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14 Reviews
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January 5, 2013

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January 5, 2013

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.

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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

September 29, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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September 29, 2012
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.

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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

September 29, 2012

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1 previous review
April 7, 2012

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 (... more

September 29, 2012

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.

More feedback...

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

April 7, 2012
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.

More feedback...

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

September 28, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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September 28, 2012
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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

I do not have any recommendations.

More feedback...

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.

September 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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September 27, 2012
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

More feedback...

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

September 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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September 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

JWOC’s seemingly eclectic program has a unifying theme of providing assistance to improve the capacity and self-reliance of populations in need. The central focus is education to prepare people to participate in the expanding economy. They deliver their programs with a small professional staff and a large number of scholarship recipients who give back to the community through JWOC projects. I have had the opportunity to visit several JWOC operations. I will describe four that I observed: Clean Water Program; village tour; Micro-Finance; and School

1. Clean Water Program: I visited a village about 45 min from the school by tuk tuk. Several months after a well is installed, an inspection team returns to see how the well is working and to answer questions. JWOC gets a warranty on the wells and so it is important to correct any problems while the wells are under warranty. I went with a review team to a village where JWOC had installed a number of wells. The village was geographically close to Siem Reap but remote by virtue of the poor dirt road providing access. The students examined each of the wells and visited with each of the family group served by the wells. The students completed inspection forms and we finished in less than two hours. The benefits of this project were obvious and profound. The availability of clean water has dramatically reduced sickness in the village improving attendance at school and work.

I spoke with a young woman (maybe 17-19 years old) who gave me some insight into the nature and scale of the problems faced in rural Cambodia. After sitting quietly while the students talked with her parents in Khmer she said something in English. I asked her where she learned English and she responded that she had learned it in school. I ask if she was still in school and she respond that she quit after 7th or 8th grade because her family didn’t have the money for her to continue with secondary school. I asked what she did now and she said that she was the English teacher in the local primary school. She proudly showed some of here lessons that she had carefully lettered on a small chalk board. They consisted of lists of numbers and days of the week. JWOC’s scholarship program is designed to address the problem faced by the young woman when she left school before completing her studies.

2. Squatters’ Village Tour: I went with the Executive Director and a woman from Korea who represented a charitable organization looking to address some problems women face in Cambodia. The village is near JWOC’s headquarters and has grown rapidly in the last several years. Today perhaps a few thousand people live there. JWOC’s services are evident in the village: wells; micro finance; and education. The circumstances of this village are that the government has a grid of 50 meter rights-of-way in an undeveloped area. Most of the privately owned land is unused but the rights-of-way are lined along both sides with small huts. A dirt path runs down the middle. There is no formal drainage but some people have dug ditches to channel storm run off away from the path and the houses. Amazingly, many of the houses have electricity. A small-time entrepreneur brings power to individual homes who agree to pay him. It isn’t clear whether he buys or steals the power he sells. The housing ranges from extremely modest to abysmal.

3. Micro-Finance: I returned to the village later with the micro-finance group. On a regular schedule students visit the people who have received loans to check on the business and to collect payments. One of the more impressive visits was to a bead jewelry making business. I believe this woman was on her third loan. She had expanded from making the jewelry herself to five women working the day I was there. They make beads from magazine paper and string them into bracelets that are sold for a couple of dollars in the market or somewhat less to a wholesaler. The loans allowed them buy supplies and expand the business. Other businesses assisted by loans included recyclers and small stores. Most, but not all, of the recipients are women. The loans allow these women to contribute economically while staying home with children. The students collect money and information which is checked and documented when they return to the school. The program clearly benefits the borrowers. Significantly, it also provides real-world business experience for the students who coordinate the program.

4. School: I toured the school and participated in an English conversation class taught by one of the JWOC graduates. The school serves about 700 students per week. The school offers a computer lab; a library; a sewing center; and a mufti-purpose classrooms for the primary school and English instruction. The school has become a mufti-generational community resource whose impact would be difficult to overstate.

More feedback...

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

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