by Linda DeWolf – GoPhilanthropic 

Lessons from the field…SE Asia Rediscovered
As most of you know, I recently had the privilege of visiting four of Go Philanthropic’s partner organizations in Cambodia and Vietnam…Orphans and Disadvantaged Association (ODA), HUSK, People’s Improvement Organization (PIO) and Children’s Education Foundation (CEF).

The reason for my visit was two-fold: to go beyond merely being a funder to one that builds effective relationships with people and programs and to document and share their inspiring stories. We hope, through the brief overviews that were sent out during my five week journey, plus the face book posts, that you have gotten a taste of the impact these wonderful organizations make every day on critical issues like children’s education and women’s empowerment.

The value of time…

By taking a longer period of time I really had the opportunity to get to know and understand each of the organizations and people more intimately. Through home visits, art classes, shared day- to-day activities and planning sessions, I experienced “up close and personal” the needs of four very different communities and the impact each program has upon people’s lives.
Yet, despite their differences, there were common themes that I want to share with you as a generous supporter:
* Whether it’s through sponsoring classes, providing vocational skills or ensuring health care needs are met, each program is committed to investing in the futureExample: PIO’s sewing classes which provide valuable skill development for young women.

* Each program understands and places the needs of its community as priority #1. Example: CEF staff regularly visit children’s homes to understand and assess their current needs.

* Each program is focused and uses its resources wisely. Example: Painting provides the primary support for these ODA children’s day to day care and for their future education.

* As a result of these programs, lives are literally changed; hope is created. Example: Each woman participating in HUSK’s “Softies” program reports a dramatic shift in her life as a result of involvement.

I’ve now made my long trek back to the States along with a suitcase full of ODA paintings, some HUSK Softies, lots and lots of poignant memories and with a far greater understanding of our partner organizations aspirations and capabilities, yet there are still so many needs to be met.

Here are a few of the most critical needs:

* $220 buys a sewing machine to teach a girl to sew at PIO
* $200-300/year sponsors a girl to go to school through CEF
* $100 purchases a painting to support a child at ODA
* $100 supports women in the Softies program at HUSK.
Help make our partners dreams a reality by sending me an email or going to our web page at:, donate and do consider joining us on one of our upcoming journeys…I promise you that it will be life changing.

Thank you for making a difference!