So this is where the magic happens . . . . Well, actually, this is where I’ve been spending my weekdays, 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. G.O.A.’L, which stands for Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link, is a unique organization in that it provides services for adoptees returning to Korea, but it was founded and continues to be run by adult adoptees. The multitude of services they provide includes assistance with searching for birth family, translating/interpreting, adjusting to Korean culture, learning Korean language, etc. Basically, G.O.A.’L is an essential homebase for the Korean adoptee community in Seoul, and it is also a member of the IKAA network (International Korean Adoptee Associations).
My role as a summer intern at G.O.A.’L has been ideal thus far, because they provide me with free lunches. But seriously, I am so content to be able to focus all of my energies on helping the Korean adoptee community this summer. This is something I do while I’m in Seattle, but there I’m always doing it “after-hours” in addition to a full load of school-related things, etc. I’m learning more and more about G.O.A.’L as an organization, which I think will be really valuable when I return to Seattle and AAAW in the fall. G.O.A.’L is the only adoptee-led organization in the world that has its own paid, full-time staff. I appreciate all the hard work and patience these ladies (and 산토끼) display.
The main project I’ve been working on thus far is writing an employee handbook that describes the service delivery processes, organizational structure, fundraising, etc. of G.O.A.’L. The most interesting part about this project is getting to interview all of the staff members and seeing a holistic picture of how the organization works. And it seems as though the past nine months of Evans schooling counted for something . . . I’ve been able to talk with them about institutional memory, performance measurement, and the like.
My goal (haha) is to finish the first draft of the handbook by the midpoint of my internship. The last half of my summer here will entail editing the handbook as well as developing some performance measurement standards for the upcoming G.O.A.’L Conference (August 11-13, 2006) and for other programs. I might also have the chance to do some writing about G.O.A.’L and the conference for some publications (e.g. KQ).
The photo above shows my little corner of the G.O.A.’L office. We get many visitors each day who are, more often than not, my housemates at KoRoot.
The past year has been very exciting for G.O.A.’L (they finally received funding from the Ministry of Health & Welfare [Korean government]~yay!), and I think there is great potential for the future. Consider this: The peak of Korean adoptions occurred in the mid-1980’s, with approximately 9,000 children leaving each year. Those children are now entering their early- and mid-twenties, which are the prime years for visiting Korea.
August 2007 . . . . we invade!