Journeys Within Our Community

Rating: 4.93 stars   14 reviews

Issues: Education, Disaster Aid, Philanthropy

Location: 11260 Donner Pass Road Ste C1 #256 Truckee CA 96161 USA

Mission: To run projects in Southeast Asia that reduce poverty levels, increase educational and economic opportunities and empower recipients and supporters, inspiring ongoing social change.
Results: Click here -http://www.journeyswithinourcommunity.org/about/news/jwoc-annual-reports/ - to read our annual reports.

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

This is a one-stop shop for those wanting a more in depth experience of SE Asian culture, and those wanting to know their money is making a direct impact.

Win Win Win in Cambodia with JWOC.
Part of our lodging expenses supported JWOC's work.
Volunteering in JWOC's reading program gave us a fun/direct experience with students.
Touring with JWOC allowed us to go "off tour" to see our tour guide's old school and meet family.

Win in Laos too.
Traveling without JWOC in Laos, but knowing the quality of JWOC's work, we now support a student in Laos via JWOC.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 

Hello Don Thank you for your lovely review! I'd just like to share for others that are also interested in traveling in SE Asia that you traveled not with JWOC but Journeys Within Tour Company (http://www.journeys-within.com/). JWOC and Journeys Within Tour Company were founded by the same great people but operate separately. Best wishes Nicola ( Managing Director at JWOC)

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I have known of this charity for 2 years. I am very impressed with the ethos of this organisation. They help many people , but more importantly they enable the people they support to help others. I think this gives the recipients a sense of pride and also helps them to become self reliant. The charity also is very good at letting the general public and donors know how the money is being spent and seeing the results of their work, by using facebook and newsletters.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

You might think, because I'm on the Board of Directors of Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) that I am biased. You might think, because JWOC was founded by close family friends, that I am biased. You might think, because my daughter is also on the Board, that I am biased. But you would be wrong. It is because of all those things that I have the highest of expectations for this organization. And it meets them all. JWOC is, first and foremost, a grassroots effort, born out of the genuine desire to solve problems that my friends saw while operating a tour business in Cambodia. Struck by the locals' desperate need for clean water, educational and economic opportunities and sustainable skill-building, they brainstormed on how to "See a Problem....Solve a Problem" with not much more than creative ideas and boundless energy. Now, only seven years later, JWOC has matured into a well-organized, effective, responsive nonprofit that delivers life-changing services to thousands of disadvantaged adults and children in three SE Asian countries. And JWOC's leaders are always restless to do that even better. Partnering with government, villagers, experts, university students and the rich pool of talent within its own donor base, the JWOC team seeks creative, effective and sustainable solutions in an ever-changing landscape of needs. The organization currently focuses on clean water and hygiene training/supplies for thousands of people, microfinance loans, free classes for all ages to learn everything from English to sewing, university scholarships and emergency relief. JWOC is not about giving handouts. It's about creating opportunities for people to learn to help themselves. For example, JWOC's relief program for flooded villages included planting communal gardens and training the families to grow vegetables more efficiently for higher yields to offset future field losses. The university scholarship program requires the recipients to donate 5-10 hrs per week helping run JWOC programs, which gives them practical applications for their schooling as well as mentoring the value of "giving back." The JWOC programs always have a twist that makes them unique and its growth, maturity and credibility prove that its business models work. I am proud to be associated with this organization and the sincere and talented people who run it.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

A very professionally run organisation. They do so much with so little. Any donation is used to benefit those who need it the most.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The approach that JWOC takes in not only supporting the educational goals/needs of young people in the areas they serve, but also actively seeking & recognizing practical ways to make an impact on the communities' daily lives in order to make not only the education possible but improve immediate conditions while teaching those involved how to recognize and make things better themselves is impressive. I try to only invest in organizations that make a lasting, sustainable difference in the lives of those they serve, and JWOC is exactly that, through and through.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

We have enjoyed donating to Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) over the past three years. We discovered JWOC as a result of booking a tour for our daughter through the Journeys Within Tour Company (a for-profit tour company founded by the same people as the non-profit JWOC). Since then we have donated substantially to the building of the new JWOC Language School which now teaches free classes to over 700 students, have sponsored three 4 year university scholarships with plans to continue to sponsor an additional student each year and have sponsored the past seven tailoring and dressmaking classes as well as the microfinance proect which enables graduates of the program to buy sewing machines to help launch their own businesses. We also make a monthly donation to general funds.

JWOC is impressively organized and focused. This transparent NGO has clear goals and low overhead costs. We monitor its projects through its excellent website, communication with the staff and university scholarship students, also frequent photo Facebook updates. Receipts for donations are issued promptly with a note as to how our donation was allocated. It has brought us enormous joy to watch 1st year scholarship students grow in self confidence through their volunteer placements as they learn the importance of giving back to their communities.

