Journeys Within Our Community

Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

Based on the principle of ‘Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow’, our focus is education, including opportunities at local universities, JWOC’s Community Center and in the villages surrounding Siem Reap, Cambodia. We have learned that focusing on education is where we can make the greatest difference in helping Cambodian youth to better their future and become leaders in their community.

Empower Our Community!

How digital literacy improves employment opportunities

In our Better Futures program, JWOC has been providing recent high school graduates with English, Computer, Career guidance and life skill training. Computer skills are essential in order to utilize computers and related technology efficiently, supports them to type, write CVs, conduct research online, make presentations and ultimately, helps them to stand out in a competitive job market.Though the COVID 19 pandemic stopped JWOC from running actual class learning, we still offer students the online class which allows them to keep continuing their study with us. During online class, the students get to learn about Microsoft Office such as Ms. Word, Power point, and Excel, as well as how to do research online.

Here are some case studies outlining the positive impact of this program on our students!

Vanny is a 23-year old Monk that lives in a pagoda 10km away from JWOC. When asked about the impact of our program, he said “What I enjoy the most is Computer class because it is my favorite subject. Also, I like soft skills such as time management lessons. It can help me to manage the time effectively. During this Covid-19 pandemic, I have some problems with finance but it is not so impacted. In the future, I want to be a networker and run my own business that is related to computer skills. Since I study at JWOC, I have noted that my English and Computer ability has improved. Not just that, but also soft skills have improved too. What I have learned from JWOC can lead to achieving my goal in the future”.

Sovannouksa is a 20-year old female student enrolled on our Better Futures Program. She said: “What I enjoy the most is the warm welcome such as caring, encouragement, and providing feedback from teachers and trainers.also, the environment is really good. Due to Covid-19, my family is facing financial problems and sometimes this situation affects my study which makes me forget to do my homework or exercise. In the future, I want to be a teacher of English in high school or university because in my country it needs a lot of good teachers to support young people. To me, I believe that JWOC has supported me a lot since I became their student. When I first came here, my English and Computer were not really good however, I have noted that they are now getting better. Furthermore, JWOC built my confidence, respect and commitment  in the classroom”.

The students were happy to acquire these skills that will provide good future opportunities in employment.

Thank you to The SHARE Institute for funding JWOC’s Digital Literacy Program!

 

Staff Corner: Dara reflects on JWOC’s team spirit

We spoke to Dara, our Computer Instructor, about his reflection on what he has been working on at JWOC so far …

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I’m Dara. I’m doing a bachelor’s degree in ICT at the University of South East Asia (USEA). Originally, I’m from Banteay Meanchey province and now live in Siem Reap for study and work. My first job was as a waiter in a restaurant and then I went to join in building a website team for a short time.

Why did you want to work for JWOC?

As I saw the opportunity at JWOC which is related to my skill at university also and I want to move from a private company to NGO. Another thing I want to share is my knowledge as a computer teacher.

How has your experience working for JWOC been so far?

I have been working at JWOC for 4 months. I love this kind of working environment here. I mostly work in the computer lab. The co-worker is friendly and always sharing or training some topics for the team. Here is more about teamwork than I used to know.

What are the types of things you do on a daily basis?

The main responsibilities are teaching and taking care of or fixing the problem of electronic equipment. Mostly I teach 2 hours per day and the rest I create a lesson plan, check student performance, check all lab equipment, and more tasks from my managers Mr. Kea and Ms. Konthea.

Can you give us an update on the learning online process?

Regarding the online class process, firstly I make the topic in an online class schedule and then start to follow the schedule by creating video lessons and questions to assess students. After posting videos on the Facebook group during that time, I sometimes have questions from students related to lessons or out of the lessons. At the deadline of submitting homework from students, I check and track attendance. By the way, I also gave them the performance follow 5C checklist to improve them on learning. For student performance, I update with the manager or coordinator every 2nd of the month.

What has been exciting and/or challenging?

