Bring Well Being & Education to Children Globally

Jun 25, 2014

Happy Summer!

Lunchtime at Los Patojos!
Lunchtime at Los Patojos!

Happy summer, friends!

What are your favorite ways to cool down as the weather heats up? Our partners have been up to lots of exciting activities to help keep them moving forward during the summer months. We hope you enjoy their progress, the results of your support!

Tegucigalpa, Honduras: New happenings at Asociación Compartir include the increase of children’s reading clubs in each community, with 900 boys, girls, and youth having participated between January and March. Each reading club member read four books on their own, helping them strengthen the academic concepts they are working on in school. In addition, 3,756 boys, girls, and youth participated in activities organized at community libraries.

Compartir’s mobile libraries have gained more involvement from the communities and schools that they are affiliated with, and a positive change in behavior has been observed with the children and families. The libraries have received more visitors, and more children and parents have shown interest in their services.

In addition, mobile library events such as reading animation activities and video library workshops have taken place. Some of these activities are held in public spaces, helping to restore them as safe areas. One of the ways this is done is holding cultural festivals – check out the photos attached in the PDF!

In terms of cultural development, flute, choir, and theater groups have been organized, as well as field trips to Chiminike, an interactive museum, and a concert at the national school of music. In addition, diversified art mediums such as Gigantones (giant heads), stilt walkers, mimes and charades have been offered. These art forms improve self-esteem and capacity development, making them beneficial to the youth in these communities facing social risks. The successes of these programs have been recognized by other cultural institutions, and local authorities attended one of the children’s theater group’s presentations.

 “I heard from many kids… they said this [mobile] library was something that had changed their lives completely, not only helping them with homework, but improving their reading skills, and also acting as an extracurricular.”

-Tiffany, JustWorld Ambassador and Volunteer

Jocotenango, Guatemala: The biggest new development at Los Patojos is the development of an internal leadership structure. Teachers have set guidelines for lesson plans, and students are responsible for taking care of their classroom spaces. In addition, Los Patojos initiated two new programs. The first is a scholarship program that is based on financial need, participation at the project, and maintaining good grades in school. So far, 18 students have benefitted!

The second is a program to chart student’s weight and supervise progress for any cases of malnutrition or obesity. No cases of malnutrition were reported in grades 2 and 3, and no cases of protein-calorie malnutrition or morbid obesity were reported in any of the youth over twelve years of age. The project served 11,617 meals to an average of 132 students per day!

This past April, 13 JustWorld Volunteers visited Los Patojos and shared some of their experiences here (Video begins at 1:27):

Also, be sure to check out footage from Los Patojos’ recent cultural night, which packed the school full of families and members of the community to enjoy performances put together by the teachers and students:

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Lots of positive change is taking place at People Improvement Organization (PIO). The biggest improvement has been in the library and social work program, where teachers visited 32 student’s homes (a 60% increase from the amount they saw in months prior) to meet with their families and discuss the children’s’ challenges in school, how PIO can address these challenges, and why families should keep their children in school.

Monthly attendance rates have remained the same while academic performance has increased significantly. 780 students have received school supplies and uniforms from JustWorld, Grade 6 pass rates are at 91 percent and 102 students are successfully studying in high school due to their preparation while at PIO. Talk about hard work paying off! Eight of these high school students from have been recognized for their outstanding academic achievement! Get the full story here: Students from PIO are not only going on to study at the high school level, but also at university. One PIO graduate, Veasna, is a university student teaching English at PIO. Read his story here:

After his father left Veasna worked with his aunt picking up garbage for sale. One day she asked him if he wanted to continue his study. He answered “yes”, and then his aunt looked for an NGO where he could study. She found PIO and brought him to live and study here. He has successfully graduated from high school, and is employed as a Grade 1 teacher at Borey Santipheap 2 and in the weekends he is studying for a Commerce degree at university.

PIO’s popularity has been on the rise, evidenced by the number of volunteers and visitors who have come to see the school and support its work. A visiting team of student nurses and their supervisors assessed PIO students and determined that they are generally in good health. They found an absence of diseases associated with poverty, which can be attributed to the nutrition program, access to a trained nurse, and health and hygiene education. Two JustWorld volunteers also taught English, helped in the shelter, and assisted visitors.

