|Maria, Heidi,Phymean and Steve|
Maria Newman a board member of Just world International and her friend Heidi Greene, the wife of another board member, visited People Improvement Organization today. Maria has visited PIO several times before and was certainly well aquainted with the workings of the organization that JWI support.
Just World International was really the brainchild of Maria's daughter Jessica, and as I spoke more with her I became interested in the story of its conception and why that occurred. Jessica is a former international Equestrian Champion and her idea sought to link her world of horses and sport with the need to help others less fortunate than herself and others in her circle. She set up a system which linked into the international competitive horse scene which was certainly a first.
The Jump for a Just World initiative ( such a novel concept) was born of a desire to more fully implicate international equestrian competitors and events to support humanitarian causes.
The international equestrian sport, in Jessica's view, had been left far behind other Olympic sports, such as soccer, cycling and skiing, where athletes publicly donate their time and earnings to humanitarian causes. Jessica believed that the world of equestrian sports stands to gain a great deal by committing to charitable initiatives, especially as equestrians across the globe have begun moving beyond an elite image of privileged athletes and giving the best of themselves to those in need.
Jessica aimed to cultivate and encourage riders who want to make a difference in the world around them. By serving as ambassadors for JustWorld, riders are demonstrating that the horse industry has leaders with integrity and big hearts who really care about others. The goal in working with equestrian athletes and events was to produce a ripple effect and encourage others to follow in the quest for a just world. Star athletes influence significant numbers of people but JustWorld’s goal was and is to recognize the professional, junior, and amateur athletes are ready, willing, and able to positively influence the world.
|The Kids from the Orphanage|
The support that JWI offers People Improvement Organization, being a long term commintment, has helped PIO develop in areas that may have been impossible (or very difficult) such as JWI's commitment to PIO's recently opened Orphanage for which I know the children who now live there are very grateful.
Anyways enough of the history lesson and back to todays visit. I spoke at some length with Maria about her travels, her horses and her daughter of whom she is obviously extremely proud and supportive. Her caring attitude shone through with her interactions with the children and she seemed to enjoy her visit. Heidi was in amongst the kids from the first minute and although I had little time to talk with her I enjoyed her funny story about how she met her husband but I will not go into detail about that here.
The continued support of Just World International is essential to the development of services to some of the poorest children of Cambodia via PIO ,and that this fruitful union of essentially like minded organizations will continue into a brighter future for the children. From what I have seen of the vivacious personalities involved the children need not worry.
The children of PIO maybe do not understand the links between JWI and PIO but if they did I am very sure they would like to say a big THANK YOU !