Journeys Within Our Communities (Cambodia)
Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is responsible foropening language schools for disadvantaged youth, building water wells in rural villages, and providing low interest rate loans for small businesses in Cambodia.
SHARE Sponsored Programs:
The SHARE Institute funded (JWOC) to offer free classes to young students who desire to learn computer or English language skills. Eighteen students finished the English languages classes and sixty-three passed the digital literacy classes. All classes were primarily taught by college students who have received scholarship funds to pursue their undergraduate education.
Digital Literacy Classes, Cambodia
SHARE funds were used in Combodia to provide digital literacy classes to 46 students. Students improve their chances of employment by learning computer skills. Many of the students combine computer skills with learning English. These classes are popular because they are offered free of charge.
JWOC was awarded a grant from SHARE to implement micro credit loans. Two beneficiaries benefited from the grant. The loans went to expanding their businesses and raising their standard of living. One of the beneficiaries invested in a motor bike for her business so she can reach more places to market her cockleshell business. The second beneficiary was a small beverage and confectionery business. Both businesses benefited greatly from the loans.
This year SHARE Funded Journeys Within Our Communities to provide computer training to 50 young students. The Digital Literacy Classes were very popular and attracted a large number of students. Local IT teachers taught the classes and students learned to use the Internet, Microsoft, Excel and some learned typing.
Digital Literacy Classes, Cambodia
This project provided digital literacy classes to underprivileged youth within the Siem Reap area. The two classes had had 25 students each and students attended class four hours per week. The students learned about MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The course lasted for 3 months.
The classes utilized some of the materials and methodologies that were used in SHARE funded projects. Some of the instructors are former students who have attended SHARE funded projects of English language training. Graduating students were happy to acquire these skills that will provide good future opportunities in employment.
In Cambodia, SHARE funded a sewing training project which gave 100 under served and vulnerable women new, marketable skills. Furthermore, this project trained trainers for future sewing students. A graduate wrote, “I’m thankful for this program. The training helped me obtain a good and specific skill that changed my life for the better.”
In September 2012, Sarorn was funded by The Share Institute. She is a widow with four children who sells fried pork to local businesses. With her loan, Sarorn has been able to purchase raw pork and sell fried pork in larger quantities. The loan has also allowed her to buy new equipment and send her youngest child back to school. Sarorn enjoys borrowing from JWOC and hopes to continue improving her business.
JWOC was funded for two projects during 2011. The first was a micro-credit and hygiene program for women. The second was flood relief for Siem Reap Province. The micro-credit and hygiene project funded three micro-credit loans for women starting new businesses. JWOC also provided health and hygiene training sessions to borrowers. This will help them stay healthy so that they can repay the loans that will then be passed on to new borrowers. Flood relief was provided to Siem Reap Province where extensive flooding had occurred. The goal of this project was to reduce disease risk to children and to provide clean drinking water. A dry haven from the flooding was established for local children. Mosquito nets were also distributed. Lunches were given to displaced children and they were treated for injuries and infections..
UPDATE: Three women were funded with the SHARE mini grant, enabling them to expand their small businesses.
Sok Kong, age 55, runs a small noodle stall. She used her micro credit loan to purchase a sugar cane press so that she can sell sugar cane juice to her customers. She hopes that the increased income she will earn using the press will enable her to send her eldest son back to high school.
Cheu Ngeung, age 52, is a mother of four with a business selling fruit. She and her husband recently moved into the city so that their children can attend better schools. The micro credit loan enabled Cheu to buy a fruit cart. Having a cart enables her to sell more fruit each day and make a larger profit.
Heng Morn, age 48, has a roadside stall where she sells gasoline. She and her husband have seven children and all but the youngest attend school. The micro credit loan allowed Heng to expand the number of products she is able to sell. She now offers beverages and fresh coconuts to her customers. This increases the profit that she makes each day. Heng hopes to expand her business further to help keep her children in school and her family financially secure.
JWOC completed a micro-credit lending program in 2010 that supported two women in expanding their small businesses:
Touch is a 48 year old woman who runs a second hand clothing business. She purchases second hand clothes wholesale in the capital, Phnom Penh, and sells them at the market place near her home or outside of her home. The microcredit loan that Touch received allowed her to purchase clothing in larger quantities, securing her a lower rate and reducing the frequency of her visits to Phnom Penh. This reduces her business costs and the amount of time she must spend away from her family.
The micro-credit loan enabled Touch to increase her profit margin by 40% and widen her customer base by increasing the variety of clothing she can supply. She has already successfully repaid her loan and can now send her youngest son to school (her other children are above school age). In addition, Touch has been able to make repairs to her home and start saving money for emergencies. Her family is now able to eat more fruit and vegetables and treats their drinking water to prevent illness.
Channa is a 30 year old woman who runs a food stall outside of the Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap. She has a good customer base in this location because the hospital does not provide food for patients or staff. Channa applied for a micro-credit loan because she was not able to purchase enough food to last the entire day and would have to turn potential customers away. The loan enabled Channa to purchase more food and cooking equipment for her stall. She was also able to buy food in bulk, saving her money.
Channa wants to increase her revenue so that she can send her three children to school. She also wants to be able to save money for emergencies and make repairs to her home.
The SHARE Institute awarded JWOC a mini-grant to purchase five digital cameras to train forty students in photography. The cameras are currently being used to document JWOC projects.
The SHARE Institute funded the JWOC Village Microfinance Fund, a program designed to allow women to start their own businesses in Cambodia.
The SHARE Institute awarded a mini-grant to JWOC for the Village Microfinance Fund. This project provided collateral free and low interest loans for women to implement their business ideas. As each loan is paid back in full, other applicants have a chance to start their own business.
The SHARE Institute funded JWOC with three mini-grants to pay monthly stipends to three teachers for a year at the Wat Thmei Language School, provide school supplies for the students, and aid in the start of a computer training program. The vision of the school is to bring high-quality academic study and professional training to poor children with aptitude for higher learning.
The SHARE Institute awarded a mini-grant to JWOC to purchase textbooks and school supplies for disadvantaged youth.