Saturday, August 27, 2011

New video from Clean Water Project Manager Sokhorn

For his post this month Sokhorn has made a short video describing the need and impact of his project. Watch to find out more-

Monday, August 22, 2011

More about the fun summer- Rachel describes her experience

In this post TravelAid volunteer Rachel gives insight on what it is like to be a summer activities coordinator and how much happiness it can bring...

Having been a Brownie and helping out for a few years after, I found ideas for crafts, games, sports and songs come flooding back when we sat down to plan the 3 week summer programme. We tried to run one lively and one calmer activity in each morning/afternoon session, and all the kids loved to take part in everything. I’ve never seen boys colouring so neatly or singing so heartily!

Most mornings we started with an action song such as Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (a firm favourite –especially at high speed!) or Incy Wincy Spider. It’s so impressive how quickly they pick the songs up; most of the children aren’t great at reading English when we write the words on the board - it amazes me how well they can listen so carefully and repeat the words so accurately. And they understand the words, too (well, most of the time); one afternoon I sat down next to a girl who was flicking through a story book, pointing to the body parts of a frog and naming them in English!

They love party games such as musical statues and Duck, Duck, Goose, and it’s been great to learn some similar Khmer games. The kids are more than happy when sat outside in a circle with the suspense of maybe being picked next to race around and back to the same spot!
Duck duck goose and ladders game photos

A highlight of the sports activities has to be the sports day. We drew out a chalk race track on the playground, split the kids into Team Monkey and Team Rabbit and set up a score board. With the help of Reak Smey translating, the events kicked off with the relay, followed by a skipping race (most kids had an interesting technique, but it seemed to do the trick!). Next was a slow and focused egg and spoon race followed by a three legged hop, with no casualties, thankfully! Throwing and hula hoops competitions, an obstacle course and Bulldog resulted in a 4-4 draw so we awarded everyone with a medal they’d made in a previous craft activity, and a snack. They absolutely loved it!

The theme of our second week was Nature, so one morning we took to the garden and gave it a spring clean; all the kids came of their own accord and started helping me yank up weeds, saying ‘Cha!’ reproachfully when I accidently pulled up a plant.

We also taught them the names of fruits, and organized a treasure hunt, hiding rambutans all over the garden.

Working here in Siem Reap has been an absolutely brilliant experience. I will never forget the affection the children show and their shouts of ‘Cha, Cha!’ when they want to show me their work or wave goodbye. Their constant shouts, squeals, giggles and general excitement brings it home how much they love the school – it’s so valuable in providing a space for play, friendships and an opportunity to use resources they may never otherwise see. JWOC does such a valuable job, it’s great!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A busy and creative summer - Lisanne writes more about the activities

Here, Lisanne, volunteering with TravelAid, describes some of the art and craft activities that have been going on and how successful they were...

Growing up in a developing country often means a childhood without art and craftwork beyond that involving sticks and leaves, sand, and, if lucky, a set of donated crayons. Be it painting, origami, or any other type of handicrafts: tools and materials are expensive and difficult to obtain, there is neither space nor time, nor – perhaps most importantly – anyone to provide the kids with ideas and guide them in the process, channeling their creativity into the production of a piece of artwork of their own.

Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) in Siem Reap, Cambodia provides young children from the nearby squatter villages with exactly this scarce opportunity. Not only are the library and integrated Kindergarden which are open to everyone full of pens and crayons of all colours and kinds but every Sunday afternoon a horde of children pours into JWOC’s patio to attend Art Class – a two hour session involving hygiene training, singing and dancing, and a weekly changing art project; the results of which are proudly taken home afterwards. Surprisingly complex structures are demonstrated, understood, and then reproduced (if not improved) in this short amount of time.

