About Friends of Korea
Friends of Korea was founded in 2002 by former Peace Corps volunteers who served in the Republic of Korea between 1966 and the 1981. Since Peace Corps ended its program in Korea in 1981, the challenge for Friends of Korea (FoK) has been to find a mission. Over the years we have been engaged in a series of activities that have given us a purpose and a focus for future activities.
While we are primarily a group of former Peace Corps Korea volunteers, we are also seeking to attract others with an affinity and affection for Korea – Fulbright alumni, army personnel, missionary children and families, K-pop fans.
Our mission is to foster cultural awareness and friendship between American and Koreans. To that end, we have three areas of activity: education, philanthropy and networking.
A sample of projects over the last few years includes the following:
- Established a “giving back” grant program to recognize social service organizations in the US that address the needs of the local Korean community. As of December 2022, FoK has donated over $70,000 to a variety of social service organizations and educational institutions both in the United States and Korea.
- Produced a DVD, The Korean Transformation, which told the story of Korea’s rapid, impressive change from a struggling country to the powerhouse it is today and PCVs’ role in that transformation. The DVD is available on YouTube.
- Developed a study guide to accompany the DVD to assist high school social studies teachers develop lesson plans around the theme of the recent economic, social and cultural transformation seen in Korea. More than 300 copies were been distributed. The guide included ‘extension’ activities so that students could learn about diversity in their local community, as well as about Peace Corps and the concept of service. This guide was recognized with with Loret Miller Ruppe Award in 2020.
- Collaborated in 2016 with the Museum of Contemporary Korean History on an exhibit focused on the role and impact of the Peace Corps experience in Korea.
- Published Through Our Eyes: Peace Corps in Korea, 1966-1981, a compilation of photos of PCVs’ life and work in Korea. This publication is no longer available.