Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sarah tells us all about JWOC's Summer Camp

Hi! My name is Sarah. I’ve been volunteering with JWOC for the past two weeks at their Summer Camp. The Summer Camp runs for 2 weeks while Khmer Schools are on holidays and is free and available to all.

Day one, I joined up with my new workmates, six high school interns from various schools in Siem Reap who have been selected to help supervise and run the Summer Camp. I can’t wait to work with them for the next 3 weeks. I was met with six huge smiles and instantly found six new friends Srey Ly, Srey Mouv, Thoeur, Sopheak, Yar and Socheata! We got to it straight away; Sarah Crowley (yes that’s right we have two Sarah’s now at JWOC) JWOC’s  Education and Volunteer Manager went through the Child Protection Training and gave us an overview of last year’s programs.

The planning begins! As a group we brainstormed craft activities, games, performances and put a plan together ready for camp. It’s interesting that a lot of the games we play in Australia are also popular in Cambodia such as duck, duck, goose and Simon Says.

The next step is advertising; the intern team made flyers and headed to local villages and current classes at JWOC to promote Summer Camp. The children give the interns the feedback that they would like, lots of singing, dancing and painting – Roger that!!

During the week of planning we ran through the games to make sure we all knew how to play, wrapped up our pass the parcel and tried out some of the art projects. I discovered that my drawing skills peak at stick figures and butterflies, luckily the interns on the other hand are extremely creative. Socheata was busy writing a song to sing with the children, while Sopheak came up with educational games about road safety. 
Summer Camp starts!

Everyone was excited, the interns asked “Sarah will we have enough students?” I replied “Yes of course” and crossed my fingers that we would. We completed the activity plan for each session stating the resources we need, location, group sizes and contingency plans, bring it on! We were ready for anything.
Summer Camp started at 10am and we had 30 children (YAY!). Yar went through the Summer Camp rules then straightaway we were finger painting.  Many of the children attended JWOC’s art classes on Sunday and are really creative, their drawing and colour blending skills are fantastic. By the end of the first week we have had a banana eating competition, have read numerous stories (ghost stories are the favorite), played musical chairs, made collages, learnt the chicken dance and painted faces just to name a few. The children are having a ball and are excited each day to take home the craft goodies they have created. Some of the children even take it upon themselves to improve my very average Khmer by pointing at objects and saying bicycle - “kong” , chicken “mourn”etc .

We still have one more week of Summer Camp ahead; I’ve recruited my friend Prue from Australia to join the fun too. We still have three legged races, a talent show, balloon games and yoga to go. I don’t know who will be sadder when Summer Camp ends …. me or the children!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Let's Begin - Giving the Gift of Education

It's that time of year again! At JWOC and across the world, students are going back to school - and for some it will be their very first day. As our current crop of Kindergarten students move on up, a new group of children will anxiously walk into our classrooms for the very first time. For this precious age group, we offer bilingual classes in English and Khmer, using games, music, and art to develop their blossoming drawing, math, and behavioral skills.

In addition to welcoming 30 new Kindergarten students, we are also starting two new Computer classes, two new Let’s Begin Classes and two new Starter Classes! With over 700 students visiting the JWOC Community Center every week, it is exciting to watch our Free Classes Program continue to expand and serve as an important hub to our local community. By providing critical computer and English skills, we aim to prepare our students to be able to enter the ever-growing Siem Reap job market.

We just launched our Back to School campaign to help support our expanding Free Classes Program. You’ve seen how fast we’re growing! To support JWOC’s Free Classes Program, just visit our homepage and take a look at the many ways you can help – big or small, the impact is huge.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

JWOC's Back to School Appeal 2014

Dear Supporter,

Back to School! This familiar phrase is all around us, marking the end of summer vacation and the start of another school year.

As many of Cambodia's children are also going back to school right now, we are reminded that not all are so fortunate. The state school system in Cambodia is plagued by a lack of investment, poor facilities, limited resources and under-trained teachers. This can lead to limited educational opportunities, no matter how eager the children are to learn. In addition, there are many adults who have been unable to complete their education because of the need to work or support their families.

Last year JWOC provided English, Computer and Art lessons to over 700 students through our Free Classes Program in an aim to provide disadvantaged students educational opportunities to help them build better futures. Help us to continue our efforts this coming academic year by helping support JWOC Free Classes.

Give the gift of education and support the students who attend JWOC's Free Classes. A single donation can provide one more member of our community with a brighter future.

Thank you for making a difference in our community, and continuing to be a part of the JWOC family.
Kind regards,
Alex Plummer 
Journeys Within Our Community


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