When we started planning the Summer Programme there was no question that arts and crafts were to play a big role in the daily activities. We tried to include at least two creative projects every day which were often related to our weekly themes and involved some useful vocab teaching. Even though I’m not great with artwork I got to take part in many of them because Srey Poch (my cheery Khmer partner and a lover of all arts-related activities) is talented, efficient, and patient enough for the two of us; and the kids found my occasional clumsiness more amusing than annoying. The summer camp began with simple activities like colouring in sheets, making balloon men, cutting out people’s shapes and drawing family portraits – all of which turned out to be really popular with the children, no matter how young or old. Where there were tools the kids were difficult to stop and even our two face painting sessions (causing an incredible level of excitement) ended in a sweet ‘chaos’ of kids with clown, tiger, butterfly and rainbow faces sitting in pairs all over the terrace, wildly drawing on each others’ arms and hands.

Seeing the kids’ initiative and concentration completely rid us of our initial doubts about the more challenging projects we had planned. And indeed, whether it was making medals for our big Sports Day, folding little origami boats and birds, knotting bracelets, making paper plate masks, or bending almost a hundred pipe cleaners into adorable (and definitely adored) little finger puppets – once they got the hang of it the children never seemed to get tired of screaming “Cha Cha Cha, look, Cha! One more, Cha, just one more please!”.

The kids loved being able to take home (or surprise a volunteer with) their own ‘masterpieces’ but I think what they enjoyed even more was working together on one big project: they enthusiastically embraced drawing a little boy’s body outline on a big piece of paper followed by colouring and labeling all its parts, watercolour painting a large jungle-inspired animal banner for the library, and - one of my personal favourites – creating a beautiful nature collage from bits of coloured carboard, felt, glitter, and glue.

Perhaps everyone’s highlight was painting our very own backgarden mural towards the end of the three weeks. What began as a simple underwater mural rapidly grew into a detailed cross-section of the Tonle Sap (a large lake connecting Siem Reap and Phnom Penh) with its typical life beneath the surface, and little fishing boats, kids on rafts, and the characteristic floating villages above the water, surrounded by the red sky of a beautiful Tonle Sap sunset. Completing this one big project that involved all children, interns, and volunteers alike was a perfect way of both ending and perpetuating a challenging and intense - sometimes more stressful than successful but ultimately very rewarding - four weeks at JWOC. A big thank you to all the staff and students!

Louisa shares what she has learnt about microloans

Louisa, a volunteer with Travel Aid, spent time with the Microfinance team to learn more about the impact microloans have in the communities around JWOC...

Economic development is a strong interest of mine and so when I arrived I
eagerly anticipated learning about how JWOC ran their microfinance
department and its impact on the local communities. After talking with
Nicola and Bora I was given the opportunity to observe the work of the
scholarship students one afternoon.

I soon found myself on the back of a moto, bumping along the dirt tracks with Horn an English Literature student at university. Kim, a fifty two year old grandmother greeted us both
cordially as we arrived to fill in an impact assessment form. She lived with her daughter, son in law and their children. As her husband had left her one year earlier she applied for a JWOC microloan of fifty dollars in order to expand her business of selling traditional Khmer cakes. She used the money to buy a bicycle so that she could sell her cakes in other villages not just her own. She successfully repaid her first loan and has given the profits to her daughter and son in law to contribute towards their daily expenses.

Horn carrying out the impact assessment questionnaire with Kim.

The impact assessment was extremely insightful as it allowed me to have a greater understanding of what her life is like on a daily basis which seemed to be fairly representative of others living in the local villages. The questions varied from how often fish, meat and
vegetables were eaten weekly to how often someone in her family gets sick,
whether or not they are able to afford the necessary healthcare and her
living conditions. Kim said that someone gets sick more than once a month
in her family and that she can afford the correct treatment only sometimes.
The assessment also included a breakdown of her total monthly household
income which astutely highlighted her financial dependency on her son as he
contributes 67% of her monthly income with the remaining 33% coming from
her business. She estimated that her net profit was $50 each month, which
roughly equates to $1.8 each day. The assessment form provided a clear
indicator of Kim's quality of life through qualitative and quantitative
data which enables JWOC to easily assess the impact the loan has had on Kim
and her family.

