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This Mother’s Day, help a Cambodian mother

This Mother’s Day, we are reposting this appeal from Journeys Within Our Community because we can’t think of a better way of saying “thank you” to moms everywhere. We hope you’ll consider donating…

Our mothers are heroes. From the moment we’re brought into the world she cares for us; she strives to give us every opportunity, encourages us to pursue our dreams and is not afraid to tell us when we are wrong! She is the role model who encourages us to become the individual we are today, teaching us values and morals to live by and always standing by us when we feel the rest of the world is against us. This is the case throughout the world, whether you live in the US, Europe or Cambodia! Our mother wants us to be the absolute best we can be.

However, despite improvements over the past decade the sad truth is that in Cambodia many mothers cannot give their children the same opportunities and head start in life that others receive elsewhere. Cambodia still has one of the highest infant mortalities in Asia with 25 children per 1000 births not living beyond 5 years, highlighting the importance of access to proper services and healthcare to mothers and their children, especially in rural areas.

Mother's Day in Cambodia

This is why JWOC is working directly with and training rural women to overcome such hurdles, so they can give their children every chance to maximize their health and prospects for the future. With the support of village chiefs and a trained midwife, we are working with women to deliver maternal health training in areas such as family planning, pregnancy and mother/infant health in an engaging and informative way. In 2016, JWOC aims to deliver training through our scholarship students to over 300 women across 5 villages, a service most would not have access to or be able to afford in rural communities.

So on this Mother’s Day here at JWOC, we are not only celebrating our own mothers but also the millions of mothers throughout Cambodia who are putting their children first. With your support, we can help more women within Siem Reap province, just $30 can provide a woman with maternal health training, a donation of $300 would cover training for half the women in a village and $500 training for a whole village. With each donation you will receive a special project report within six months that allows you to see the positive impact that your generosity has had on the health of rural Cambodian mothers and their children.

On this Mother’s Day, I would invite you to consider not only celebrating our own mothers, but also celebrate the determination of Cambodian women by making a donation that will give them and their children a fair opportunity in life.

Donate now.


A different kind of Valentine's

People often seem to think that I am making up some of the stories I tell about Brandon. I am always talking about how he started the non profit and how he is now teaching at the local university and how we have more staff than we know what to do with because he likes hiring people. When you meet Brandon it is actually pretty easy to miss his sensitive side. He makes fun of people, he is highly opinionated and as we all agree, just a bit weird. I thought Brandon’s Valentine’s Day present to me shows the kind of person he is beneath the grumpy guy who hates being woken up and whose favorite hobby is getting kicked in the head. This is what Brandon values:

Hello my little valentines,

So what do you get the girl that has it all, what’s the one thing all women want…how about a bike repair business that supports a family of 9!!!! Yay!!!!

If you count the number in the photo you will see its only 8 because number 9 is on the way. And No, the girl in the front is not huge, she just is standing closer to the camera and on something higher than the rest. I am a bad photographer but I told them I needed photos because my wife was supporting them. They are very happy and just in the short time I was there did good business. For now the only round object I have for you doesn’t go around fingers, it goes around wheels. The man told me he tried to get everyone to loan him money but no one would give him a fair shot. His older kids go to school and help him when they finish classes. He told me that he thinks if he does well enough he will send his kids to learn English near his house. So there is the fact that a whole family is thankful that you are such a good wife and let me spend the money you work so hard to earn in crazy ways and….

The profits from your new business can all go to buying a huge ring. This gift truly is the gift that can keep on giving!!!!

Thanks for being such a fun wife and helping me sort out my crazy ideas and my ADD view of the world. Love you tons and wish you were here.

Love you,


So yes, for Valentine’s Day he gave me a bicycle repair shop that he has invested in. The owner needed more than our microfinance project allows so Brandon decided to make it his own personal project. He has a big heart and isn’t that what Valentines Day is all about? That and chocolate, but I can buy that for myself! Here is a photo of me with my repair shop partner…