the FOK logo, which will be used in our newsletters and t-shirt. Please include your design or sketch when you send in your membership form. You will receive a free membership in FOK, a travel book of South Korea (written by Robert Nilsen), and other prizes.

By Rod MIller ( - on Monday, July 04, 2005 - 9:14 pm: Edit Post

I am a friend of Russ Sveda from many years ago when I was in school in DC, but I have now lost touch with him after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. Can you help me get in touch with him? Please give him my name and email address.

Thank you,

Rod Miller

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