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South Korea

April 20, 2022

How the May 1980 Democratic Uprising in South Korea Was Met with Brute Force: A First-Person Account

Witnessing Gwangju By Paul Courtright Hollym Publishers   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   Paul Courtright arrived in South Korea in 1979 to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer, based in a community near the southern tip of the Korean peninsula. He worked with patients afflicted with Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy. On May 19, 1980, on his way through the bus terminal in the provincial capital of Gwangju, he saw a young man being beaten by military special forces. A phone call to another Volunteer confirmed: “Something big” was going down in the city — part of a mass...

April 18, 2022

Some 2,000 Peace Corps Volunteers Served in Korea. They Have Also Helped Shape the Study of That Nation in the United States.

Peace Corps Volunteers and the Making of Korean Studies in the United States Edited by Seung-kyung Kim and Michael Robinson Center for Korea Studies, University of Washington   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   The Peace Corps sent more than 2,000 Volunteers to South Korea 1966–81, to teach English and advise on healthcare. “Their experiences affected their worldview, individual politics, aesthetic sensibilities, and views on gender discrimination,” notes the introduction to this anthology. Those experiences also fueled scholarship on Korea in the States. A small yet significant number of the Volunteers returned to the U.S. and entered academia, forming the core of...

September 27, 2021

Here Are Three Outstanding Leaders in the Peace Corps Community Honored with 2021 Awards by the Women of Peace Corps Legacy

Nancy Kelly of Health Volunteers Overseas and Amy Maglio of the Women’s Global Education Project are recognized with the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award. Estee Katcoff, founder of the Superkids Foundation, is recognized with the Kate Raftery Emerging Leaders Award.   By NPCA Staff   As part of the global virtual conference Peace Corps Connect 2021, Women of Peace Corps Legacy presented awards to three outstanding leaders in the Peace Corps community. Nancy Kelly and Amy Maglio were each honored with the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award. And Estee Katcoff was presented with the Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award. The awards were presented by Kathleen Corey, president of...

January 25, 2021

She Helped South Korea in Its Time of Need. In the Pandemic, It Repaid Her.

Decades ago, a young American woman served an impoverished South Korea as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Now the country is an economic powerhouse, and it decided to send her a token of its gratitude. By Choe Sang-Hun Photo: Sandra Nathan teaching in South Korea. Courtesy Sandra Nathan Sandra Nathan spent 1966 to 1968 in a South Korean town as a young Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching English to high school girls. Fifty-two years later, Nathan, now back in the United States, received a care package from South Korea that nearly brought her to tears. Nathan, 75, had been feeling increasingly isolated...

January 25, 2021

More to This Story: The COVID-19 Survival Box from Korea

How service as Volunteers shaped careers in public health, teaching, and more — for Americans and Koreans alike By NPCA Staff Photo: Survival box, delivered to Gary Krzic, President of Friends of Korea. Photo courtesy Gary Krzic   The gifts of more than 500 COVID-19 survival boxes to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in South Korea inspired news stories across the country. Here are a few. As some note, the Korea Foundation, which sent the boxes, coordinated with Friends of Korea, the group of returned Volunteers, to find and thank them. The Korea Foundation also created a video. A story...

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