Friday, May 23, 2014

New Experiences and New challenges - thank you JWOC

Hello! I am Vuth Vanna, a 2nd year scholarship student at JWOC attending USEA university. I want to tell you how volunteering with the Free Classes Program at JWOC has helped my studies. It is a wonderful feeling to be studying both at JWOC and at university because I feel as though I am constantly increasing my capacity and knowledge in my field. What I love about JWOC is the hands on training I receive through teacher development workshops each month, as well as receiving workshops in study skills, health, first aid and so on. They are so useful, allowing me to sharpen my knowledge and have new experiences in life
Frankly speaking, if JWOC hadn’t sponsored me to study at university I would never have had the opportunity. I wouldn’t have had access to all this knowledge and new experiences; life would have 
 been so different.

Recently, I feel delighted with myself because I have a better job and I have the ability to support myself and even a little extra to help my family improve their lifestyle and living conditions.

I love JWOC and I love the experience of volunteering there, I love the challenge that it provides and the experiences that it creates. For me JWOC is the home of knowledge and it has allowed me to grow as a student and a person.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Executive Director, Jane Price, Talks about Her Personal Journey with JWOC

My early involvement with JWOC:

In December of 2007, we traveled from our posting in Beijing to visit Siem Reap, tour the archeological highlights and participate in the Angkor Wat Half Marathon. We stayed at Journeys Within Boutique Hotel and met JWOC founders, Brandon and Andrea Ross. They described the philosophy of the non-profit they established and shared information about how I could get involved. After leaving Cambodia, I decided to sponsor a JWOC university student because of my belief in the transformational power of education. I enjoyed corresponding with my JWOC scholarship student; this exchange provided me a chance to get to know my highly-motivated and hard-working student better, understand Cambodian culture and share a bit about US culture with my student.

What impressed me most about JWOC:

The way the non-profit was structured to be sustainable and scalable, with local program managers and the scholarship program at its heart. This approach evolved from the influence of the founders and JWOC's motto, "See a problem, solve a problem." JWOC's committed and skilled staff deliver well-run programs that encourage beneficiary engagement beyond simply being a recipient. What sets JWOC apart from other non-profits is the scholarship program; not only does JWOC offer university scholarship to deserving, financially-challenged Cambodian students, JWOC provides mentoring, training and real-life experiences via volunteering in and providing service to their communities. Witnessing the blossoming of JWOC scholarship students from years 1-4 through graduation is a joy; the student's confidence and capacity grow exponentially. JWOC scholarship graduates are well-rounded and well-prepared to contribute to the well being of their families, community and country. For example, the first JWOC student I sponsored graduated from Build Bright University in Siem Reap, Cambodia and is now a public school teacher, tour guide and studying for her Masters degree in Education.

How I became more involved with JWOC

As an former sales and marketing executive and now as an executive coach, I enjoy travel and exploring cultures, so I arranged to volunteer with JWOC for a month in 2010 to provide life coaching to JWOC scholarship students, management training for JWOC staff and skills workshops for JWOC students. My initial month in Siem Reap with JWOC impressed me deeply. Since then I joined the JWOC Board, contributing as JWOC Board Chair and now as JWOC's Executive Director. Using my ultra-running events as a catalyst, I enlisted the support of my generous friends and family and have sponsored additional JWOC scholars in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Everyone in the JWOC family deeply inspires me; the friendships and relationships I have made enrich my life. I derive tremendous satisfaction from being part of such a committed team, including JWOC's Board, staff, scholars, donors and global volunteers; I feel drawn to return each year to Siem Reap to volunteer at JWOC and witness JWOC's continuing progress and positive impact.

My invitation to others

As the saying goes, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I thank every friend of JWOC for being a positive force for change in the world through their on-going financial support. I invite you to deepen your engagement with JWOC; there are so many ways to help. Contact either me or Alex Plummer, JWOC's Managing Director; we'll be delighted to exchange ideas.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Neesa gives her thoughts on her first 3 months at JWOC

My name is Khuon sonesa. I have been working for JWOC for around 3 months as a Child Development Coordinator and Librarian. I am also a part-time teacher here. I am very glad to be a staff member at JWOC. Being a Child Development Coordinator and Librarian is a new experience for me and I enjoy the responsibility that comes with it. Every day, I have to teach and find activities to do with children in the library. They are very special. They like doing new things and enjoy hands-on experience. And I also really enjoy doing new things and playing with them especially on Sundays when JWOC runs its weekly Art Class for children to come and get more skills and knowledge about art projects. This class is led by my team and I. It’s a very special class that I really enjoy and I am relishing the opportunity to find creative ways to inspire the children of the community.

What makes me really love JWOC is that it has become a pillar in the community where real change happens. I really love the slogan of JWOC “See the problem, solve the problem”. By seeing this slogan it seems like JWOC is the Hope and the Help for other people. Moreover, all the staff at JWOC are very friendly and warm to me. They are like my brothers and sisters.

Since I have worked here I have joined join four workshops, two times as a participant and two more times as a speaker. All of those workshops have been very useful for me because it gave me many new ideas, experiences and also helped build up my confidence in working and teaching.

I have only been working at JWOC for 3 months but I can see how JWOC is the strength and hope of our community.

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