PIO Trip by Lily Gimenez


Lily Gimenez

JustWorld International, People Improvement Organization’s main sponsor for over ten years, came to Cambodia to visit People Improvement Organization (PIO). We had the pleasure to welcome JustWorld International directors, team members and two Ambassadors, along with friends to our three schools and to the PIO shelter this month.

They arrived at the Stung Mean Chey school on Monday, November 16th, to meet with the PIO students, staff and to congratulate our founder, Mrs. Phymean Noun, for winning the well-deserved World’s Children’s Prize. JustWorld came along with beautiful yellow and blue shirts generously donated by JustWorld Ambassador Kevin Staut, who came to visit PIO two years ago.
PhymeanAs some of the team had never been to PIO, we went to walk around the former garbage dumpsite located a few meters away from our school where you could see the garbage remaining within the green hill. “It is difficult to imagine that such a place existed and familieswere living here and that it is still the case in other places,” a JustWorld Ambassador commented. ”Looking at the kids smiling and happy to go to school is really heartwarming. The improvement is undeniable and exceptional.”Shoug

After visiting all of the classrooms from Kindergarten to Grade 6, the group went to see the improvement of the PIO shelter which has been under renovation the past few months. They could see the brand new patio with the playground, the extended dormitories and the new bathrooms. The PIO shelter students were really happy to perform three traditional Khmer dances followed by a presentation about PIO and JustWorld’s support by the best English speaking student in Grade 6.
Kevin Staut Shirts

Early morning on Tuesday, the JustWorld team went to the PIO Borei Keila school located in a difficult area of Phnom Penh. Together, PIO and JustWorld built this English school for more than 370 students in 2005. At Borei Keila, they interacted with the students, listened to their English presentations, and received beautiful, handcrafted pieces of art. To explain the situation in the area, Mrs. Phymean Noun took them to meet the families of the students living around the school so they could understand how PIO has a positive impact for the children of this slum.


JustWorld is a big supporter of Phymean’s work and admires her courage and strength to be an inspiring leader. They all went to see one of the great projects Phymean fought for- the PIO Borey Santepheap 2 school, located about 18km away from Phnom Penh’s city center. The families living in the area were the ones evicted from the Borei Keila slum and from the Riverside. With not much to live on or work around, Phymean decided in 2007 to build the first NGO school for the vulnerable children of the area providing daycare for nursery children and an English program for students from Kindergarten to Grade 5. 310 students study there.


JustWorld also visited PIO’s vocational training programs, sewing class, computer class, teaching, social work, painting/drawing, dance program and the PIO Shop. They were really happy to receive beautiful paintings from Somaly, our artist.

Herve Godignon, a JustWorld Ambassador from the very beginning, shared, “This trip to Cambodia has been filled with both enlightening and enriching moments and if I feared any confrontation with misery, instead my heart filled with hope when I returned home. I met incredible people on this trip, but it is mainly in the eyes of these children that I found this hope. It is today that I am more proud than ever to be part of this great and expanding family that is united by this beautiful binding factor- the horse. There remains however much to do, so let’s all hold on to this common cause and remain even more motivated behind Jessica and her team.”

Maria and HerveJustWorld International has been supporting the Stung Mean Chey and Borei Keila schools with school materials, uniforms, the lunch program, teachers’ salaries, a nurse and medicine, administration and many more programs at PIO. Shoug Al Nowais, who traveled with us to see a JustWorld partner for the first time, said, “Having witnessed first-hand the real impact that JustWorld has on children’s lives, from providing an education to nourishing leadership, while always considering their cultures, I am so grateful to be part of an organization that has become indispensable to the day-to-day wellbeing of so many children”.

Thank you JustWorld for your generosity and your incredible trust and support of PIO!!

Thank you to Ian Kydd Miller, our photographer, for your beautiful pictures and supporting PIO!