Tour of the May 18th Democratic Movement sites
On the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the May 18th Democratic Movement, South Jeolla Province organized a tour of the historic sites where the movement took place. Launching the tour for the first time this year, the province invited 200 middle and high school and university students who dropped by 73 sites including May 18th National Cemetery but stretched as far as 1) Yeosu, Suncheon and Gwangyang 2) Naju 3) Haenam, Gangjin and Yeongam 4) Mokpo, Sinan and Muan 5) Hampyeong, Jangseong and Yeonggwang in each category of the five courses. The first year tour students paid a respect to those who lost their lives during the movement by polishing their gravestones and thought over their highly valuable spirit by sharing rice balls. A few members of the May 18th Society of Arrested and Injured People Jeonnam Branch also delivered to the students what really happened during that terrible period which made students solemn. “I felt really sad by hearing the testimony and I think they are truly respectable people” said a student. The branch head Go Gui-suk said “The events to commemorate the May 18th Democratic Movement is mainly happening around Gwangju. It is our goal, therefore, to raise public interests in the fact that it also took place in many places out of the city.”
Promoting community development policies
South Jeolla Province held a policy meeting with industry specialists and local residents in Jukgok-myeon, Gokseong County. The attendees of the meeting included the Gangbit Village elder Go Gwang-duk, Shinheung Village elder Kang Gi-soon, Hwayang Village 2080 activist Lee So-jung, a Gwangju and Jeonnam Research Institute’s senior researcher Min Hyun-jung, the Damyang Grass Roots Community Service Center director Kim Ha-saeng, the Jeonnam Village Communities Support Center director Moon Byeong-gyo and the Gokseong County deputy governor Sim Nam-sik. The meeting focused on activation of village communities deteriorating by lack of activity programs and younger members and brought up a number of activation measures: 1) fostering village activists and running support programs 2) villagers participatory plans and securing the necessary budgets 3) funds for sustainable growth. The meeting also raised a number of ideas to promote local specialties such as gardening, handy crafts and wooden doorplates and post box. “We need mid and long term plans in order to draw substantial results though it will take more time” said the South Jeolla Province acting governor Lee Jae-young.
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