DFI is managed by Helen KIM, a pioneer and visionary leader in the fields of Politics, Business and Philanthropy. She is the Director and the Founder of Development for Freedom International (DFI), an organization based in Haiti and registered in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Helen arrived in Haiti as a UN staff member shortly after the earthquake in 2010. She was struck by the extreme poverty, lack of education and healthcare suffered by the people in Haiti. She resigned her secure post in the UN and founded her own non-profit organization, Development for Freedom International (DFI).
As a visionary and strategic leader, Helen developed programs that resulted in sustainable, life transformation in the lives of underprivileged and marginalized individuals in Haiti. DFI provides shelter and accelerated education for street boys and men, provides major heart surgeries, cataract surgeries, prosthetics, and physical and psychological rehabilitations for Haitian children and adults. Through training and employment programs, DFI placed the most vulnerable women in Haiti on the path to self-sufficiency.
Her expertise and accomplishments in politics and policy making are extensive. She participated in two Presidential election campaigns in Korea as a policy advisor to the Presidential candidates. She spearheaded the development and successful passing of the Women’s Business ownership supporting law by securing approval from 150 National Assembly members. The impact of this law has been significant. It increased the percentage of businesswomen in Korea from less than 5% to over 30% of all business owners in 10 years. During her tenure as the Executive Director of the Korean Women Entrepreneurs Association, Helen utilized her political instincts and strategic leadership to grow the annual budget from $135,000 to a total of $10 million in six (6) years. Other prominent achievements of Helen’s political career include the creation of a national Korean Businesswomen’s day and the institution of business support centers for women in all provinces of Korea.
Helen has been honored for her input and work: she has received the Letter of Commendation from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy in 1998 and the Letter of Commendation from the Ministry of Gender Equality 1999 for her positive contributions to the business community and women in Korea. She also received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Korean Businesswomen’s Federation in 1999.
Helen earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, and holds a Master of Art in International Law from Kyung-Hee University in Seoul, South Korea.