 “It is difficult to find the right words to describe and thank for my unique, absolutely wonderful and amazing teaching time at PIO school. Teaching Grade 3A is, and was magical. The class is full of incredibly lovely and clever students who made me fall in love with them. “

Leonora, JWI Volunteer January – April 2014.

Help us to spread the news amongst friends and colleagues- this program qualifies for Microsoft YouthSpark’s Bonus Day in which all donations up to $1,000 are being matched 100% today while funds last!

Have a wonderful day and stay in touch!

Group Photo: Cultural Festival in Honduras
Group Photo: Cultural Festival in Honduras
Singer: Honduras Cultural Festival!
Singer: Honduras Cultural Festival!
Venny: A Top PIO High School Scholar
Venny: A Top PIO High School Scholar
Getting Checked by Nurses at PIO!
Getting Checked by Nurses at PIO!


Mar 31, 2014

Happy Spring!

Students at the museum
Students at the museum

Dear Friends,

Happy spring! How are you doing? What plans do you have for the summer? We’d love to hear from you too!

Asociación Compartir, Honduras | Compartir has been working hard to get more children and youth involved in the mobile library as a result of the significance of the election year. They believe it is truly the time to raise awareness of the importance of education to increase the children’s opportunities in the future and have better quality lives. As a result, there has been more engagement from parents which not only expands Compartir’s reach, but also takes eases some of the burden and costs of the organization as they take more responsibility for the programming.

This past week, 1,300 students took a field trip to the Chiminique Museum where they played in different interactive rooms learning techniques that stimulate the senses and motivate them to want to gain more knowledge! View more photos HERE.

Los Patojos, Guatemala | Los Patojos put on their first Cultural Night of 2014 on Thursday. The program for the evening consisted of a performance by each grade level, from the “Estrellitas” (Little Stars) to the teenage break dance group “LP Crew”. Thanks to the students, teachers, parents, volunteers, and the community, the night was a huge success!

The students are also excited about the building of the new center, located down the street from the current one. This week marks Week 15 of construction and they are progressing rapidly each day. The land and construction, part of the first phase, was donated by the Canadian organization Give Kids a Chance. Juan Pablo, the Director of Los Patojos, and JustWorld, have been working on securing pledges for the second and third phases. Once complete, the new building will serve 300 students, twice the current capacity, as well as implement vocational programs for adults, a cooking school and bakery for students to learn new skills, and much more! To see a photo of what the new building will look like, along with Los Patojos’ media kit, click HERE.

“What tremendous success! What a positive leader! You can tell this project is capable of positive change.”

– Deborah Stillman Aguirre, Supporter in Guatemala

People Improvement Organization (PIO), Cambodia | Two JustWorld volunteers have been teaching English classes at PIO since December/January. Aurelia has enjoyed her time so much, that she funded a field trip for 25 students from the shelter she also helps with to visit Dreamland, an amusement park in Phnom Penh, for a nice night out.

Leonara is teaching a third grade class [photo at right] and helping at the shelter as well. She said, “I am having a very good time here, teaching my grade three is a lot of fun.” She shared photos from a recent visit from a group of dentists to PIO as well: Dentists Visit PIO.

Interested in visiting one of our partners with us? We would love to have you!

  • Los Patojos: April 6-14, 2014
  • PIO: October 2014

Thank you for your continuous support of JustWorld. We greatly appreciate your time and commitment to these causes and would not be able to change so many lives without you.


JustWorld International

Cultural Night at Los Patojos
Cultural Night at Los Patojos
PIO 3rd Grade Class
PIO 3rd Grade Class


Jan 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

We hope you enjoyed the holidays! Did you celebrate through music, crafts, and parties with family and friends? Our partners have been busy with celebrations and events as well!

Asociación Compartir, Honduras | The Christmas holiday and recent presidential elections provided great opportunities for students at Compartir. The youth journalism group attended forums for the elections and even prepared reports for national media! Four girls attended a forum on girls’ issues and needs in Honduras with female representatives from other communities and programs. Then, on December 7th, Compartir organized readings, an art show, painting stations, and a music performance with children from three communities around the city at a local shopping center which serves 700 visitors per day. They encouraged shoppers to join in on the activities, make donations, and leave messages of peace on a Christmas box, sharing their mission throughout the day.

