Happy New Year 2019!

Dear beloved GNC family,

Stepping into the door of 2019, personally I am looking back at what I have done for the last decade. Meanwhile, I am also looking back at what Good Neighbors Cambodia has done for the last 15 years. Since its beginning in 2004, Good Neighbors Cambodia has had four country directors including me, and in particular from 2013 we have expanded and improved our projects very enthusiastically under the five annual themes; ‘We are Good Neighbors’, ‘Transform community through Empowerment’, ‘Partnering toward Sustainable Impact’, ‘Professionalization toward good change’, and ‘Glocalization toward togetherness’.

Thanks to the clear direction of these annual themes and your commitments, we have made eye-opening achievements. Particularly in 2018, we made lots of achievements in three key words; globalization, localization and togetherness. Initially, we calibrated all Logical Frameworks in accordance with the Global Development Approach, upgrading the Country Strategy  Plan  2016-2020.  Secondly,  we  analyzed  the  organization  through  the  OCAT (Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool-kit) to give us an orientation. Thirdly, we made big efforts to diversify funding source by obtaining global funds in order to expand our working scope and secure professionalism. Lastly, we successfully localized and optimized a community water station model, which is to gain a foothold for solving one of the chronic issues in Cambodia; drinkable water. Through the process above, we have internalized the value of the organization, while we reformed the organization to keep pace with the global trend and standards, as well as finding the growth engine for the improvement of the organization.

However, standing on the very first month of the last year of 2010s when we may need to prepare the next decade, I think that it is time for us to ask to ourselves whether we don’t forget our original role and mission, reminding ourselves what is our identity and great principle. In other words, we must Go back to the Fountain. From this reason, the Annual Theme of the year 2019, “Back to the Basic: Innovation, Economy, Justice” has been brought out. Under the theme, I would like to request you to remember the following directions.

  1. ‘Innovation’ is the very first  word defining  our identity in  the  mission  Stagnation is not a signal of the improvement, but of retrogression. The world is changing rapidly. No adaptation? No survival! We should not forget the result of OCAT which analyzed us that one of the weakest points of Good Neighbors Cambodia is ‘Innovation’. Without ‘Innovation’, we are neither able to make sustainable change nor achieve holistic development.
  2. We are here to fight against ‘Poverty’. Making a happiest society without poverty is the vision of Good Neighbors Although we define ‘poverty’ not only by economic concept but also by multi-dimensional concept, we do not deny the fact that economic aspect is important for the poor. Moreover, we believe that sustainable development is not possible without economic prosperity. Whatever we do, if the livelihood of the poor is not better off eventually, something is wrong in our approach.
  1. Good Neighbors, as an individual, must say ‘Righteousness’, while Good Neighbors, as an organization, must say ‘Justice’. Righteousness is a matter of individual relationship and it is another word of ‘Sympathy’. But, Justice is a matter of institutional dimension. Thus, Good Neighbors should not neglect to make a just system in the Cambodian society through the all aspects of our activities, by which the weak and the poor are protected and cared.

For ‘Innovation’, we should not fear to challenge to something we never experienced. Brothers and sisters, I will invite all of you to the new pathway, but fear nothing. For ‘Economy’, job opportunity, business profitability, and cash-circulation of/in the community need to be considered. For ‘Justice’, it is necessary for every GN person to have a commitment not to close eyes before injustice as well as abandoning apathy and selfishness.

Half months have already passed since the dawn of 2019. Now we need to think about a tangible and practical outcome that community people can feel. We are dreaming a global NGO, but it might be a vain ambition if we forget the purpose of why we are here. As always, lots of obstacles must be waiting to defeat our dream, and our march could be stop for a while. But I believe, victory is ours at the end as long as we stand firm in the faith of God, who is our rock and shield. (Psalm 18:2) 

I invite you to the New Year, in which I hope you to enjoy your works in peace and be an eye- witness of Good Change of our neighbors.

God bless you!

Jan 2019.

From brother Jack who loves you.