Given their accomplishments it is extraordinary to realize that this dynamic NGO was only founded six years ago. We have made wonderful friends among the JWOC staff and scholarship students. We had been looking for a more personalized yet effective approach to giving and have very clearly found it here.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We have enjoyed donating to Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) over the past three years. We discovered JWOC as a result of booking a tour for our daughter through the Journeys Within Tour Company (a for-profit tour company founded by the same people as the non-profit JWOC). Since then we have donated substantially to the building of the new JWOC Language School which now teaches free classes to over 700 students, have sponsored three 4 year university scholarships with plans to continue to sponsor an additional student each year and have sponsored the past seven tailoring and dressmaking classes as well as the microfinance proect which enables graduates of the program to buy sewing machines to help launch their own businesses. We also make a monthly donation to general funds.

JWOC is impressively organized and focused. This transparent NGO has clear goals and low overhead costs. We monitor its projects through its excellent website, communication with the staff and university scholarship students, also frequent photo Facebook updates. Receipts for donations are issued promptly with a note as to how our donation was allocated. It has brought us enormous joy to watch 1st year scholarship students grow in self confidence through their volunteer placements as they learn the importance of giving back to their communities.

Given their accomplishments it is extraordinary to realize that this dynamic NGO was only founded six years ago. We have made wonderful friends among the JWOC staff and scholarship students. We had been looking for a more personalized yet effective approach to giving and have very clearly found it here.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am a volunteer, a donor and an ardent supporter of JWOC (Journeys Within Our Community). There are a hundred stories I could tell you about JWOC but, to keep it simple, here is just one.
I was volunteering as an English teacher with JWOC and another charity. I taught two classes at JWOC and then went (on the back of a taxi motorbike) to the other location. One day, after class I stopped and spoke to a student. I said, “You must be keen. You cycled on a push bike from JWOC to here. You attended three English classes!”
“No,” he said, “I attend four classes. I go to a Japanese class before the English classes.”
A friend who lives in Cambodia put this in context. He said, “There is nothing you can donate that is more valuable than your time. Someone who learns to speak a bit of English is much more likely to be able to find a job. And that is what every Cambodian wants more than anything.”
When I first started volunteering I worried that maybe we were being a bit paternalistic but then I was reminded that almost every educated person in Cambodia died in the scourges between 1975 and 1979, including almost all teachers, doctors, nurses, etc., I realise that there is still such a shortage of educators, and so every little bit helps - and is enormously appreciated.
In fact we are made to feel SO appreciated that sometimes I think we are the ones who benefit the most and I feel a bit guilty.
Because JWOC realises the importance of education, they find donors to fund scholarships to help poor but bright students go to university. What I really like about this scheme is that the scholarship students are asked to give back something to the community. Many choose to teach free English classes. You would need to visit these classes to see the extent to which they are appreciated.
I could go on for hours telling you good stories about what happens at JWOC but perhaps, in the interests of brevity, I should stop here.





Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As I sit in a school for 700 from tiny ones to adults learning to sew and business skills, I am impressed by the number of volunteers, and the fact that some of the poorest of poor are educated in this school A small non-profit, it has found a way to also provide education to college students for $500/year, and to have those students involved in a serious give-back program. Loans are returned with interest, but a business person can only re-borrow if he or she has attended business classes. The model "See a Need, Fill a Need" is flexible and allows for the most important projects to be undertaken. I LOVE JWOC's low-budget solutions.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

teaching at the JWOC school in Siem Reap and buying gift items at the Truckee evening events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not have any recommendations.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

I love to think about people who have not had opportunities being educated.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

The many areas of giving impress me because of the extremely low overhead and the volume of people impacted.

What would you tell others about this organization?

That so little money goes to administration and that so much is being accomplished with donated money, it is truly worthwhile. Helping people help themselves is the very best form of non-profit.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It's really appropriate and caring when someone emails you a picture of your donation being used for a non-profit like JWOC - Journeys within or Community. Volunteers Jane Price and Pat Requa took some children's games to Cambodia and the one called "Spot" seemed a big hit - they then emailed us a photo of the kids engagement - it was wonderful and meaningful to those of us in the USA. Sally Edwards, running partner with Jane Price in Sacramento, CA

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) works in Southeast Asia to improve living conditions of local communities through health, education, economic, and emergency relief projects. In 2007, I sponsored a Cambodian university student's education and for the last 3 years spent a month volunteering in Cambodia for JWOC. Seeing firsthand the effectiveness & impact of JWOC's work, I joined the board to extend my contribution to JWOC's mission.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?