Friday, June 22, 2012

A letter from our Founder

When we first started Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) it was partly in response to the lack of commitment and caring we saw from the Cambodian government. That’s why the following news is so exciting! JWOC has been approached by the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to provide a Clean Water Solution for all Siem Reap District primary and kindergarten schools.

 This commitment from the government to develop a safe water solution for their students is a huge step and the fact that they have asked JWOC to partner with them on this endeavor is a true honor. Not only has the government spearheaded this project, but they are dedicating man hours and monetary assistance to it, following the guidelines that JWOC has been founded on…to facilitate change with the help and empowerment of the community!

 Starting this month our Clean Water Project will focus on 32 in-need schools identified by the ministry and JWOC. This means that 13,143 students in 317 classes will get access to clean water! Of course, as with all our villages, just having access to clean water isn’t enough. Part of the reason the Ministry of Education wanted to partner with JWOC was because of our incredible training and hygiene focus. This strong commitment to education is the cornerstone of the Clean Water for Schools initiative. We will be training the schools and ministry on well maintenance as well as making sure each student is trained on health and hygiene by the wonderful JWOC Scholarship Student teams.

 With your help thousands of children will no longer dip a communal cup in a bucket to get a drink of water while at school. Each student will have a personal water bottle and each classroom will have a water filter and each water filter will be filled from a functioning well. We want to make sure that just coming to school doesn’t make our kids sick, that school is a place for learning - not just reading and writing, but also the lessons of health and hygiene that are so important for a long life.

We can’t make the change alone. To make this possible we need to raise $20,000. We are asking all our JWOC Family to donate so that over 13,000 students can have healthy and safe drinking water while at school. Together we can show the Ministry of Education that their idea is the impetus for change in their community. We need to show them that their caring has created a better life for their kids. Please donate to the JWOC Clean Water Project today and help us support Cambodia as they better their world!

With very best wishes

JWOC Founder

To find out more about the Clean Water for Schools initiative please click here

If you are a school or club and would like to support a school here in Cambodia take a look here to see some of the schools in need. 

To find out more about the main Clean Water Project click here

Monday, June 18, 2012

Clean Water for Schools

On the 12th June 2012  JWOC signed a partnership agreement with the Siem Reap office of the Cambodian Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to provide primary and kindergarten schools with a clean water solution. 32 in need schools were identified, totaling 13,143 students in 317 classes. The initiative will give easy access to clean, safe water for each child while they are in school.

The Partnership

For this initiative with the ministry JWOC is following its tried and tested approach that has been successful in working with partner villages. This means that contracts will be in place with both the ministry and individual schools, that the ministry will make a financial and time contribution and that there will be a strong commitment to training.

By asking the ministry and schools to invest in the initiative we will see a stronger commitment to the maintenance of the equipment put in place and continuation of the changes made.

What is involved?

For each school JWOC will ensure they are two functioning wells- one for supplying water for drinking and one for supplying water for the bathrooms for flushing and hand-washing. In many cases this will require drilling new wells though whenever it is possible JWOC will repair any existing but broken wells. JWOC drills its wells to a minimum of 25 metres to make sure that even in the driest part of the dry season the water still flows.

Each classroom will been given a locally made water filter. These filters make the water pumped from the wells safe for drinking. The filters are easy to maintain and require no chemicals or precise measurements. We will also supply a water filter for the teachers’ room.

Each child will be given a personal drinking bottle so they do not need to share cups. This will reduce the chance of spreading illness. Using permanent markers the children will personalise the bottle so they can be sure to always find their own.

Each child and teacher will receive a ‘hygiene pack’ of a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap to kick start their improved hygiene habits.

The Training

Throughout the initiative training sessions will be held to increase the impact of the material support given.

Someone from each school plus a representative from the ministry will attend our well maintenance training. This session will give the participants the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to do routine servicing and carry out repairs, increasing the longevity of the wells put in place.

For filter training two teachers and the director will attend from each school. They will learn how to set up and maintain the filters to ensure a safe supply of water. The attendees will then in turn train the other teachers at their school.

All children and teachers plus representatives from the ministry will attend hygiene training sessions. These sessions cover the benefits and best techniques for hand washing and teeth cleaning plus why it is important not to share drinking bottles. 

How you can help

A donation to our Clean Water for Schools appeal will make a big difference for the health and wellbeing of children in Siem Reap.

$14 will provide a filter. 

$350 will provide a well. 

$100 will provide hygiene packs for 150 children.
If you would like to sponsor a school please take a look here to find out more about some of the schools in need. We would love to match up overseas schools with schools here in Cambodia- if you are a teacher or student contact us for more information.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Update from Vannak and the Clean Water Project

In this post Vannak, the new project manager describes working with his first partner village and tells about the new initiative soon to start in the project. To learn more about Vannak take a look here

I have been working for three months with the new village- Antangkun. Specially, I am so glad to learn new things and working with JWOC and moreover I enjoy to see the villagers have enough clean water to improve their health and to gain their basic hygiene knowledge in better future.

In Antangkon village, the people are poor, low of hygiene knowledge and many do not have enough water in the dry season. Most of villagers are farmers. After mapping activity we found there are 108 existing wells including 66 pulley wells, 31 family wells and 11 hole wells.

GPS is used to create a map of  the water sources in the village.

 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.
Children's Hygiene Training Session

Sokie and Seng conduct a tooth-brushing training session

Villagers posing with their new filters

We drilled 10 new wells to provide backup water supplies across the whole village and we fixed many existing wells- 58. Then we gave out 678 hygiene packs, and 146 filters for families after the training. Also we did 10 water testing sample from wells and 10 from filters to make sure all beneficiaries use safe drinking water. We will get the results very soon. 

A well in need of repair

Now villagers are very satisfy because they have water for washing and vegetable growing and safe water for drinking.  Wells are located in the center of groups of houses, so they can share with each other if they still lacking of water in dry season or their own pulley 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, helped by your generous donation we are working together for sustainable development in the poor communities.

In near future, our Clean Water Project are going to work with primary schools and kindergarten schools in Siem Reap City, in partnership with the MoEYS ( Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport) they is very keen to cooperate with us. I look forward to writing next time to tell you more about the work with the schools.

To learn more about the Clean Water Project, take a look at this page of our website. 


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