I also met a woman who had just finished repaying her
fourth JWOC loan which she first used to expand her food stall outside the
Children's hospital in Siem Reap. The hospital does not offer food to
either the patients or the staff so the loan enabled her to offer a greater
range of food using better cooking facilities and a greater section of
ingredients. Her second and third loans were used to diversify her business
to sell clothes for the mothers, babies and children staying in the
hospital. JWOCs microloans are only given to existing businesses to
minimize the risk of defaulting and most tend to be small roadside stalls
selling food such as fruits, noodles and rice soup.

Completing the paperwork and cash counting after returning to the office.

JWOC's microfinance project began in 2006 and since then it has helped over four hundred and
seventy families receive loans. There is a huge demand for basic loans as
many of the villagers do not have access to commercial credit. Most banks
require a minimum amount of money in order to open an account along with a
form of collateral which is often not possible in the local villages as
they have weak, if any property rights to use as collateral. Commercial
loans also require a high level of literacy in order to fill out the
paperwork and are only likely to accept applications with those who have
formal employment.

Directly visiting the individuals who had received the loans and observing how the microfinance department is run in JWOC has crystallised my interest in the role of microloans in poverty alleviation. JWOC's form of microfinance has proven to be extremely successful so far in the local communities to help people help themselves in a sustainable long term manner that I hope will continue to exist with the support of continuing and new donors.

Making new friends- Matt writes about getting know the Khmer team

In this post Matt writes about his experience of being part of the summer activities team, where Travel Aid volunteers work with local high school students. Making new friends and sharing new experiences is all part of the process...

After some pretty manic teambuilding exercises we paired off with the Khmer students that we were to work closely with over the next 3 weeks at JWOC. My partner Reak Smey, a tall, confident Khmer boy with a prominent jawline, immediately began to bombard me with questions about the English education system and skipped the small talk altogether! He was very interested to know exactly why the English education system was better and although I wasn’t entirely sure, I assumed it was probably because school classes here have upwards of 60 students so teachers can’t give the same kind of attention to all the students that they can in England. Most of the others from TravelAid however found their partners were initially very shy and reluctant to talk about themselves, but Nicola explained that they weren’t used to our English accents and so conversation would probably flow more easily after we’d spent more time with them.

Matt and Reak Smey

Once the Summer Camp began our Khmer partners soon started to open up more and were clearly very comfortable around us. Perhaps one of the most noticeable differences between Khmer children and English children is the outward affection they show towards each other and us. Reak Smey would often put his arm around me or hold my hand which is something you would never see adolescent English boys do. He also seemed very excited to show me his home and for his parents to meet me which was a nice gesture. Even after spending a short time at his home it was obvious the sense of community here is very strong as when I asked him about the huge gang of children playing in his home, he told me they were not his siblings but just his neighbours.

In the second week we decided to take all of our Khmer partners out for a Western meal because food is such a distinct part of foreign culture that they can appreciate without actually going abroad. After some discussion we settled for Mexican food and took them out to try burritos and other dishes. I ordered as many different things as I could for Reak Smey and happily he seemed to enjoy all of them. Unfortunately, most of Khmer girls seemed less enthusiastic about the Mexican style of cooking, I think they’re too used to Khmer food which can lack variety and tends to be fairly sweet. But they all certainly seemed to enjoy the outing, especially because a lot of them didn’t know each other before the summer camp so they have made lots of new friends.

While it wasn't everyone's taste, some really enjoyed the Mexican food.

Towards the end of the Summer Camp, our partners got their exam results which they’d be waiting for from their schools. All of them passed and so have now graduated from high school, but unfortunately not all of them got the individual subject grades they needed to get university scholarships so they must hope now they are successful in applying for a JWOC scholarship. To celebrate, Reak Smey organized a spontaneous Khmer dance session at JWOC and our partners showed us some of their traditional dance moves (Apsara style) and invited us to take part. It was very nice to share in their joy and enthusiasm and I would like to thank them all for all their help running the summer camp and translating for us. I think they all have bright futures in front of them and I wish them well.

Sakina's experience in Conversation Class

Conversation Class is an adult’s English class held four times a week. During out time at JWOC, the Travelaid volunteers were given the chance to sit in on these lessons, spreading ourselves amongst the students, chatting to them before and after the lessons and helping them with whatever task was at hand in class.

