By Kim Sue-young
A group of former members of the U.S. Peace Corps, who did voluntary work in South Korea, and their family members will visit Seoul from July 5 to July 11 at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Korea Foundation, the ministry said Monday.
Incumbent U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Kathleen Stephens, also a member of the volunteer group, taught English in Yesan, South Chuncheong Province, about 30 years ago.
``They will visit where they used to render assistance to learn about the advancement of Korea and to have a reunion with their fellow volunteers,'' ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young told reporters.
Between 1966 and 1981, approximately 2,000 volunteers committed themselves to teach English, support medical treatment and offer vocational programs for underprivileged people here.
Even after returning home, they continued to keep the ties with South Korea by founding the Friends of Korea in 2000.
The organization has about 1,000 members now.
During their stay, the invitees will visit the Korea International Cooperation Agency and talk with members of the Korea Overseas Volunteers Association.
On July 10, a day before their departure, they will take part in a dinner party hosted by Ambassador Stephens, at her residence in Seoul.
The Peace Corps was established in 1960 when then-Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.
Since then, more than 195,000 volunteers have served in 139 countries to work on a range of issues including AIDS education, information technology (IT) and environmental preservation.