Early 2015 has been chock full of activities at GoPhilanthropic.  Many of us gathered in L.A. in February, staff visited programs in Africa in March, and April will bring a scout trip to discover new programs and journeys in Nepal.  Besides all of this progress, the team just returned from South East Asia where they spent some in-depth one-on-one time with all of our partners alongside guiding travelers to see their work in person.

Sharing common challenges…

We have always looked forward to the day when we could gather the founders, directors and staff of our partner programs in South East Asia under one roof to share their similar work with one another. GoPhil’s Linda DeWolf facilitated a donor sponsored network meeting in Siem Reap where staff at ODA, LEOT, PEPY and CEF, all programs working towards educating underprivileged youth, discussed critical topics such as funding, volunteer and communication strategies.  
Plans are underway to repeat this valuable forum for exchange next year.  The approximate budget for next year’s meeting is $2k–any assistance in funding is so appreciated!
Plans to Expand…Leng maintains hope for a better future
Inspirational ODA founder Leng has a dream to provide education, and later careers, for all the children of ODA. Each time we visit, we see his passion to achieve this multiply.  In addition to running a shelter and school that provides a loving home to children in need of protection care, ODA also sponsors seven additional rural schools for English education (a much needed skill in such a tourist driven economy).  Leng also plans to build a facility to house girls from the mountainous regions surrounding Siem Reap. GoPhil donors have generously sponsored education for 10 of the 15 girls from the surrounding mountains areas.  Leng intends to teach the girls to paint (just like the other ODA children) and to sew in order to earn monies to help support themselves. Plans for expansion of the building where they will live, study and learn their vocation are underway – GoPhil donors (thank you Greg Kadel!) are providing the needed funding for this dream to come true.   Stay tuned for updates!
GoPhil sponsored girls from the mountains
 Additional funds are still needed: 
$250 per girl is needed to cover expenses for the additional girls ODA would like to support from the mountainous areas (goal is to support 25 girls in all).  Click here to donate 
HUSK in Siem Reap continues to grow
What once was just one school for English has now grown into an impressive complex of three schools and a library. Thank you to the collective Fitzgerald GoPhil donors who have made this a reality.  We are thrilled you all had the opportunity to see this in person earlier on in the year!  The hope in the near future is to find land and to build a new facility for the highly successful “Softies” vocational program.
The long waiting list for learning at LEOT speaks for itself
GoPhil traveler Craig Cunningham shares some quality time with LEOT students

What was only an idea four years ago is now a bustling school with three large classrooms, a library with 170 Laotian students learning English and a waiting list a mile long for more to join. LEOT is also engaged in community development and capacity building and sponsor a newly developed Saturday class for orphaned children to learn English. The students coming through the LEOT scholarship program are amazing young people–smart and energetic and anxious to give back to their communities. GoPhil donors have helped support LEOT’s emergency fund, general education expenses and provided bikes so students can reach the center more easily.  There are continuous needs in all of these areas– support LEOT here.

Special memories are made when donors meet their sponsored students  
CEF supports the education of approximately 200 poor children (mostly girls) in central Vietnam, with GoPhil being its largest donor base (thanks to you!). This year we had the privilege of visiting CEF children in the remote, mountainous region surrounding Hoi An. Children here often have few, if any, resources available to them and may be the first in their families to receive at least a high school education.  We were thrilled to be able to guide several sponsors on this year’s trip to connect with their students in person.  Needless to say, these made for some very special moments.

Ongoing support needed:
Funds are still needed to support CEF’s mentoring program for High school and College aged students.   Click here to donate
Like to join an upcoming GoPhil Trip?
A couple of spots remain for the Sept 20-30th Journey to India.
Registration will start shortly for our Journey to SE Asia (Feb14-27th, 2016) and our new Nepal Journey scheduled for April 2016!   Details for both trips will be posted shortly on our website. 
Send us an email if you would like us to pencil you in for early registration as these trips are going to fill very quickly:)