From the very first class that we attended, the students’ enthusiasm was immediately noticeable and was really quite infectious. It was clear how much they valued the chance to practice their language skills with native English speakers and how important it was for them to learn the language in the first place.

Conversation Class teacher Sokpheak introducing some new vocabulary.

What I particularly found most interesting about the class was the opportunity to speak to the students about their background and their lives. One particular story that really stuck with me was that of a student who had been living in one of the surrounding villages for around five years when the landowner decided to forcibly evict the villagers from the land. This was perhaps the third time that this had happened to him in his life, and it was this that prompted him to start to learn English. For him this was the first stage in protecting the homes of his fellow villagers. He hopes to become a lawyer so that he can become able to represent the voiceless people of his village by fighting the case himself. This story, among many of the others that I heard, made me realize how empowering the ability to speak English in the developing world really is.

Conversation Class students complete their worksheets.

This was just one story out of dozens explaining the eagerness of each and every student, most of them having to take time out of their overly busy days and make the long journey to JWOC on a daily basis. The raw enthusiasm and overt appreciation of the students for the opportunity to practice speaking in English, not only to learn the language but also to gain exposure to completely different cultures and to enlighten us to the intricacies of Khmer culture, language and way of life.

When we first arrived at JWOC, we were given a lesson in basic Khmer. The expressions that did stick were incredibly useful in the month I spent in Cambodia – bartering would not have been nearly as successful without the ability to make countless shop keepers and tuk-tuk drivers burst out with laughter at my exclamation of ‘Klein na!’. But the difficulty of learning a new language so different to your own and remembering even half of the phrases and vocabulary that we were taught was brought back to life and only made it more impressive that after every class the students would come back the next day having remembered all of the vocabulary that they had been taught previously. My feeble attempts to learn from the students the words that they had learnt in Conversation Class in Khmer not only provided everyone with some amusement after class, but also made me realise that learning English was not something they did purely to increase their prospects for a job but that it helped them communicate with those from outside of their communities, sharing stories and experiences and gaining exposure to the wider world.

Sakina advertising the summer activities in the nearby village.

Daniel writes all about the summer activity programme

Here, Daniel, a Travel Aid volunteer, explains how the summer activity programme was done, from the first steps of planning and advertising through to working with the children...

During our month long stint at JWOC, the foremost task of the TravelAid team was to conduct a three-week summer activity camp for children in the surrounding community. While some of these children have been attending free English classes at JWOC for the past few years and were already expecting some summer activities to be held during this time, there were still many who have not had the time or opportunity to attend these classes and would not have heard of JWOC. Thus, in the week before the summer activity camp, we not only had to plan and prepare for the activities for each day, we also had to go out to the nearby villages to advertise our summer programme.

Our advertising efforts turned out to be an unexpectedly interesting and enjoyable experience. Our primary means of advertisement were through posters and flyers that we distributed in the neighbourhoods as well as word-of-mouth: if our activities are creative and novel enough, more children will turn up as days go by! The Khmer high school interns that were partnered with us were most helpful as they translated our requests to shopkeepers and villagers to put up posters in convenience shops and village common areas. As we walked down the main road, we also stopped children on their ways to and from home and promoted our summer programme to them. Coming from countries where people are pretty wary of strangers and whatever they intend to 'sell', our hearts were warmed as we saw how readily the locals welcomed our uninvited visits.

Visiting a squatter village during our rounds of advertising offered us a peek into the lives of some of the poorest people in Cambodia. These villagers don't own the land their houses are built on; many of them just don't own enough to do so. It is among these people that JWOC works: through lending small loans to people who would otherwise have no access to credit, through installing wells and providing simple hygiene training, and most relevant to us, through the provision of free classes for children whose families cannot afford to send them to school. Many of these children we visited in the squatter village were very enthusiastic about what we were offering them - a chance to have a few weeks of fun, games and activities while picking up some simple English at the same time. The summer camp also attracts children to attend proper English classes at JWOC, thus setting the stage for a longer term impact on the community.

