Soroptimist International encourages us to think internationally as well as locally. SITD has chosen two projects in other countries where, by supporting organizations that work there, we are able to provide support to women and children.  In Cambodia, through Journeys Within Our Community, we support college education for girls;  in Nepal, through Bodhi Tree Foundation, we support midwife training.

Bodhi Tree Foundation
  • Bodhi Tree Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2007 by Mark & Sarah Ferris and based in Truckee.
  • Their mission is to support and promote community-based activities that focus on maternal and child health in the remote Himalayas of Humla, Nepal
  • Humla is one of the most remote and poverty stricken districts in Nepal. It is located in the northwest corner of the Mid-Western region bordering Tibet. The district is isolated and accessible only by foot, animal or airplane due to rugged mountain terrain, deep gorges and inclement weather.
  • 98% of Humli women give birth in unsanitary conditions such as the cowshed. Often the only people there to help are the mother-in-law or another woman from the village. Only 2% of the population has a trained birth attendant at their labor. Infant mortality rates here are 81/1000! This is extremely high especially compared to Nepal’s average of 39/1000.  
  • By providing Humli women with Safe Motherhood initiatives Bodhi Tree Foundation can successfully decrease maternal and infant mortality rates, improve the health of the entire family, establish behavior changes, and increase overall productivity in the community
  • Each year SITD, thru its fundraising, provides financial support to Bodhi Tree Foundation.
Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC)
  • In 2005, while living in Cambodia, Andrea and Brandon Ross, owners of Journeys Within Tour Company saw firsthand the needs of the local population struggling with poverty and started Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC) a 501(c)3.
  • JWOC, based in Truckee, has the tag line ‘Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow.’ They aim to provide educational opportunities to reduce poverty levels, increase economic opportunities and empower recipients and supporters, inspiring ongoing social change.
  • One of JWOC’s programs addresses a problem found in Cambodia – young people with the ability and desire but no means, to pursue higher education.  Although full tuition  at the university is only $600 annually, in Cambodia this is equivalent to a farmer or laborer’s family’s total annual income.
  • SITD provides two female students in Cambodia, who could not otherwise afford to go to university, with a scholarship each covering their university fees and books.
  • Scholarship recipients not only obtain their degrees, but attend workshops that provide job-skills training, and volunteer at JWOC making all JWOC projects possible. They may teach in the free education classes, provide assistance in the office or teach classes in the local villages.