  • Compartir in the news! Their poster promoting the youth journalism group was printed in La Tribuna on December 23, 2013.
  • Nelson Rodriguez leads the Mobile Library and shares the importance of promoting reading and culture in this video with activities the children regularly participate in.

“Visiting the projects has made me have a broader perspective on life and how the small things can create such a huge difference in a person's life. Also, I've noticed how appreciative people have been of the work JWI does and this makes me very proud.”- Visitor to Compartir and Los Patojos

Los Patojos, Guatemala | A group of JustWorld supporters from the US and Canada visited Los Patojos in November, some of whom had visited multiple times before and noticed a marked change in the project- even from their last visit in April. A new reporting process is in effect, tracking lesson plans as well as the health and nutrition of students. They’ve set their goal for the medical clinic to serve 5,000 in 2014. Los Patojos has also reached two incredible milestones; they successfully organized 34 hours of activities in their community to promote ‘24 Hours - 0 Violent Deaths’ and their blueprints were approved in November for their new centre and construction has begun!

  • Los Patojos in the news! They were featured online on both Soy502 and the PrensaLibre!
  • Juan Pablo and the BBoys have been helping with new building- Look at how much they accomplished in just the first ten days!

“I have enjoyed being involved for such a long time and watching the progress of the project. I am impressed with Juan Pablo and his dedication.” –Visitor

“This isn't just a temporary fix, its changing the course of their lives; their health, education, nutrition and leadership. Visiting the project allowed me to actually measure the impact and involvement JustWorld has in it. It gave me a better sense of what we help achieve and what the needs are.” –Visitor

Reflection from a Patoja: "This year, 2013, has become a new challenge since I have learned that I am an individual that does not depend on what people say, I have understood that I want to be an excellent educator. I have also maintained very good school grades; that means that I have become more responsible, not only in my life, but on a social level as well. I have not become pregnant and that is a successful process. The average young mother is between the ages of thirteen to fifteen years old, which is quite sad. However, it is also a motivation to better myself. My family’s economic stability is not the best and living in a materialistic world is complicated. Although I am not an only child and my career is quite expensi¬ve, I have been able to study and am achieving my dream of being a professional young person due to the help and support of JustWorld Inter-national and Los Patojos.” Click here for Los Patojos’ 2013 Newsletter to read more of Meli’s story and others’ at Los Patojos.

People Improvement Organization (PIO), Cambodia | A group of 18 JustWorld supporters from France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada, Switzerland, and the US visited PIO’s schools in October- this was the biggest group yet! One of the visitors commented, “I came to the slum five years ago and almost nothing was there. Today, I can see art, teaching, kitchen, and more impressive smiling children well educated, in two sums; well dressed and who look happy to be there.” PIO has been growing and strives to serve more students in the community- they have 100 new students enrolled for 40 spaces and will be submitting a proposal for building additions.

  • What is it like to attend PIO as a student? View their reflections here


While reflecting on the milestones each of our partners has set this year and their progress over the past few months, we would like to thank you especially for being part of our global community. We appreciate your dedication to helping others and believing in the children participating in our programs. If you’d like to know more about a particular project, let us know! With your support, these students continue to learn and grow every day. Happy New Year!


JustWorld International


Oct 8, 2013

Welcoming Fall Changes With Open Arms!

Happy Fall everyone!  As the leaves change with the passing season for those of us in the northern hemisphere, so too do our project partners.  We are thrilled to share these changes with you!

Los Patojos - Jocotenango, Guatemala

Los Patojos recently celebrated their 7th anniversary with over 350 family members, friends, children, youth, and community beneficiaries!

According to Juan Enrique Quiñónez, a youth development specialist for the United Nation's Children's Fund, Guatemala has the highest rate of children outside of the school system.  This greatly limits their future opportunities and the growth of the nation. Thanks to JustWorld International, Los Patojos can secure the enrollment of 144 children in their after-school programs to reinforce primary education, to explore the arts, and to provide necessary scholarships so these children have access to school and can perform (school uniforms, books, writing utensils, etc).  Over 100 children and youth participate in youth development programs such as theatre, civic participation, and dance (breakdancing and ballet).