While we planned for the summer programme, we consulted our Khmer partners about the appropriateness of the activities. Although we were targeting children between the ages of 7 to 13, we had to keep in mind that most of them had, at best, elementary English comprehension skills, and so in explaining games to them, we had to ensure that the rules were simple. The advice of our Khmer partners was invaluable: in one instance, they vetoed a game because it would have been too difficult, and even dangerous if not explained properly, for the young children to play. More importantly, we had to have good rapport with our partners in order to communicate our ideas to them and make sure that they were on the same page as us. And so after a week of intense brainstorming and planning, we were ready with a schedule packed with handicraft, painting, sports, games, song and dance, and reading sessions.

As we carried out the programme over the following three weeks, we found that although not all of the activities were exciting or entertaining, the children were grateful to have the opportunity to draw and play and spending time meaningfully together. Many of them came day after day after day, some even arriving an hour before the official start of the day, hoping to have someone spend time reading or playing with them. In all, it was a exhausting but pretty successful summer, hopefully we have enriched the lives of these children in one way or another!

Anna explains the importance of scholarships

For her blog post Anna, a Travel Aid volunteer, talks about the new friends she has made and the realisation that her fundraising will make a big difference...

It is a requirement of all Travel Aid volunteers to make a donation of around £500 per person to their charity of choice. So, many months before touching down on Cambodian soil and facing the realities of an education system in need, we began the arduous and often challenging task of fundraising. Back then, our combined target of £4,500 was just a number at the end of a very long road. Each team racked their brains for ways to win over the hearts- and pockets- of our notoriously tight fellow students, and over the months which followed we have painstakingly watched our JustGiving totalisers inch upwards to meet our goal. So, cakes were baked, Krispy Kremes and Pimms were sold, cars were washed, and we discovered that some people will pay anything for a glowstick in the pub on a Friday night. The donations started rolling in, and thanks to the generosity of our families, friends and local organisations we were able to step on the plane content in the knowledge that our first goal had been met.

The summer activities team- Travel Aid volunteers and JWOC High School Interns.

One thing that I don’t think any of us had really considered though was the impact our donation could make. The children and young people at JWOC go there because they need the services it provides. Many of them are from very low income families who cannot even afford the small costs of state schooling, so the free classes and wide range of facilities open doors of opportunity they could not otherwise imagine. Over the course of our time at JWOC, we have got to know a fraction of the students who benefit from the school’s resources- perhaps best of all, our Khmer partners; high school students who have just completed their final exams. In September our nine new friends will be told whether or not they have been awarded one of the 17 university scholarships the school offers. My partner, Raksa dreams of studying medicine at university, but despite her family’s recent begrudging approval for her to continue her studies, she simply does not have the money to support herself through university. She feels that the internship has given her the confidence to apply for the scholarship, something with which Reak Smey, another of the interns, agrees; “the internship has given me a chance to practice my English- English skills are one of the most important factors in getting the scholarships.” But despite this apparent ‘leg up’ in the JWOC family, neither Raksa nor Reak Smey can guarantee that they will be some of the lucky few to receive a scholarship. Already, the school has given out over 200 application forms and with the closing date over a month away, they are expecting hundreds more.

Anna and Raksa enjoy a dinner out in Siem Reap.

Competition for places is only one hurdle in their paths to a more prosperous future. Currently, the corrupt and ruthless education system relies largely on bribery and wealth, and as a result, Reak Smey notes, ‘the rich will stay rich and the poor will stay poor’. The JWOC scholarships offer students a lifeline out of a poverty trap, giving them the chance to improve the lives of their families and build a fairer society around them.

Dancing and singing has been a big part of the summer activities!

Working so closely together with our Khmer partners- building friendships alongside the summer camp project- has left us in no doubt as to where we want our donation to end up. For the lucky few who will receive a JWOC scholarship, their fees for the duration of their time at university, a mere $2000, will be provided for. Not only that, but the experiences they gain from their voluntary hours at the school- whether it be educating villagers in health care, working tightly with the microfinance project or taking on teaching roles in the classroom or the IT lab- will be invaluable to their CVs, and strengthen the relationship between the community and the education system. Cambodia is a growing country, and if our donation can give a few more students like Raksa, Reak Smey and the other high school interns the chance at a brighter future, we’ll know that the summer of 2011 will have been one well spent.

