Good Neighbors offers innovation to people around the world

May 08

By Sean Meyer


Good Neighbors Canada launched in March 2017 with a focus on international community projects involving health, education, advocacy, and socio-economic development to establish a more sustainable global community.

That description offers a 25,000 ft. view of the mission of Good Neighbors Canada, but for Timothy Kim, it was really all about helping people.

Timothy, marketing co-ordinator for the Good Neighbours Canada, started with the organization as volunteer co-ordinator because he always felt drawn to charity work.

While he was studying for medical school his thoughts began to shift and he thought not only about becoming a doctor, but also about getting involved in creating change.

“I’ve learned a lot about Good Neighbours. They have plans and they execute those plans in a very specific manner,” Timothy said. “I needed to not just become a doctor and then go places and try to change the world by myself, I needed help from people who specialize in these areas. Good Neighbours was doing that . . . many professionals working towards that goal.”

Timothy is quick to credit Good Neighbors Canada executive director Hyang Cho — who he actually met at church as was herself a field director in countries such as Haiti and Dominican Republic — with inspiring him to join up.

Today, Good Neighbors Canada has an executive director and two staff, plus 10 regular volunteers.

Even though the team is small, Timothy said they are committed to fostering real change.

“Our motto is to create a world without hunger where people live together in harmony,” Timothy said. “We do that through providing clean water, housing, supporting communities. Our focus is children and community living.”

Timothy relishes the opportunity to get his hands dirty on the ground, such as this coming August when the team is going to Guatemala to build chicken farms with some students from Western University and possibly some elementary students from Toronto.

There are also plans to go back to help with programs in Dominican Republic.

If anyone has “even a small interest for these problems around the world,” and they are interested in making a difference through an organization like Good Neighbors Canada, Timothy said they can do so through financial donations or volunteering.

Once people go to these places, a lot of times Timothy explains it’s not them helping these people, it’s them literally changing their lives.

One way that can happen is through the launching of social enterprises.

There are business people and companies, Timothy adds, that are willing to help, but just don’t know how.

With that in mind, Timothy said it makes sense for Good Neighbors Canada to be located at Innovation Works.

After all, it’s a community Timothy said shares their organization’s collective visions. There needs to be a bridge between non-profits and for-profits, he added, because each excels in different areas of expertise.

“We share our strengths and if we can we come together to help. As our name says, being a good neighbour is crucial to us,” Timothy said. “It’s been great (at Innovation Works), we’ve been getting a lot of ideas. People here share similar thoughts, face similar obstacles, but they’re really willing to help each other out. It all starts from this place and then goes out into the world. It spreads the love, the passion, that’s involved.”

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