In the past few months, Los Patojos has received multiple recognitions on the national and international level, including invitations to regional forums on youth development, opportunities to speak at universities, welcoming university students to Jocotenango to present the Los Patojos educational and youth development methodology, and consistent write ups in local newspapers. 

The Bboys breakdancing group made up of 45 youth was invited to participate in a national competition held in Guatemala City.  Fifteen children and youth from the ballet and theatre groups performed in September for the Institute for Spanish Cooperation in Antigua.  Their performance emphasized the current social state of Guatemala using realism as a lens.

Los Patojos continues to update its monitoring and evaluation methods.  In August, they worked with a volunteer doctor to improve the health records of children actively enrolled in the program.

Compartir - Tegucigalpa, Honduras

The Asociación Compartir recently celebrated their 22nd anniversary.  They are JWI's first and longest running project partner, since 2003. 

Thanks to JWI, Compartir reaches 2,890 children in the peripheral communities of Tegucigalpa, Honduras with the mobile library.  The mobile library is more than a vehicle with books.  It is a community center, a meeting place, and a mobile school.  Because of this, Compartir was invited to Guatemala City to present during a conference on integrating libraries as part of community development initiatives throughout Central America.  The response was astounding.  As other library representatives met and learned about each model, Compartir was recognized above the rest.  The mobile library, literally, picks up, moves on, and sets back up in any open community space.  The four-wheel drive allows it to reach the far corners of neglected dirt roads.  The JWI funded Community Outreach Leader and eight tutors expand Compartir's reach even further.  

Thanks to JWI, in the past three months Compartir has held four community fairs giving over 2,890 children and youth and their families and community members the opportunity to come together for an entire day in celebration of their culture, of books, and science.  Recently JWI funded the costs for 100 children to attend an international travelling circus passing through Tegucigalpa.  Be sure to check out the photo with their faces full of wonder and surprise!

People Improvement Organization (PIO) - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

At 97%, PIO's retention rate surpasses what most "developed" nations' schools boast.  PIO students were recently on holiday but that did not stop 45 children who continued to attend English and Photoshop classes. 

Thanks to JWI supporters, 800 PIO students recently received school uniforms, backpacks, flip flops, and school supplies for a new school year.  The handing out of this gear is always a celebration full of happy faces.

The Cambodian government recently ran a report on the state of education in Cambodia and the nation's five-year strategy to improve education.  The results left much to be desired; however, the importance of non-profits - such as PIO - in providing education in a post-conflict developing society became apparent.  For instance, non-profits are mostly immune to the current corruption in the public school system such as teachers demanding a "study fee" from students. What is less clear is to what extent non-profits are contributing to education in Cambodia.  According to PIO's Project Supervisor, the government focused very little on the non-profit sector's role in Cambodia's education but after this recent study, he hopes this will change.  The government's report and education strategy made him realize "just how essential the work of PIO and other quality NGOs are in ensuring that disadvantaged children receive good education."


Thank you for taking the time to read this update.  To all of our past and current donors, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your contribution to JWI's success with our project partners in bringing well-being in to the lives of children around the world.

Jul 5, 2013

Spring's Growth

JustWorld International (JWI), a committed partner for long-term change, has decided to raise the bar on funding for our child focused, well-being projects.  Our new goal is set at $50,000 to support the education and nutrition projects of each of our partners’ projects! These two pillars of our projects make up the largest portion of JustWorld's overall funding needs.

JustWorld International currently reaches 3,890 impoverished children through direct, sustained attention each year.  Indirectly, JustWorld touches the lives of thousands more family and community members through defrayed school costs, access to medical attention, and program-initiated community activities.