Clean Water and Hygiene at JWOC- Rob's experience

In this post Travel Aid volunteer Rob talks about what he learnt and observed while joining JWOC's Clean Water and Free Classes teams.

Muddy, sandy, slippery: picking our way for several kilometres along a sodden track leading to the village felt like an appropriate introduction to JWOC’s work in the village communities as, on the first Saturday of our time as volunteers in Siem Reap, we were lucky enough to watch the clean water team go about their work surveying the village’s residents.

The householders were very hospitable, offering us seats - or, on one occasion, a hammock! - and sometimes fruit while the project workers asked questions such as each house’s water source in different seasons, protection against mosquitoes, and recent illnesses. We then saw the basic wells which a lot of the houses seemed to use: these produced decidedly mixed results, so the next step will be for the clean water team to return and install new, reliable wells for use in all seasons and then gauge their effectiveness over time.

The sight of the brown, murky water of the rice paddies, which we were told were used by the children for swimming, was a clear reminder of what the project was all about; all the more so, since a project worker explained to me that, while instances of serious waterborne disease amongst adults are comparatively few, children are far more prone. That’s precisely where another JWOC project, the hygiene program, comes in: to build on the ground-work of the clean water scheme and begin to educate children at an early age about the sorts of hygiene basics which, although apparently simple, can make a great difference.

It was refreshing to see both the enthusiasm of the children – whatever their ages – in following the mimes of hand-washing during the original demonstration, and then their eagerness to put these principles into practice in between games and activities, scrupulously subjecting their palms and fingernails to sprays of soapy water.

Hygiene training also complemented the broader drive of teaching English to the children, since the training consisted not only of a single demonstration, but also of approaches to it from different angles – with the key words on flashcards, alongside the action itself. Staff also tended to sneak back to the theme at different times, such as before art class on a Sunday afternoon, when the children were reminded of the steps and then went about following them with characteristic gusto. As well as concentrating on younger children, JWOC also aims to introduce older students to the fundamentals of the Hygiene program by introducing ideas such as hand-washing and teeth-cleaning into early-stage English classes, and hygiene training also comprises a follow-up stage in the clean water project.

These sorts of hygiene basics seem simple to us precisely because they have been drummed into us from an early age, and hopefully by the same principle initiatives like these can make a real difference to the health of those living in and around Siem Reap.

Helen's experience in writing class at JWOC

One of the most heartening aspects of teaching at JWOC has been the
incurable eagerness and enthusiasm of the students. Many of them walk,
cycle, or even push their way in wheelchairs to the JWOC English
classes from their homes which can be 20kms away, and yet still
always arrive with beaming smiles and confident “hello’s”.

As TravelAid volunteers, our first job in the English conversation
classes was simply to sit amidst the students and help them with their
exercises and comprehension throughout the lesson, and to chat with
them before and after class (several would stay after class until we
ourselves had to go, which was hugely different to students at home
who would shoot out the room the minute the bell rang). Most of them
have busy days without JWOC anyway; many of them work, whilst others
must take care of their younger siblings or help with household
chores, and the fact that they still make the time and effort to come
to JWOC is an inspiration to me, and something which I wish I could
say of the teenagers back home.

It was mainly because of this experience that we decided to set up
our own free classes: the students simply yearned to learn and were
meticulous in their improvement, making sure they picked out every
detail they hadn’t understood and patiently waiting for us to find the
simplest explanation we could, and knowing what a struggle basic Khmer
was for us to learn, it’s hard to conceive how they kept themselves so

We arranged for these classes to take place during the hour before
their Conversation Class, so they wouldn’t have to trek half way
across the country to and from school more than once a day. Because
there was such a wide spectrum of English skills within the group (and
almost all of us wanted to teach anyway), we had three volunteers in
each class – one at the board and two sitting among the students to
help any who were struggling. We organized the topics and the
activities before each class, loosely based around what we had
observed in our sit-in lessons.

