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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chhoeun - Looking back, what have I learnt?



My name is Mao Chhoeun. I come from Kampong Svay District, Kampong Thom Province. I have been volunteering in JWOC for around four years with the Clean Water Project and Microfinance Project beginning in October, 2010. I am very happy to join with the team in Clean Water Project and Microfinance Project. The Clean Water Project is a new experience for me.


I have been learning many skills from this project, such as how to survey villagers, hygiene training and ceramic filter training. All of these skills are very good for me. The Clean Water Project is a very special project that I really enjoyed joining and I was able to improve my leadership and teamwork within our community.

I have been volunteering with the Clean Water Project for around two years and I changed from Clean Water Project to Microfinance Project. I am a loan officer. I really enjoy working with the Microfinance team. I have been learning many skills from this project such as how to complete loan applications, communication with villagers, and balancing the cash from borrowers and reporting to the Microfinance Project Manager. Part of this is working in-groups, leading and inspiring each other.

I really love all programs at JWOC. All of these programs are very important to share with our community. JWOC has made many opportunities for me, other students and people in community. JWOC is a good organization that has been creating many projects for supporting peoples and students alike. Especially, JWOC has a Scholarship Program for the students in the community that they don’t have enough money to continue their studies at university. I love the slogan of JWOC “See a problem, solve a problem”.


Being part of this community has given me more opportunity than I had in my life before, it is very different now. I got a Scholarship from JWOC; this provides me the information to get to know everything in our community. Understand Cambodian culture and US culture, working in-groups, project training and many other workshops. This program has made me a better person. I really love all the staff at JWOC they are very friendly and they make me happy every time and I really enjoy working with them.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Change a life, become a JWOC sponsor!



To all of the JWOC family

This new academic year JWOC would like to support 17 new students in their ambition to attend university and better their prospects.

But we can only do this with your help! Please consider becoming a scholarship student sponsor this year.

JWOC Scholarships change lives - not only of the students themselves but also of their families and the people they help through their volunteering. You can be a part of making that change. Read the quotes from our previous graduates below to find out how they and others have benefitted from their JWOC scholarship.

 
 Khoeurn - Graduated in 2013 and current Free Classes Program Manager.

"It helped me a lot with my studies, my quality of life ,and my goals. In fact, before getting a scholarship, my studies were poor because I had to spend my time to earn money for my school fees and to look after my family. After I got the scholarship, my study, and family condition and my living have changed for the better. At the end I achieved my goal. Now I have improved my life. Moreover, I have participated in developing and helping my society by volunteering at JWOC."

Kanha - Graduated in 2010 and now a successful self-employed tour guide studying for her Masters.
 

"JWOC scholarship has provided me skills and experiences and helped get in to a new life. I wouldn't have been like I am today if JWOC hadn't provided me a scholarship. This program encouraged me to study hard. JWOC also helped improving me communication, business and English skills. Through training courses done by JWOC staff and volunteers were very useful adding to my degree. I have learnt a lot from JWOC staff and friends while going to the fields and connected to the local people. I made a lot of friends from there too. I'm so glad that we can help people when they really need it. Both programs I was involved in were helping the community, which is a good thing to involve more young people."

     
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..
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 they are 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 reply 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 just follow the link below to make your donation.

http://www.journeyswithinourcommunity.org/support/donate/ 


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 1st August to make sure we can match you with a student for this coming academic year.

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

Very best wishes,

Alexandra
JWOC Managing Director

Friday, June 06, 2014

An Inspiring Organization



Sarah, our Education and Volunteer Manager has been with us for 9 months, she talks to us about her experiences with the Free Classes team and how JWOC has inspired her and so many people in our community.

During my time as the Education and Volunteer Manager I have been lucky enough to be working with many wonderful and inspiring people.  My background is in teaching, having taught in London for 3 years and in Sudan for 2 years. 

I am constantly humbled by the amazing people at JWOC.  What makes JWOC special is that people are helping themselves improve their life opportunities, JWOC simply helps by giving the tools.  Our Scholarship students are remarkable, each with their own personal story of how they have overcome enormous odds and shown immense dedication to their education and bettering their lives in difficult circumstances.  Our Scholarship students not only want to improve their chances but also have a passion for helping others.  They truly are incredible as demonstrated through the energy with which they manage their studies at university, working to cover their living costs as well as volunteering in our Free Classes, Microfinance, Clean Water and Community Liaison and Assistance Programs.

I arrived in 2013 at an opportune time to see last year's Year 4 students graduate.  It was inspiring to hear their stories and how much they had grown and developed during their time with JWOC.  I also got to meet some of the previous graduates and find out some of their success stories and find out just how much being a Scholarship student at JWOC has helped as a catalyst for their personal journeys and that of their families. 

Within the Free Classes team I work with some amazing, motivated and dedicated people, always happy to do that bit extra and help.  Our previous Free Classes Program Manager was with JWOC for 8 years, as a Scholarship student, Intern and Free Classes Program Manager and lived and breathed Free Classes helping it to become what it is now.  Khoeurn, our new Free Classes Program Manager, graduated from our Scholarship Program last year and in fact gave a beautiful speech for his graduating class of 2013 and is a testament to the difference a Scholarship can make.  He is inspired to help his community through education.  Kea, our Free Classes Support Officer, is a current Scholarship student in Year 3 who has grown in confidence through JWOC's teacher development and always tackles his work with a smile and a joke.  Nesa, our Child Development Coordinator and Librarian as well as Art Class team leader, is extremely professional as well as innovative in coming up with creative ideas for children to learn whilst having fun.  As well as these key members we have the sewing team, the Computer classes team, the Art class team, the Under 8's team and the English classes team.  The Free Classes team is always willing to go above and beyond their roles.  It has been great to share and be part of the Free Classes team growing.  It is exciting looking to the future to more opportunities for growth for the Free Classes team at the same time as enhancing our educational provision for the community.


As well as working with an incredible team it has been inspiring to hear how JWOC has touched people who have come into contact with or have heard of our organization, such as Jane, Pat, Janet, Allen, Toni, April, Mark and Erin to name but a few.  Jane and Pat started by sponsoring a student and have become increasingly more involved spending time volunteering with JWOC over the last few years helping to build capacity.   Jane is now our Executive Director and a fantastic advocate for JWOC’s work.  Janet and Allen have continuously supported JWOC throughout the years, especially through their thoughtful and encouraging emails with JWOC's family of staff, Scholarship students and graduates; they know JWOC’s extended family better than anyone.  Toni, Mark and April are some of the conscientious tour managers from our longtime supporters Collette tours who have seen JWOC grow year by year from humble beginnings to reaching over 700 students a year.  Erin is one of the newest members of our board who will be coming to volunteer this month and help build capacity at JWOC; she has been coming up with some creative and generous ways of fundraising for JWOC as well as giving her time.  JWOC really seems to enrich people's lives and inspire people to want to do better - it certainly has for me!
 

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