Having been described by Conde Nast Magazine as “pioneers in philanthropic travel,” Journeys Within believes not just in empowering the local people to better their own lives, but believes in empowering travelers to help give them that chance. This is why JW started Journeys Within Our Community, or “JWOC,” in 2005 (website: www.journeyswithinourcommunity.org).
Whether donating a well, volunteering at a school, or supporting a scholarship student or microloan recipient, Journeys Within wants its guests to be a part of the positive impact travel can have. Named as a 2008 Conde Nast World Saver, Journeys Within and JWOC work together to bring guests a unique and rewarding experience that helps empower the communities they visit.
Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC)
When Brandon and Andrea first came to Cambodia, it was easy to get involved helping the local community. There was definitely no shortage of need, and Brandon and Andrea immediately started offering the “Give and Take Tour” a way for guests to visit Cambodia and see the highlights, but also spend a week volunteering at a local school....
Please read on to learn more about our projects and see how you can change the world as you go.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
Truly the driving force behind all the JWOC projects our scholarship program is an incredibly unique way to not just empower individual students, but to really develop huge support for the community projects.
Give As You Go: This is a unique way to see Cambodia and Laos through a completely different view. Meet your scholarship student and go with them to see their school, their homes, discuss with them what their goals are and make a personal connection that alludes many travelers.
Price: $500 per year with a four year commitment
“1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water and nearly 2 million people die each year due to waterborne related diseases.”
— World Health Organization
Watching a little boy scoop water from a stagnant pit, Journeys Within guests on a village tour turned to Brandon and said, “Where do I sign?"
Give As You Go: To make clean water part of your tour you can donate a well as you are booking your trip and we will try, depending on time and your schedule, to take you to visit the well here in Cambodia.
Price: $350 plus $25 for a personalized sign
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
— Booker T. Washington
When first handed a loan of $100, the recipient burst into tears and told us in Khmer how we had changed her life.
Give As You Go: If you donate a microloan, Brandon Ross will take you on a project tour to see examples of microloan recipients.
Price: $100 and up
“All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”
The Cambodian public school system continues to be plagued by poor facilities, uneducated teachers, and corruption, which combined lead to dismal educational opportunities for children who are eager to learn.
Give As You Go: The language school is a great place to give your time! With the Journeys Within Give and Take tour we now offer in Cambodia and Laos you can see the highlights and then spend a week volunteering at our language school.
Price: The cost of volunteering is $300 a week per person and 100% of this goes as a donation.
To find out more about volunteering, contact .
Some Words from Our Guests
“...Visiting the temples was awe-inspiring, but the most lasting impression for me was the people. During our trip, we visited Tonle Sap Lake, Artisans de Angkor, your community school and Brandon was kind enough to take me around the squatters village. This was my first experience with seeing real poverty in a developing country. I came away with a mix of emotions.
“Most of all I felt fortunate to be able to see first hand how other people survive on a day-to-day basis. It was a humbling experience and it was especially good to see the happy faces of the children. I want to thank Brandon for helping me not to feel guilty, but to feel fortunate that I have the opportunity and the means to help.
“So, I sent Journeys Within Our Community some money for wells and for microloans. The way you do it is perfect! You provided us with a wonderful and comfortable experience while at the same time subtly exposing us to the ‘real’ Cambodia. Good job! Cambodia will stay with me forever.”
— Tom Rubeo
“I just wanted to say a word of thanks for our incredible JW experience. I am so in awe of the work you do and so grateful to you for doing it. Please keep up the good work and keep us informed of any way we can help. I returned to my home with a renewed appreciation of just how fortunate I am.”
— Ronie Reiley
“Our touring was truly spectacular. But I think what I will remember most and have told many friends and family about, is the conscientious and caring attitude you take towards your footprint within the community. I was very impressed by the work that JWOC is doing. You are truly living your values. I hope that someday my circumstances will allow me to visit again as a volunteer.”