African Dream

The world’s superpower
The world’s strongest economic power
The world’s strongest military power
The world’s most desired country to live

The land of opportunity, America
American dream
The country where people of the world go to achieve their dreams

The continent of the world’s poorest countries
The continent of malaria and AIDS
The land of never-ending conflict and wars 
However, abundant natural resources are hidden behind those difficult conditions. 
Beautiful natural scenery
The continent of time-honored culture and traditions

In this hidden land of opportunity, VANK found an African dream.
African children and teenagers are struggling with poverty, disease and war.
As a country that achieved both democratization and urbanization in only 50 years, Korea can bring hope to Africa.

VANK members have changed their country and the people through their dreams.
The African continent has hidden values and cultural heritage.
We want to help Africans discover their unique values and feel proud.

Young Koreans will take the lead.
This is a new dream that VANK has found.

The first step in achieving this African dream
VANK’s visit to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, the animal kingdom in southern Africa
The host of the Victoria Falls
The repository of abundant underground resources
Glorious history and culture
The Great Zimbabwe

However, the international image of Zimbabwe is quite different.
The poorest country, North Korean ally, Malaria and AIDS, political instability and a former British colony
During the European imperialist era, Africans suffered from exploitation and oppressive rule.

Through that sad period, Africans forgot their brave and proud history.
Children and teenagers in Zimbabwe live everyday in despair.
VANK decided to become their friends and bring hope to them.

Most people in Zimbabwe didn’t even know where Korea is.
Some just knew of the Korean drama, Daejanggeum.
We presented the culture of Korea to people in Zimbabwe.

Fan Dance in elementary school

Fan dance performance
Korea’s traditional games
Ganggangsulrae, Group circle dance with Zimbabwe people
Our friendship began like this in Zimbabwe.

Korea has emerged as one of the world’s top 10 economic powers from being one of the poorest countries 50 years ago.

Dreaming of a better future for Zimbabwe, we flew paper airplanes into the sky. 
Zimbabwean Children wrote their wishes on those paper airplanes.

We got on a bus to leave Zimbabwe to return home.
Zimbabwean children followed our bus and screamed.
“Hey, friend, please come back!”

Their voices never left our minds, and we began to have a new dream for Africa.
This dream became an unavoidable responsibility after our meeting with the vice-president of Zimbabwe.
We met a lot of people in Zimbabwe, but our meeting with her is unforgettable.

VANK director with vice-president of Zimbabwe

Her sincere request for our help
Koreans still have the wounds of the Japanese imperialism that made them suffer 100 years ago.
Africans also have the wounds of the European imperialism that made them suffer in the past.
Through that time of suffering, Africans forgot their brave and proud history.

Today, they live the life of subservience and servility.
Although it went through a similar experience, Korea managed to become the center of Asia.
Young Koreans can plant seeds of hope in the hearts of Africans. 
Give them the courage and hope for Zimbabwe to become the center of Africa.

Her sincere request moved us.
Internationally, Korea is less known for its 5000 years of history and cultural heritage.
Korea is more known as a former Japanese colony and a divided war-prone country.

Zimbabwe also has a great history and valuable resources for tourism.
However, Zimbabwe is mostly known for such negative images as AIDS and poverty.
Please guide us with your experience of promoting Korea to the world for the last 10 years.

She has a dream for Zimbabwe.

I hope young Zimbabweans regain their pride for the history of the Great Zimbabwe.
They can correct the distorted images of Zimbabwe in the world.

They should believe in their inner strength to promote the accurate history of Zimbabwe. One day, Africans will overcome the remnants of imperialism, such as the colonized mentality. They will regain their confidence.

When the day comes, they will appreciate the effort of Koreans to help them realize the value of the real Africa. Talks with the Zimbabwean vice-president and officials encouraged us to continue our effort.

We made a promise to them.
Friends of Africa, Korea Project

We are now going to do more than promote Korean culture and history to the world. We promised to promote African culture and history to the world with VANK members.
Our promise was publicized to all the people through Zimbabwean newspapers.

VANK and its members have promoted Korea to the world for over ten years.
Now, we wish to share our time to give hope to Africans through our promotional efforts. It can do what economic support and food aid cannot do.

We have another responsibility that is as important as promoting our culture and correcting historical distortions. Helping out our neighbors in need

VANK has laid a path that can guide Africans to promote their culture and history to the world. 

Friends of Africa, Korea Project

Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK) invites young Koreans to this exciting project.
Korean government and corporations provide financial aid to Africa.
With VANK, you can provide promotional aid to Africa, the land of new opportunities.

Somebody may ask us.

“Why do you want to make friends with Africa, instead of developed countries like America and European countries?”

VANK will answer without hesitation.

“We see the hope of young Africans on a path where nobody has gone.

Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK) is waiting for young Koreans, who will plant a seed of hope in Africa.

Walking this path with VANK, you become a friend of the world.

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