We hope you’re enjoying the holidays with near ones and dear ones and even ones from afar. All of our projects have had a fruitful past couple of months and all of their hard work has paid off. Here are the Top 5 updates from each this term:
People Improvement Organization (PIO) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:
Los Patojos in Jocotenango, Guatemala:
Asociación Compartir in Tegucigalpa, Honduras:
Fact: only 45% of children between 4 and 5 years old attend pre-school. This rate is even lower in rural areas. In total, 6 out of 10, i.e. 1.1 million children and youth, fall outside of the system, affecting not only their self-esteem, but also their competitiveness and productive capacity.
“Each day, leaders emerge and we are privileged to see the great potential that exists within these communities. Truncated by lack of opportunities, through JustWorld they have these opportunities to succeed and be good citizens.”
- Asociacion Compartir
Thank you for your love and support!
The JustWorld Team
We're happy to announce our partners' latest achievements and hope you'll enjoy reading about them.
Thank you for being part of our team and helping to make a difference for our students!
On May 4, 2014, PIO celebrated its 12th anniversary. However, this isn’t the only event that the program has to celebrate. The events that have taken place at PIO these past few months have given its supporters much to buzz about.
Children at all three schools have all received uniforms, school books and all necessary equipment for their learning. The library stock continues to grow with regular donations from visitors and volunteers, with a current stock of 4,586 English books and 670 Khmer books in the library. Not only are PIO’s classrooms well stocked, their students are also achieving great success. Students have maintained their high pass rate of 80-85%, and the pass rate for seventh grade (new high school students) stands as high as 92%. Students continue to achieve top places in their class for Khmer Literature, Mathematics, and English Literature. There has also been a rise in the number of students studying at the high school or university level, increasing from 102 students in the spring to 115 this summer!
The most significant trend in PIO’s growth has continued to be the improvement of their social work program. Teacher Thavy – the program’s current social worker and former kindergarten teacher – visited the homes of 76 students between the months of February and May in order to investigate student absences and to ascertain what steps PIO can take to assist these very poor families. Read a case study about one of PIO's students, Sreang, here!
The most exciting event at Los Patojos has been the recognition of its founder, Juan Pablo, as a CNN hero. Juan Pablo’s work at Los Patojos was honored for its creation of a safe haven for children in the town of Jocotenango. We are so proud of Juan Pablo and Los Patojos! Watch CNN's video on Juan Pablo and Los Patojos here!
Building on this good news, the program at Los Patojos continues to excel. The success of the nutrition and medical programs keeps students healthy, strong, and able to focus at school. The nutrition program continues to feed a small army of hungry students, serving 11,625 lunches, 13,311 snacks, and 990 dinners, while the medical clinic has been busy as well, seeing 394 patients (167 men and 227women) between the months of April and June.
Additionally, Los Patojos received an official invitation to attend the Youth Congress and hosted 3 youth performances. A parents meeting was held to get parents up to date on what their children have been working on at Los Patojos, and why their work is important – which is essential, because parental support is crucial to keeping kids in the Los Patojos program. Finally, Los Patojos is well known for creating innovative activities to keep kids engaged and off the streets, and this quarter it did not disappoint, hosting a sports festival and six cultural nights.
Asociación Compartir in Tegucigalpa, Honduras:
Compartir’s most noteworthy accomplishment continues to be the work they have been doing to increase literacy for children in Honduras. This quarter, they have increased reading activities in open spaces, increased their work with the mobile library, and purchased new books to innovate reading activities. In addition, 13 new reading groups were organized in different places – 5 in open spaces, 8 in education centers, and 3 as reading promotion activities that were accompanied by traditional games. Between 40 and 50 children were included in these new groups. When this is added to 25-30 students per community who were integrated into previously existing groups, participation in the program has skyrocketed above the expectations of previous years, continuing to reach more new students who had never before had access to even a single book. View a brand new documentary on the Mobile Library, created by a volunteer, here!
Additionally, Compartir organized three fairs this quarter. The first was a “Honduran at Heart” cultural fair where 250 people participated in singing performances, folk dancing, food expos, stilt walking, and art presentations. The second, Villa Nueva’s science fair themed “Driving Knowledge”, featured science experiments with demonstrations by students from the community’s schools, libraries, tutoring groups, and kindergartens. Finally, Nueva Suyapa’s book fair, "More reading, more action, to take the imagination train", featured renowned author Jorge Montenegro and his exposition “stories and legends of Honduras.” Check out Compartir’s Facebook album of the event here!
Organization of artistic groups has improved as it continues to be promoted as a means for promoting education, art and culture. This quarter, groups were organized into theater groups, flute and choir workshops, and a band. A practice schedule was developed for each group, and everyone took part in three public performances. This organization has lead to an improved outcome. For example, the theatre group has become stronger as they worked with a new play, "Adventures of Don Quijote," and hopes to preview it to the public at the Manuel Bonilla theatre. Likewise, the flute group has held two presentations that have emphasized cultural keystones of folklore and popular music.
JustWorld is planning a visit to PIO in November and Los Patojos in December, and we would love to have you along! For more information, e-mail Amber Warren at email@example.com.
Thank you again for your incredible support. Until next time!
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): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkZHcP3nGeQ&feature=youtu.be.
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: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/7711303/events/3095642.
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: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t0xzuxGzBam1hklSssqQYmxdsX71fsaQOg9rDvOr8bw/edit?usp=sharing. 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!
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!
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.
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.
“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!
“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.
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!
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