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Global NGO Masters Program

Global NGO Master’s Program (GNMP) is a master’s degree offered by the May 18 Institute at the Chonnam National University in Gwangju, with a full scholarship granted by the May 18 Memorial Foundation. It is a four-semester two-year program. The GNMP is intended for the people who have been contributing or have the potential to contribute to leading social progress in Asia-Africa.

The program started in 2016 as a theoretical and practical educational platform for international sharing and expanding of the spirit and experiences of MAY 18 Gwangju Civilian Movement on site. The GNMP works closely with the May 18 Memorial Foundation in Gwangju, the official body commemorating the democratic struggle in Gwangju on May 18, 1980, and the students have an excellent chance to know and trace the spirit and history of democracy movement of Korea. We aim at strengthening democratic civil society through NGO workers’ global networking and solidarity across borders. For this purpose, the program provides the foreign students with a good scholarship opportunity and a living stipend.

The first batch of GNMP scholars, consisting of three students from Burkina Faso, Thailand, and Nepal, completed their course last 2018. Currently, the program has seven students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

To learn more about this program, please click here.

mayzine vol 11


The Mayzine is a webzine of May 18 Memorial Foundation covering the updates of its international activities along with the updates of human rights, democracy, and peace.
The Foundation’s local and national activities, as well as comprehensive articles on the human rights situation in Asia and overseas, are frequently featured in the Mayzine.

This month, the International Affairs Department released Volume 11 of Mayzine. This issue includes a feature about Judge Motahar Hossain, who fled Bangladesh after he faced threats and intimidation under Sheikh Hasina’s regime in Bangladesh. Likewise, four alumni of the Global NGO Masters Program and May 18 Academy shared their perspectives regarding the human rights situation in their countries.

Likewise, this Mayzine included highlights of the May 18 Memorial Foundation International Conference, a working visit to the United States by several staff members of the Foundation, and the recently-concluded Asian Human Rights Charter (AHRC) Workshop held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

So far, we published 11 volumes of Mayzine (volume 3 is currently unavailable). Here are the links to the issues:

Volume 11: http://518.org/Mayzine/201811/main.php

Volume 10: http://518.org/Mayzine/201810/main.php

Volume 9: http://518.org/Mayzine/201807/main.php

Volume 8: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201801/main.php

Volume 7: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201710/main.php

Volume 6: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201707/main.php

Volume 5: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201703/main.php

Volume 4: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201702/main.php

Volume 2: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201510/main.php

Volume 1: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201508/main.php

May 18 Academy

The May 18 Academy is a two-week-long education/training program designed for international civil society activists working for human rights, democracy, and peace. The May 18 Academy provides special lectures based on the May spirit and a valuable opportunity to share experiences among activists in solidarity. The Academy has started since 2004.

We welcome international civil society activists from around the world to promote a better understanding of Korean modern history and of commemoration events for democracy, human rights, and peace movements.

To learn more about the academy, please read the report of the May 18 Academy 2018

Gwangju Prize for Human Rights

To promote the spirit of the May 18 Democratization Movement, in which the people of Gwangju resisted against brutal military forces for the sake of democracy and human rights in 1980, the May 18 Memorial Foundation recognizes the exemplary efforts of individuals and organizations aspiring to the restoration of justice and human rights in their respective countries through the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Prize.

Since 2000, the Foundation has been bestowing the ‘Gwangju Prize for Human Rights’ to individuals, groups, and institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy, and peace in their work.

Likewise, Special Prize for Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is for an individual or an organization that has contributed to the promotion of democracy and human rights through cultural activities, journalism, and academic fields.

These prizes are awarded by the citizens of Gwangju in the spirit of solidarity and gratitude to those who have helped them in their struggle for democratization and their search for truth. It is hoped that through this award, the spirit and message of May 18 will be immortalized in the hearts and minds of humankind.

In 2018, the ‘Gwangju Prize for Human Rights’ was bestowed on Fr. Nandana Manatunga for his remarkable contribution in supporting the victims of the state violence during Sri Lanka’s Dark Age between 2005 and 2015. Fr. Nandana has especially stood on the side of the victims, who have suffered under the dictatorship of the Executive of the country, to fight for them. The victims who had been illegally incarcerated for 7 or 8 years without trials were freed with the help of Fr. Nandana.

For the call for the 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights nominations, please click here https://518org.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/foundation-announces-call-for-gwangju-prize-awardees/

Gwangju Asia Forum

The Gwangju Asia Forum is another important event organized by the May 18 Memorial Foundation to provide a unique platform for exchanging and networking with democracy and human rights activists in Asia. The ‘Gwangju Asia Forum’ takes place in May every year to bring together activists from Asia to discuss pertinent issues of human rights and democracy. The program has started since 2010.

The Gwangju Asia Forum aims to strengthen international solidarity between domestic and foreign activists working for democracy, human rights and peace. During the program, the participants have the opportunity to participate in the official ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Movement and pray for the victims souls to rest in peace. The participants will also attend the award ceremony of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.