The May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising.
I first knew about it sometime in year 2008, when my coordinator emailed and encouraged me to apply for the folk school in Gwangju. At that time, I was a newbie in human rights work. I was so excited. I know I will learn a lot about human rights, democracy and peace. Sadly for many reasons, I gave up the opportunity.
Seven years after, the chance to apply again came in. It has now a new name. From Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School, it is now called The May 18 Academy. I was grinning when I received the email from the May 18 Foundation staff, mentioning my name as one of the twenty participants for the Academy 2015. Of course, I can no longer pass up the opportunity to learn. I did some research about it and interviewed two of my colleagues who were an alumni. They told me that there are intensive lectures, assignments, field trips, immersion through living in a foster family and learn about Korea’s culture and human rights situation.
With my colleagues’ words, I prepared myself by doing some readings about the Gwangju Democratic Uprising through the May 18 website. I even prepared myself to adjust about the Korean food. I was looking forward to gain more knowledge about other cultures and human rights situation as well in other countries through my co-participants.
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Crystal Flores is a Research, Documentation and Information Program (RDIP) staff of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP).
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