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Stories of #GoodChange

December 2022

What you helped us achieve in 2022

As we countdown the final days of the year, we hope you’re settling into a well-deserved summer break. On behalf of the team at Good Neighbours Australia, we reflect on this year with a grateful heart, thankful to you, our donors, corporate sponsors and community partners who have helped us make some significant achievements.

Early in the year, we reunited as a team, coming back to our offices excited to be together with the prospect of reconnecting with sponsors and donors again. Collective anticipation to catch up with our partner countries, understanding their needs and restarting our fundraising events have been our highest priorities.

1 | Ukrainian Appeal

Soon after returning, the Russian invasion of Ukraine put our International Emergency response team into action, sending representatives to Romania to evaluate the humanitarian support needs for millions of displaced Ukrainians. Our Good Neighbours Australia team received daily updates via the Good Neighbours network and launched fundraising campaigns for support.

During the following months, your donations, along with support from other Good Neighbours countries, pooled to helped transport over 2,246 displaced Ukrainians to Bucharest. 

The Good Neighbours team distributed food and medical supplies to over 23,237 households and establishing 4 child-safety centres in the border regions to provide assistance with counselling, ongoing learning programs, along with toys, art and craft materials to help displaced Ukrainian children play in a safe and supportive environment.

Locally, we formed partnerships with the Ukrainian Council of New South Wales (UCNSW), attending meet-up events for displaced Ukrainians in Sydney, giving us the opportunity to hear first-hand of the challenges these people faced in restarting their lives. 

Thanks to a number of Australian corporate and government sponsors, we distributed over AU$28,000 worth of clothing, food, health supplements, medical supplies and vitamins over 4 distribution days. 

 We also formed a partnership with a local Ukrainian charity, Blue and Yellow Hearts, who hosted further Ukrainian community events allowing us to distribute additional gift-in-kind donations. Our Khmer community partners also dedicated their Harmony Day festivities to raising an additional AU$9k for displaced Ukrainians.

Read more on how we’re helping displaced Ukrainians in Australia.

2 | Intergenerational Art Workshop

Emerging from long and enduring lockdowns we spoke with multicultural community leaders and learned that feelings of isolation and loneliness were emerging, particularly for our elderly, many of whom are living alone. With the support of Strathfield Council we held 2 Intergenerational Art workshops bringing together pairs of young and elderly community members to join a guided painting workshop, building connection through creativity.

Read more on the Intergenerational Art Project.

3 | Good Barber Project

During the winter months we established a corporate partnership with The Good Barber Shop in Melbourne and developed a training program for 5 young adults from our Quang Binh District community. 

The Good Barber Shop made a donation for each haircut which helped us send these students to a vocational hairdressing school in Hanoi, increasing their chances of employment and giving them opportunities to earn 3-5 times more than the average monthly income.

We are planning to select a second cohort of students early in 2023, and welcome more hair salons and donors to get involved next year.

Read more on the Good Barber Project.

4 | Nomination for Emerging Not-For-Profit (NFP) of the Year

Building on our ambitions to integrate well as an Australian charity and learn from our well-established industry peers, we joined the Third Sector Conference and Awards, and were shortlisted as a finalist in the “Emerging NFP of the Year” category.

The criteria for the awards is based on the following Third Sector values central to creating social change: Social Impact, Innovation, Transparency, Systems Thinking, Collaboration.

The award recognises organisations operating for 5 years or less and have contributed and created positive, measurable benefits to the third sector.

Third Sector Awards NFP annoucement

5 | Christmas Crafternoon

Over the last couple of months, we launched our Christmas Appeal, with the Christmas Crafternoon event in early December. We had 50 supporters from young kids through to grown ups decorating Santa Sacks which have been sent to kids in Vietnam. The Santa Sacks and funds raised will support 150 children, bringing Christmas gifts to many of these children for the first time. Filled with essentials such as warm clothing, rice and school materials we hope to bring some joy to these kids this Christmas.

Read more about Christmas Crafternoon.

On behalf of the team at Good Neighbours Australia, our sponsored children and community beneficiaries, we send you our warm hearted thanks for your support.

We wish you all a safe and happy holidays and a prosperous new year in 2023!