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Gill Scott

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Journeys Within Our Community
September 28, 2012

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.





More feedback

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

MY ROLE:
Volunteer