Who We Are

Macdonald tutoring 4

Our Mission

We have a dream that together we can give little children with learning challenges a genuine opportunity to grow intellectually and emotionally, develop healthy outlooks in life, and reach their fullest potential. Our aim is to help break the cycle of poverty for some of the most needy families in East Vancouver.

With your help…

  • children with learning difficulties can receive specialized one-on-one tutoring, have a good start in education and grow to reach their full potential.
  • children are encouraged to develop self esteem, confidence, and a sense of achievement.
  • they and their families would find hope for a brighter future as they experience caring, long-term relationships with their tutors and other VUM volunteers.

Together we are dreaming big dreams!

Our Beliefs and Values

  • We believe that each human being is equally important, has intrinsic worth and is uniquely valuable.
  • We believe in a firm grounding in education, particularly in the formative years
  • Our passion is for the disadvantaged and disengaged and we believe in building long-lasting, and loving relationships
  • We carry a deep sense of hope that things can change and be transformed
  • We strive to persevere, to remain faithful to our commitments, and keep going for the long haul
  • We hope our values permeate everything we do and that they are obvious wherever and whenever you encounter VUM.

Why our mission is important

Vancouver Urban Ministries assists children, youth and families in the East Vancouver communities of Grandview Woodlands and Strathcona. Our community members are mostly of Aboriginal descent or are from immigrant families.

In East Vancouver the poverty rates are:

  • Strathcona 58%
  • Downtown Eastside 70%

In the Greater Downtown Eastside

  • 80% of children are behind the provincial average in reading
  • 50% of children are behind in mathematics

In BC:

  • 8% of children live with a parent struggling with alcohol addiction
  • 4% cent of children live with a drug-dependent parent

The Greater Downtown Eastside suffers from very high rates of drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness.

Mom and daughter

Meet the Team


Stan Choi

Board Member

Although my successful career in business has been varied and very satisfying, nothing compares with the blessings I have had in my voluntary work with Vancouver Urban Ministries in my retirement years.

Working with and for underprivileged kids with learning difficulties brings me indescribable joy! I love the opportunity to apply my entrepreneurial spirit and management skills to help vulnerable children in East Vancouver!

IMG_0306 (2)

David Innes

Executive Director

Since leaving a banking career, I have found myself drawn to working with the broken and disadvantaged in the community. I am passionate about working to restore hope, build self-esteem and mend broken relationships. The opportunity to work with disadvantaged children so that they can progress in their education and fulfill their potential in life is very exciting to me.

Maria Choy Photo

Maria Choy

Tutoring Program Director


Esther Portrait 1 (1)

Esther Leung - Kong

Eagle Youth Music School Director


Our Board

Peter Cave - Board Chair

Senior Mechanical Designer - Pacific Rim Engineered Products

Stan Choi - Treasurer

Retired – Director - Park Georgia Group

Hart Molthagen - Member


Ralf Schmidtke - Member

Retired – Chief Financial Officer – Polygon Home


Tillie Kwong - Member

Our Partners

VUM's supporting partners

VUM is grateful for the amazing support of a great variety of diverse agencies, funders, and supporters that share our passion for helping at-risk children and families in East Vancouver.