VANK(Voluntary Agency Network of Korea) is cyber diplomatic organization which started in 1999 when a young man exchanged e-mail with a foreign friend. He was shocked that his foreign friend knew very little about Korea or had incorrect wrong information about Korea.
He started to dream that if one Korean had 5 foreign friends and let them know the correct information about Korea then one day, 6 billion friends around the world will understand Korea in the right way. Thus Korea will be a familiar country like a friend.
Now, there are 70,000 VANK members who have the same dream of becoming cyber diplomats to let the world know of Korea with the vision of 'Korea, the hub of Asia, gateway to Northeast Asia, a country which shares its dream, friendship and business with all the people around the world.' They spare no effort in realizing this vision by helping the world get to know of Korea on the Internet as cyber diplomats.
Since 2005, VANK youth members have been using cyber diplomatic programs in their club activities in schools to expand their scope of activity. At present, there are about 400 VANK clubs. The most delightful news is that young people, who will carry the future of Korea in the globalized world, are taking the lead in sharing their dreams and friendship with students in the global village to teach them about Korea through various activities.
Through exchange with people around the globe, Koreans gain more opportunities to introduce Korea more naturally. In this way, they were also able to get to know things about Korea that they did not know before. And they began to love Korea even more. With VANK cyber diplomats, who dream of becoming the main players to change the image of Korea in the global society, people in the world are now changing their perception of Korea. They wonder more about Korea, a very small country which can be seen only if they look for the Pacific Ocean. They now look into the Korean dictionary to learn Korean even though they did not know anything about Kimchi. They even send letters to publishers requesting to change the Sea of Japan in foreign text books to the East Sea. All this shows that Korea is growing more in the hearts of global people.
Through the activities of the past 10 years, there is something VANK realized. An ordinary student in elementary, middle and high school can become a diplomat representing Korea in the world if they are presented with right dreams and vision. In fact, VANK's members have their own mission to represent Korea to worldwide friends. They are now creating the past, present and future of Korea.
VANK cyber diplomats have expanded their territory by dreaming of a vision. Now, after 10 years, VANK dreams of a new dream.
Ten years ago, ordinary Korean netizens became cyber diplomats to change the image of Korea in the world. Now we wish that they will become true world leaders who will listen to global issues more attentively and solve them more wisely to change the world.