Standing in front of a semi-circle of expectant students, all
desperate to learn your language, and completely reliant on every word
you say wasn’t exactly the idealistic image I’d pictured of breezing
from one exercise to the next effortlessly, as I now realize my
schoolteachers seemed to be able to do to perfection. Twenty pairs of
big brown eyes gazed up at us, and the pens in their hands seemed
disconcertingly ready to transmit my every word into the awaiting
notebooks. Suddenly instructions on my print-out of the lesson plan
like, “Explain the reasons why various past tenses are used in
different situations” left me utterly clueless, and any grasp of the
English language I might have had made a hasty retreat into the most
remote rabbit-holes of my brain. Fortunately, we found them to be incredibly patient with us - as unqualified teachers we often struggled not only to understand the complications of the English language ourselves, but also to explain
them, yet they encouraged us nevertheless with their own suggestions
and ideas, and kindly smiled though our endless ‘err’s and ‘umm’s.

Talking to them individually, it is clear that for the most part they
don’t view English as a chore to drag their feet through, but rather
as an opportunity to share the intricacies of their lives with us, and
to attempt to understand the rather perplexing facets of our foreign
culture which they simply couldn’t get their heads around – despite
countless drawings and translations, we were never able to make
everyday features such as custard, toasters and pastry be met with
anything more than a sea of raised eyebrows.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Five more sponsors needed!

You may remember I wrote a while ago asking you to consider becoming a sponsor of one of our 24 new scholarship students. The great news is that many of you decided to help change a life this year and have become new sponsors.

However, we still need five more sponsors in order to support the 24 new students in their ambition to attend university and improve their prospects.

JWOC Scholarships change lives. And you can be a part of making that change.

To help you know the difference you are able to make, two JWOC graduates, Thoum and Keang ,have written below about their experience as a JWOC scholarship student and how it has helped them and others.

My name is Thoum Lorm. I come from a small village in the forest in Banteay Meanchey Province. JWOC changed my life and I had chance study at university. I did not believe that I could study at university but JWOC gave me the power to do so.

JWOC helped me to change my life, my family, and my community. I learnt as a JWOC scholarship student general knowledge and the specific skill of teaching English as a second language. During my scholarship I helped JWOC with teaching English in the JWOC school to improve my skill. This was great experience for me because my degree is in the field of Teaching English as a Second Language.

In conclusion, JWOC is a good organization in Siem Reap, Cambodia that helps a lot of people. I wish for JWOC to grow bigger and bigger and support more scholarship students.

My name is Ms. Heam Keang . I feel that I am very lucky of my life because I got JWOC’s scholarship student since am in the first year until graduate. I am very happy to telling all of you what I did in JWOC And also what the difference a JWOC scholarship made to me.

I got scholarship in 2007 and I took Banking and Finance as my subject. During I am scholarship student I got great knowledge from JWOC day by day. As Micro-Finance’s volunteer every Sunday I was going to visit villager and collect the money and in Clean Water Project we are going on every Saturday morning to villages along the road of north Baray. When we are arrive some villager are waiting us. People are happy to get knowledge what JWOC provide, and we are completed villages one by one and improve to village to other village. This is a really good experience for me and especially I was teach to my mom and neighbor how to install, use and taking care of water filter that I got from JWOC. How we do without leaning?
I graduated on August 31, 2010, and the job I have now I think it’s nearly my goal job. I wish JWOC get more sponsor, so can have more teaching project, water project and micro finance and help more students

Sponsoring a student and changing their life costs $500 per year of their degree. This covers all their fees and books, plus all the additional life skills training offered by JWOC.

If you would like to find out more about the Scholarship Programme please visit this page on our website or reply to this email with any questions. We also have a FAQs page to answer some the most common questions.

If you have decided to help JWOC change lives you can make your donation via our donate now page. You can donate online or by check, marking your donation ‘scholarship’. We ask you make a 4 year commitment to your student. If you are able to send sponsorship for the full four years that is wonderful, but don’t worry if not, you can donate for each year individually. Please make your donation before 31st August to make sure we can match you with a student for this coming academic year.

I look forward to welcoming you as a new sponsor and introducing you to your student in September!

Very best wishes,

JWOC Managing Director

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