“Limits is denial…”
There’s an energy that Hyang Cho possess.
It’s radiated through her actions; the bounce in her walk, the projection in her talk, the extension in a smile she throws your way. Her friendliness and charm is compensated by her direct approach to dealing with matters. There is no denying who’s boss. Ms Hyang, as she is courteously called by her staff, quoted philosopher Spinoza during one of our conversations. I couldn’t help feel this summed up the Korean born director and her attitude towards her work- determined.
With no knowledge of Spanish, Ms Hyang arrived in the Dominican Republic two years ago as a Project Manager. In less than a year and nine months she had already built a strong foundation which would make Good Neighbors Dominican Republic an organisation equip to tackle community development challenges which would improve the lives of so many. All the knowledge she gained after years of studying about world development would be put to the test on the field.
Ms Hyang spoke about her ‘tough-love’ approach towards her staff so they can fulfil their full potential. There are no limits in working for Good Neighbors she pointed out. This is the drive she tries to instil in her team to reap the best results for themselves and the organisation. She did however breathe a sign of relief as confirmation that she has a strong team beside her… The right team.
Her climb to the top is one from humble beginnings, arriving in Dominican Republic. At one point she slept on the floor on a mattress in a bare room. The very room in fact that now has ‘Director’ hanging on the door. The dream she had of helping 10 years ago, would be kept alive and manifest into a reality.
“I’ve been doing this kind of work for about 2 years now. The motivation to start this kind of work was that I always wanted to do something for the third(world) country.
So I started to study Economics and at the same time to grow my view about what exactly is the reason why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
Then I decided to do a Masters in Global Development Economy because I really thought about (how) the international politics actually affects life and affects the world.
And then I tried to find another chance, an opportunity to explore myself and also to meet the goal I was really dreaming about 10 years ago.
So I felt that I could do something for a development country as a project manager or a project officer to design the project. Good Neighbors allowed me to get into that kind of chance.
They dispatched me to the Dominican Republic which is next to Haiti. I saw the rural area and the city area, and the huge gap between rich and poor. Even much worse than in the Philippines.
I was alone here and I really didn’t know what to do because I don’t speak Spanish at all.
But thank God, I have an organisation that support. So alone, but again with the Korean embassy I just started doing from nothing…”
Thank you Ms Hyang for sharing your story!
For more info on NGO Good Neighbors Dom