Our Project Partners -

Los Patojos
Education: Los Patojos – the little ones – was born in Jocotenango, Guatemala, a city on the outskirts of colonial Antigua. Los Patojos offers an after-school program, scholarships, nutrition program, and medical services to nearly 150 children on a direct and regular basis. The after-school program reinforces their primary education.  Currently 110 children are registered in at least one of the after-school programs that Los Patojos offers. An additional 30 youth travel to and from Jocotenango to participate in other Los Patojos movements such as the break dancing for nonviolence, urban art, and journalism clubs.  Currently, 145 children receive scholarship packages depending on need and individual performance thanks to JustWorld's support of Los Patojos.

Nutrition:  The nutrition program provides 675 plates of healthy, well-rounded hot lunches and 675 snacks per week - both have increased from 375 plates and cups per week in 2012! These meals may well be the only healthy caloric intake these children receive each weekday.  Los Patojos hopes to increase this weekly offering to more than 1125 plates each week, allowing more children a second or third helping.

Future:  Los Patojos' current site, the childhood home of the executive director and founder, is at its maximum capacity.  JWI and Los Patojos recently broke ground for a new charter school.  This school will host more than 300 children providing them with three meals per day, access to a full-time, on-site medical clinic, vocational training, and a community cultural center.  This school is eco-friendly, using sustainable building materials such as bamboo and reused tires.  Los Patojos is taking advantage of this engineering technique to teach environmental principles.  

Asociación Compartir
Education:  Asociación Compartir celebrates its 22nd year of hard work dedicated to the celebration of literacy, promotion of non-violence and a culture of peace and self-empowerment in three slums of Honduras' capital Tegucigalpa. JustWorld International continues to fund the lifeline of Compartir-- the Mobile Library.  The Mobile Library delivers books, music, theatre, and snacks to those communities previously considered by some as too dangerous to enter.  JWI also supports the weekly youth journalism group.  Compartir and JWI are able to effectively intervene on a direct and consistent basis with more than 2,890 children weekly.  

Effect: The benefits of JWI's financial contributions are clear. Children smile and giggle as they explore self-confidence in theatre classes.  They are given the opportunity to reach their potential with recorder and guitar classes.  Choir lessons give voice to those children who previously didn't know they could sing.  Multiple generations actively participate in Compartir.  Those who were once direct beneficiaries of the project now see their grandchildren entering into the program - passing on positive values.  The families have taken ownership of the association and now initiate consultations to present the community's needs to Compartir.  Some families have opened up sector libraries in their homes to help children with their homework and to prevent children from having to travel long distances on foot to reach community libraries. Teachers boast that Compartir's children are class leaders. 

People Improvement Organization (PIO)

Education:  JWI currently supports 800 children through education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and cultural and vocational activities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  PIO has no problem filling its spaces.  In fact, it is estimated that the waiting list to attend PIO is about 500 children long.  JWI is now funding seven additional teachers to accommodate the increased enrollment and to keep class sizes to a minimum.

Nutrition: No child can learn without a well-balanced caloric intake - the brain and body are dependent on it - so JWI funds the nutrition program for 800 children.  PIO serves 196,560 lunches to students each year! These lunches include rice, vegetables, a meat protein and soup.  JWI also funds purified drinking water for the students to help prevent water-borne illness and keep children well hydrated in a hot and humid climate.

Advancements:  As PIO's children get older and nearer to meeting one of the program's main goals - that all children graduate from high school - PIO works to build its own high school.  With this new high school, PIO can better ensure that children do not get lost during important teenage years.  This school will also increase the amount of qualified Cambodian teachers employed by a reputable organization.  Observations thus far have shown that many of those PIO children who have made it through high school graduation are employed.

Thank you for considering JustWorld International and the projects we support.

We would like to invite prospective donors to join the JustWorld community and help us fund our projects.  Those who have already funded us, we would like to thank you ask that you consider continuing your contributions by making on-going donations, hosting or sponsoring JustWorld fundraisers, or simply volunteering your time. Please know, your donations are directly helping the JustWorld projects and allowing us to plan our operations for the future. We sincerely appreciate any contribution to our mission as we work together for a just world!

Also, don't forget to vote for JustWorld's photo entries in the photo contest come July 15!  We posted some beauties and hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

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Project Leader

Naomi Spillane

Operations Director
Wellington, Florida United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Bring Well Being & Education to Children Globally