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!)

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