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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Microfinance Volunteers

As his blog post this month Bora has a video that shows the collaborative work between JWOC and Melbourne Microfinance Initiative.




To find out more about JWOC's Microfiance Project click here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clean Water Update from Sokhorn

In this post Clean Water Project Manager Sokhorn gives his thanks to all Clean Water Project donors and outlines the activities that have taken place in our most recent Clean Water village.


Dear Clean Water Donors

On behalf of the stakeholders in the Clean Water Project in Doun Keo village, I would like to express my thanks for your help in making clean water possible and contributing to sustainable development in the village. I am pleased to update you about the Doun Keo Clean Water Project, which I have been working for more than three months with this village.


The village chief signs the partnership contract.


In Doun Keo village, there are 1140 people and 243 families. Most of villagers have their own pulley wells. Even though they have these simple wells, these wells do not last for a long time and they lack water in the dry season. Furthermore, some families were still using traditional pit wells (just big hole to the ground) which makes many obstacles for them. In rainy season the water flows from dirty ground into the hole, while in dry season they have to dig further into the ground to get more water.


A girl collects water from an old pit well. A hard and time consuming job.


In additional, some villagers feel scared to use their pulley wells because of some wells contain iron water (if they soak their clothes, they become red; if they cook rice, it becomes black; if they brush their teeth, they becomes red).
From our surveys, we can see they have been lacking of hygiene knowledge. This problem can cause number of villagers getting sick in their families.


A children's hygiene training session. Two young participants demonstrate what they have learnt.


As the solution, we provided basic hygiene training (hand washing, teeth cleaning) and filter training. In the training activities, they were very happy and they could practice as the correct steps, which we trained them. As the result, they have changed their habits and are following the training. Additionally, we drilled 10 new wells to provide backup water supplies across the whole village and we fixed 114 existing wells. Then we gave out 714 hygiene packs, and 243 filters for families after the training.


A new well being drilled.


Next, we do 10 water testing sample from wells and 10 from filters to make sure all beneficiaries use safe drinking water. Now villagers are very satisfy because they have clean water for using and safe water for drinking. Wells are located in the center of the village group, so they can share with each other if they still lacking of water in dry season or their own wells break. I am very happy and passionate to help and see the big change that our clean water team made by working their best to help beneficiaries. The whole village can change because of your generous donations - working together for sustainable development in the poor communities.


Collecting water samples for testing.


Other news- I have updated the hygiene-training process (hand washing, teeth cleaning) and I have trained my team on how to use the new flashcards. Now we have flashcards to train villagers and then we have messages at the back that can help our team members to remember in the correct steps and make the presentation more attractive for the audience.

Finally, I would like to say again thank you so much for helping the Clean Water Project. I look forward to writing to you again next time to tell you more about the project.

Best wishes

Sokhorn


If you would like to donate to the Clean Water Project, please go to this page.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Change a life this year


This picture shows last year's new students, can you help us welcome 24 more this year?


This new academic year JWOC would like to support 24 new students in their ambition to attend university and improve their prospects. But...we can only do this with your help! Please consider becoming a scholarship student sponsor this year.

JWOC Scholarships change lives. And you can be a part of making that change. Read Tola’s note below to find out how he benefitted from his JWOC scholarship.

Hi, my name is Sann Tola. I am a former university scholarship student at JWOC. I had this scholarship from 2007 and graduated from the university eight months ago.

JWOC has changed my life for the better. By getting the scholarship, I was able to go to a university, and being educated in a university gave me a brighter future to look forwards to beyond waiting tables at a hotel or restaurant.

Now I have a job in an NGO, which I love very much, and I would not imagine being able to come to this point without a scholarship from JWOC. Besides, I have gotten to know some wonderful people through this place. I have made more friends at JWOC than I did at the university, my JWOC friends have become my very good and close friends.

With its charity projects which we involved in, I was given the opportunity to work with other students, and people who volunteer with us, and I enjoyed the experience very much. Moreover, I was able to contribute to the development of my own country by participating in the projects such as the clean water, and the free class project.

I say thank you to JWOC and my sponsor for the opportunity you gave me. It means a lot to me.


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. With your help we hope to give 16 new scholarships in Cambodia, 4 in Myanmar and 4 in Laos.

JWOC selects students on merit and monitors students’ grades and attendance, so you can be sure your donation is put to good use. Your student will also update you monthly by email to let you know how their doing with their studies, jobs and volunteering.

If you would like to find out more about the Scholarship Programme please visit this page on our website or write to info@journeyswithinourcommunity.org. 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.

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

Saturday, July 09, 2011

275,000 Non-profits fail to submit financial reports

Last month Guidestar published the news that 275,000 Non-profits in the US had repeatedly failed to submit financial details and were therefore losing their 501(c)3 status. You'll be pleased to know JWOC wasn't one of these! We submit our independently reviewed financial reports each year, meaning all our spending and income is transparent for all to see and we can keep our 501(c)3 status- making your donations tax-deductible.

The story is copied below for more information.

GuideStar, the leading resource of nonprofit information, announced today that the IRS has published the first Automatic Revocation of Exemption List, thereby revoking the tax-exempt status of approximately 275,000 nonprofits and fundamentally changing the scope of the nonprofit industry. As the nation's premier source of nonprofit data, GuideStar is working to incorporate this information into its database and products.

"More than a quarter of a million nonprofits have had their tax exemptions revoked because they failed to file an annual return with the IRS in compliance with the Pension Protection Act of 2006," said Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO. "This event will have a tremendous short-term impact on the nonprofit sector and those who support and rely on it. The true impact, however, will be long-term. Over time, knowing which organizations are in good standing with the IRS will increase public confidence in the sector as a whole, which in turn will increase support for the nonprofits it comprises."

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of any organization required to file an annual return (Form 990, 990-N, 990-EZ, or 990-PF) that fails to do so for three consecutive years. Revocations are automatic and mandatory under the law. The Automatic Revocation of Exemption List published yesterday represents the first time this provision of the Pension Protection Act has been put into effect.

GuideStar is in the process of incorporating automatic revocation data and other information about nonprofits' standing with the IRS into the GuideStar database and GuideStar products.

"In a recent survey that GuideStar conducted with Hope Consulting, 87 percent of 5,000-plus donors said that nonprofit legitimacy is a key factor in their giving decisions," Ottenhoff stated. "GuideStar users and customers can continue to rely on the information we provide, knowing that it remains the most up-to-date and accurate nonprofit information available."

http://www2.guidestar.org/rxa/news/news-releases/2011/irs-revokes-exemptions-of-275000-nonprofits.aspx
 

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