The name of this familiar fish is “Koi.” Koi is a type of fancy carp, known for its unique characteristic.
In a fishbowl, koi can only grow to 5 to 8 cm. In a pond, koi can grow to 25 cm. In a river, they can grow up to 120 cm.
Depending on their environment, the same fish can grow to different sizes. Koi can be small aquarium fish or big river fish. Depending on our environment and the size of our dreams, our life can also be different. Break out of the fishbowl to expand your dreams. Pursue bigger dreams in a bigger world.
What should we do?
Use your passion 1000 times.
Take a challenge 1000 times.
Take action 1000 times.
Then, your dream will no longer be just inside your mind.
Soon, your dream will have the power to change the world.
Here, let us introduce you to a man who made it happen.
This man has been changing young Koreans and the world.
The achievement of his dream is related to the number “1000.”
VANK was established about 10 years ago by a college student, who was interested in developing pen-pal relationships with foreigners.
Without his passion, challenge and action, VANK would have been impossible.
1000 times using his passion
He sent 1000 emails to Korean language programs around the world.
He had never travelled abroad.
His dream was to take a trip to a foreign country.
At the time, he couldn’t afford such trips.
So, he found foreign pen-pals online.
He developed friendships with his foreign pen-pals.
He started dreaming of becoming a person who represents Korea abroad. He knew that there were other people like him who have never been abroad. For those people, he sat at an internet café and built a small pen-pal website. He needed to take other actions to recruit foreign members for his website.
Again, he used his passion 1000 times. He emailed 1000 professors who teach the Korean language at universities. Such efforts led many foreign students to join his pen-pal website.
10 years later …
Guess what happened to this website.
It has become a leading organization that helps young Koreans build friendships with foreigners and promote their country to the world.
It is now widely known as Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK).
In pursuit of persuading 1000 textbook publishers and cartographers around the world
While running the website, he discovered something unexpected. Foreign textbooks and maps have a lot of errors about Korea. The East Sea is often referred to as “the Sea of Japan.” Dokdo is often referred to as “Takeshima.”
Korean history is often introduced as a part of Chinese history.
He started searching through other textbooks to find similar errors.
He identified 1,000 authors of the textbooks that contained errors.
He launched a project to contact and persuade each of the authors to make corrections.
National Geographic and renowned textbook publishers started correcting the errors.
An increasing number of foreign sources accurately represent Korean territories and history.
A million copies of Korean promotional materials were delivered to foreign classrooms.
The young man took notice of another surprising fact.
The number of pages in foreign textbooks that cover Asian countries
Japan 20 pages
China 30 pages
Korea 1 page
Most foreign textbooks didn’t even mention Korea.
However, he didn’t despair.
Instead, he distributed Korean promotional materials to Korean students who were going abroad.
He made world maps that accurately represent Dokdo and the East Sea.
He sent these maps to classrooms around the world.
Until now, over a million copies of Korean promotional materials have been sent to thousands of classrooms abroad.
Numerous foreign students received our materials.
For the last 10 years, this young man used his passion 1000 times, took 1000 challenges, and took 1000 actions to achieve his goals.
In the beginning, his small pen-pal website was in a fishbowl.
Now, it works with 100 thousand Korean members who represent Korea.
The website is now known as an organization called VANK.
For the last 10 years, the young man and VANK members took 1000 challenges together!
As citizen ambassadors, we travelled to many different countries.
We have offered helping hands to people in Asia and Africa.
We have been growing to become true global leaders.
Now, you use passion, take challenges and take action 1000 times.
Achieve a big dream in a bigger world!
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
We hope that young Koreans find their own dreams through our 1000 projects.
They will stand on the top of the world.
Eventually, they will become giants who change the world.