I am really excited about my tasks as a teacher even though I never did it before. JWOC has provided training and shared techniques to me. Personally, I have never had such good sharing before. The challenge I have is teaching online. It is hard to provide a real practice of learning to students.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at JWOC?

When not at JWOC I sometimes make plans to study with friends to explore more knowledge about Networking and Programming or Coding. Sometimes I go to visit my family in my hometown Banteay Meanchey Province 100KM far. Also, I like to watch movies and play online games for entertainment.

What advice do you have for other youth?

Be humble. In the current environment, it is popular to be haughty or arrogant. Such attitudes tend to prevent an individual from developing healthy relationships. Being humble allows you to be open to learning from elders and making adjustments to become a better person.

Student Corner: Sokunthy and Borey go to Thailand for their Teaching Practicum!

Every year, the top 15 students on English Literature degrees at the University of South East Asia are chosen to participate in an international teaching practicum. Two of our students, Sokunthy and Borey went to Thailand to the University of South East Asia’s partner universities in Thailand.

How did you get the opportunity to go to Thailand?

Borey: Going to Thailand is one of my goals since I came to JWOC. To be one of the top 15 students, you have to study hard, have a good experience with teaching. You have to prepare all the lesson plans, observation work with your team, use theory from the books we have already studied so far, and put all of that into a report and journal.

What are you worried about?

Sokunthy: I get car sick so I am a little worried about the journey. I am also worried about applying my teaching ability even though I have been a volunteer teacher at JWOC for 3 years and learned about the strategy of how to teach, but it’s still a little scary to teach in a new place.

What are you excited about?

Sokunthy: I know for students who pass English Literature who get a good GPA, they can go to Thailand, but I didn’t think I could do it, but I can go. I feel very happy, and I hope that I can be successful on my practicum journey. I will come back to share with other Cambodians what I have learned and share my experience.

Borey:. It’s very exciting to be there, and it’s a good chance to do the practicum in Thailand. It means that I can get more knowledge, especially experience from other people. I got the good credit, which means that I can apply for more scholarships. This is such a new experience for me as I have never left Cambodia, to see a different culture and environment. I don’t know much about the students’ abilities so it’s not easy to teach them or lead them, but I believe in myself.

Now that you’re back in Cambodia, how did it go?

Borey: It was good, I enjoyed teaching University students. The students were mixed ability from different subjects: Tourism, Law, Hospitality, Accounting, Computer Science and Marketing Management, and my team taught around 50 students during 2 weeks. I also learned some Thai and also a little bit of Chinese. I also made some new Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese friends. I realised that I am ready to teach adult students, which I never knew before because I had never tried it, and I want to continue to a Master’s degree.

 

Sokunthy: In a couple of weeks,  I have done many things such as observing and teaching English  to the students, having a meeting with the school principal, observing associate teachers, joining the university’s trip with Brunei students and participating with the school’s exhibition name “Open house”. In addition, I have met a lot of great people and teachers. They helped me with my teaching process to make it go smoothly and successfully.  I really enjoyed teaching because it can relate the knowledge that I have studied in the classroom to the real aspect of the teaching environment. Especially, I have learned new things from my homeroom teachers such as technique of teaching, classroom management strategies, and differences characteristic between Thai and Cambodian students.

Borey, what was it like being the team leader?

Being the team leader was a lot of responsibility and I also had to be flexible. We found it difficult to choose the topic to teach and we had some communication challenges because of the language ability. I had to use Google Translate a lot, look for someone who could speak English or find a friend, and keep in touch with my team members to communicate online. I really enjoyed being the team leader because I could learn more, share information and liaise with the University and other students.

Sokunthy, what are the top 3 things you want to share with other students?

The top three things which I would love to share with the next cohort and people in Cambodia are: First, try to study hard to get a good GPA to get this great opportunity. Second, be an active student in the class. Third, try to review some theories in the book which is about teaching and learning methodology.

 

Collette’s Changemakers begin working on their projects!

