Our Free Classes Program Manager, Somit, gives thanks to those that made it possible for JWOC's recent trip to the U.S. where both him and Vantha, our Scholarship Program Manager, got the chance to travel and speak about the essential work that JWOC does empowering communities through educational and economic opportunities in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
It was a great opportunity for me to be traveling to the U.S to do fundraising and meet JWOC’s existing and potential donors. It was the first time for me to travel abroad and even the first experience of being on the plane, so you can imagine how excited I was! Here I would like to share the great experiences and the impressions of the trip as well as the impact that the trip has on my life and work at JWOC.
First of all is about my impressions. Everything impressed and amazed me. Roads are busy and big as well as driving is faster but the traffic is good – it is rare for traffic accidents, and most drivers follow and respect traffic law. In a state or city, traffic is not only on the roads but also underground – I cannot imagine how the underground rails were built even across rivers. Buildings are big and tall, especially in New York City. It was the first time I have seen such tall buildings. People are busy and rush all over; especially in the city (people sometimes eat food while walking to work), but the standard of living is high. Last but not least, education in the US, which I have seen and observed, amazed me. There is enough equipment, facilities and materials for both teachers and students to access to their teaching and learning practices. Students still can continue their education with replacement schools even though they have problems at their state school; for example, a girl who has a baby or is pregnant still can continue their studies, whereas here that cannot happen.
The main thing the team and I did during the trips is presentations. I did a lot of presentations for different audiences like early age children, high school students, and adults having different experiences. I have learned a lot from doing those presentations. I also joined 4 events hosted by our donors and JWOC’s board members so I had chance to speak to a lot of people to share about our lives and education in Cambodia, and I learned a lot from them about their cultures and livelihoods. Being on subway trains was also a great experience. Many people there use this kind of transport for traveling instead of cars to reduce traffic jams on roads. Meals there are big! I was served very big meals all the time I went to restaurants. I tried different kind of food there. I appreciate the ways they make breakfast there – it is fast and easy to make. Toast, bacon and fruits are my favorite.
One more thing, the team and I were brought to the 29th floor of a building in New York– it was the first time for me to be in a high building, and I can see different views from the building. What is more about the experience is going to watch American Baseball game at Yankee Stadium. The stadium was crowded, and audience was very excited about the match. We ate hot dogs and I bought a big bag of pop corn for all – it was a lot of fun. They are not only the experiences I would share but there is a lot more.
Last is about the impact that it might have on my life and the difference to the work I am doing may be the result of the wonderful experiences. All the experiences I have gained there have changed some of my ideas about education and the ways I would prepare for my life and my community; for instance, keeping life busier and thinking more proactively . The experience has helped me improve a lot like presentation skills, public speaking skills, and knowledge about fundraising and donor relations; that is very useful for me.
I could see what I used to imagine and saw on movies. I will share everything I experienced with friends, relatives and JWOC’s beneficiaries. I will also use what I have learned from experiences to improve my work at JWOC. And once again, I would like to give a big thanks to all supporters of JWOC which gave me a wonderful opportunity to do the Fundraising Tour and all board members, especially Philippa and Andrea, who helped us to their best and made us feel warm and welcome while we were there as well as all friends and donors who provided us home for us to stay and great meals.
A huge thank-you to all our supporters!
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