Friday, July 27, 2018

Same Journeys of the Heart : More Partners Along the Way

Since the inception of Journeys of the Heart ten years ago, when we chose the name for our charity, we hoped that it would symbolize the roads, both physical and emotional which we intended to follow in our effort to serve in SE Asia. We knew that we would spend lots of time on airplanes and hot, sweaty little busses on red dirt roads, stay in climates and conditions unfamiliar,  and learn much about the cultures of the countries that we visited, primarily Vietnam. We knew that our skills and knowledge, supported by generous donations from family and friends could, if matched to the right need/project/program/village, make a difference in the lives of people who have been marginalized.

The other journey that we have been on, is one of growing awareness of about how humanitarian contributions can be (despite the good intentions of workers and donors) ineffective or even harmful.  Happily, fate or luck rather than good management led us initially to find, ethical organizations and, like moths to a flame, we found ourselves networked with Reaching Out Vietnam, Childrens Education Foundation and Blue Dragon Childrens Foundation, also both in Vietnam. Along the way we also encountered the founders of Go Philanthropic Foundation. Our mutual concerns in the areas of education, health and human rights (especially of women and children and most latterly the prevention of child trafficking) drew us towards 'Go Phil'. Our concerns were their concerns and in fact they also supported programs at Blue Dragon and CEF.  We liked the language that they used to describe what they did, and why they did it. We were impressed with the intelligence and huge hearts of its founders. We witnessed the power of networking, collaboration and sharing between organizations in tackling social issues in the developing world.

In my last blog I described how Bruce and I travelled to Santa Fe and Denver to speak about child sex trafficking at two of what Go Phil calls Hub meetings; gatherings of supporters, donors, travellers and folks interested in the topic of discussion. By the time we got back home we knew that we personally wanted to have a closer connection to Go Phil, We joined their Founders Circle.

Guiding Principles

  • Those closest to the problems know the issues more deeply— we don’t have the answers, but we can assist in their discovery
  • Capturing humanity and celebrating dignity is our motto when visiting and sharing the powerful stories of people’s strength and courage
  • We respect and honor the importance of different cultures, traditions, philosophies and beliefs
  • Impact is not made in isolation–In order to combat the most difficult social issues of our time, we must actively work and learn together
  • ‘Listening and Learning’ is more effective than ‘Serving and Solving’
  • Philanthropy is not a one way transaction but instead a process by which people learn from one another, share resources and develop pathways to uncover their greatest potential
  • People are at their best when they do for themselves

Now that our personal relationship with Go Phil was cemented we also sought ways to link Journeys of the Heart, our unregistered charity, to Go Phil. Not only were we working with two of the same organizations, but our values were closely aligned to their principles listed above. We knew that the work of Journeys of the Heart would be more effective, and be able to do more of the "right things" in collaboration with this larger, well-known foundation with an established presence in SE Asia.

  • We will continue to operate, communicate and solicit your support under the Journeys of the Heart banner,
  • You will see our blog posts, Facebook posts and e-mail communications under the JOTH banner
  • We will accept your donations and deliver/forward them to your designated program or project as we have always done
  • HOWEVER, donors now will also have the added convenience of choosing to contribute to Children's Education Foundation ( sponsoring girls' education, the library, bicycles or special programs) and also Blue Dragon Children's Foundation (preventing child trafficking, rescuing and rehabilitating victims ) through Go Philanthropic via their donor page. Please let Go Phil know that you are a Journeys of the Heart donor. They will send a tax receipt to you.
A note: Proceeds from the sales of our books go directly to Blue Dragon
In addition to be being a philanthropic foundation, Go Phil operates an ethical travel company. Check out the upcoming tours at These trips offer a unique opportunity to engage with and learn from our partners across the globe.

Speaking of travel......we will be hosting a Go Phil Hub gathering on Salt Spring Island on September 14th. Lynda DeWolf, one of the Go Philanthropic founders will join us. She will tell us about the foundation and travel company. We will follow with an informal discussion about responsible travel. An invitiation list will be going out soon. Let us know if we have missed you or if you have questions (about the Hub gathering or any of the news announced in this blog!)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Strengthening a Partnership

We have just returned from Santa Fe, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado, where we were hosted by the GoPhilanthropic Foundation at two of their "Hub" meetings where Bruce presented a talk about the scourge of child sex trafficking.

Linda DeWolf, one of the Co-founders of the foundation met us at the airport in Albuquerque, drove us to Santa Fe, housed us in her comfortable adobe house, squired us around her beautiful historic city, introduced us at the Hub meeting and then chauffeured us up to Denver for the Hub there.

On a chilly Sunday morning, we joined the Women's March to the plaza.

Linda DeWolf welcoming the participants to the Santa Fe Go Philanthropic "Hub"

Bruce engaging the Hub in the difficult discussion about child sex trafficking. 

Our association with GoPhilanthropic began in Vietnam about seven years ago when we met Lydia Dean another Co-founder of GoPhil. She was traveling in SE Asia with her family, but also with the purpose of vetting grassroots organizations as possible partners and recipients of Go Phil's monetary support.

Since that first meeting, Journeys of the Heart and GoPhil have worked together to support two organizations in Vietnam whose focus is on education and the human rights of children.... most  latterly, in the area of child sex trafficking.

Through the research for Bruce's book, Finding Lien, and the networking with NGO's in SE Asia, we have learned much about this woeful industry and have realized that there is greater hope of success in preventing trafficking through synergistic alliances with others. GoPhil promises to be a strong partner in this regard.

Please watch the video below, wherein Lydia Dean explains the GoPhil approach.

The link to GoPhil's website is:

This website is informative and easy to navigate.

The approach Go Phil takes in partnering with local, often grassroots organizations through financial assistance and strategic guidance until the agency is self-sustaining, is one that we endorse.

The Go Phil "Hubs" are groups of local supporters, sponsors, volunteers and travelers and those interested in learning more about global social issues. The "Hub" group in Denver, hosted by Amy Leonard, Go Phil Ambassador, was an eclectic gathering, which included, much to our delight, young people including a high school junior who is actively involved locally in preventing trafficking. Although our focus is SE Asia, we are all too aware that our own communities are not immune to this cruel practice.

Amy Leonard, Linda DeWolf, Elaine Head, Bruce Logan

Journeys of the Heart looks forward to building our relationship with Go Phil and other partners to combat child trafficking and its underlying causes of poverty and lack of education and awareness in developing countries.