33 students in Year 3 and 4 of JWOC’s University Scholarship Program have begun identifying the key issues affecting them as youth. The topics range from social media use, to plastic, health problems, reading and lack of clear life goals. After brainstorming these issues, the students began to identify the key stakeholders, including their parents, siblings, peers, University professors, employers and other NGOs.

We invited some of these stakeholders to join the students as they completed their problem and objective trees, giving them the opportunity to identify the root causes and potential effects these problems can have on youth and their families.

Here is a spotlight on some of the projects being explored:

Youth lack clear life goals

The students identified the key causes of students not having clear life goals as being due to a lack of opportunities and confidence, a poor understanding of goal setting, family pressure pushing them in certain directions, and a lack of positive role models.

The impact of such issues included low satisfaction with their career or income, disappointment with life, potential mental health issues, a young generation with low skills, high rates of unemployment and the creation of a vicious cycle that could be repeated without appropriate intervention.

Youth don’t read enough

The students in this group identified the key causes of low reading rates among youth to be attributed to a lack of time and money to buy books, not enough books in Khmer, poor variety, and the distractions from social media. 

The unintended consequences included low critical thinking, and not encouraging the next generation to read, which could create a continuous loop of low literacy and engagement with books.

Youth over-use plastics

This group said the main causes of youth over-using plastic is because they lack choices that are convenient, they don’t have good habits about using alternatives or aren’t aware of their existence. They also said that youth simply might not even know that it is a problem, where it comes from or where it goes after it’s used.

The group also identified the key consequences such as the negative impact on the environment, including the loss of resources, animals, and the creation of more and more single use plastics.

What’s next?

The students visited 3 projects in Siem Reap to inspire them before they begin to plan their own activities. They saw an exhibition by a young Cambodian photographer, an inclusive space for LGBTQI+ people, and visited a social enterprise making educational toys out of plastic bottles. 

We are excited to see how our students’ projects will continue to develop! Thank you again to the Collette Foundation for supporting our Youth Leadership Program.

 

Nesa gives her thoughts on her first 3 months at JWOC

My name is Khuon sonesa. I have been working for JWOC for around 3 months as a Child Development Coordinator and Librarian. I am also a part-time teacher here. I am very glad to be a staff member at JWOC. Being a Child Development Coordinator and Librarian is a new experience for me and I enjoy the responsibility that comes with it. Every day, I have to teach and find activities to do with children in the library. They are very special. They like doing new things and enjoy hands-on experience. And I also really enjoy doing new things and playing with them especially on Sundays when JWOC runs its weekly Art Class for children to come and get more skills and knowledge about art projects. This class is led by my team and I. It’s a very special class that I really enjoy and I am relishing the opportunity to find creative ways to inspire the children of the community.

What makes me really love JWOC is that it has become a pillar in the community where real change happens. I really love the slogan of JWOC “See the problem, solve the problem”. By seeing this slogan it seems like JWOC is the Hope and the Help for other people. Moreover, all the staff at JWOC are very friendly and warm to me. They are like my brothers and sisters.


Since I have worked here I have joined join four workshops, two times as a participant and two more times as a speaker. All of those workshops have been very useful for me because it gave me many new ideas, experiences and also helped build up my confidence in working and teaching.

I have only been working at JWOC for 3 months but I can see how JWOC is the strength and hope of our community.

Our Programs

Scholarship Program

The ability to attend university and achieve a higher education is well beyond the financial reach of many students in Cambodia even if they are able to graduate from high school. JWOC awards university scholarships to Cambodian students who are the driving force behind everything we do!

Free Classes

The JWOC Free Classes program aims to improve quality education for low-income families within the community through language and skill-based lessons. To achieve this goal, we ensure that the community has access to free quality education at our community centre!

Community Support

JWOC delivers essential life skills trainings in the villages that helps improve standards of living. We work with village leaders and the community to actively involve them in assessing their needs and in customizing training content!

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Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) is a non-profit organization that partners with Cambodian youth to fulfill their potential in education, employment and engagement with their community. JWOC is certified with a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar.org.

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