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Our Roots

The Yang Won Sun Foundation was established in 2020 as a private family foundation based in Hong Kong. The foundation received majority of its assets from Joung Hwan Kwak and his wife Won Sun Yang.

The couple moved to Hong Kong from Korea in 1992 and have called this city home ever since. Won Sun and JH continue to maintain their roots and hold a strong identity as Koreans along with its values. A serial entrepreneur, throughout all of JH’s business activities, he gained a reputation as a tough, honest and fair-minded businessman. He has long believed that it is part of his responsibility to repay society and provide benefits and opportunities to the future generation. Won Sun has been a staunch supporter of philanthropy and has been committed to giving back to the community in the realms that are reflected in the foundation’s areas of giving. YWS Foundation is a culmination of the couple's values and principles in efforts to give back to society.


The world is more integrated than ever due to globalization driven by international trade and investment where barriers across national borders and cultures are eliminated through the spread of products, people, technology and information. With the surge of the liberal international order the world is better connected than ever before.

Regrettably, recent developments have shown that governments around the world are pivoting towards an isolationist path, putting the international agenda at risk. Covid-19 pandemic is presenting the world with a new set of challenges it has never seen before. Countries are contemplating becoming decreasingly global, walls have come back up and the world economy and international stability is under threat.

When governments are shifting towards protectionism, cultivating exchanges and maintaining ties at the grassroots level becomes more important.

Our connectedness is a gift. We are dedicated to taking on the role as informal ambassadors and cultural diplomats to not only continue to embrace the interconnectedness, but also utilize the relationships we build to make the world a better place together.


Recognizing that our resources are limited, grants will be deliberate and purposeful in order to engage in strategic philanthropy. In honor of our heritage, we are invested in creating a brighter future for a diverse and inclusive Korean community spanning the wider Korean diaspora. Our priorities lie in providing funds to grantees who:

  • Create relevant and accessible Korean experiences globally

  • Inspire efforts that strengthen the unity of the broader Korean diaspora community

  • Work to promote Korea’s rich history

  • Aspire to broaden and fortify what it means to be “Korean”

  • Either directly or indirectly run programs in Korea

Such efforts will ensure the survival and growth of Korean culture in the modern world while simultaneously working to preserve the Korean tradition.

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