The Journeys Within Our Community Team

Executive Director

Kneath Heard

Break the cycle of poverty

Kneath is JWOC’s Executive Director and joins the team with a wide range of experience working with non-profits and educational organizations across Asia.

Having grown up in the city of Bristol, Kneath graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Drama, and immediately moved to South Korea to teach English. He would spend three of the next five years working and volunteering for different organizations across Korea, and knew early on he would spend many more years calling Asia his home. Between times spent in Korea, he graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Master’s degree in International Development, having conducted extensive research working closely with rural-urban migrants in Beijing and the NGOs that support them.

Before joining JWOC, Kneath worked as the Director for a learning center in Malaysia that provided access to education for youth from the Somali refugee community, and supported their goals to tackle forms of social exclusion they faced in their daily lives. It is through these experiences that his passion for the use of education as a tool to empower and develop communities has grown.


Education and Volunteer Manager

Sarah Thompson

Free education cambodia

Originally from Virginia in the U.S., Sarah joins the JWOC team after just having finished her MA in International Development with Migration with a special focus on women’s issues from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies in Belgium. While in Brussels studying full-time, she interned as a research assistant for a migration team at the Institute of European Studies. Previously, she taught primary school English in Shanghai, China for two years and was also a private tutor. She graduated with a BA in Sociology with Gender and Women’s Studies from Roanoke College in 2012 and during university breaks spent her time working and volunteering with children, refugees, and grassroots organizations in the U.S., Ireland and Belize. Sarah is excited to join JWOC and looks forward to using her experience to make strides in her role as the Education and Volunteer Manager

Communications Manager

Josh Layton

NGO education in Siem Reap

Josh joins JWOC with a wide range of experience in working with NGOs and volunteering from many areas of the world. Originally from Coventry in the UK, he completed his BSc in Geography (Swansea University) in 2012, before gaining a distinction in his Masters in International Development the next year (from the University of Birmingham). Since then, he has spent his time working as a project coordinator in a Language Centre before travelling through South America and Asia (including Cambodia) and working in different projects related to youth development and education.

Before joining JWOC, Josh was working in Bangladesh, primarily with a prominent youth organisation that would provide free of cost education to underprivileged children. Collaborating with UNDP, he utilised his experience in social research to understand the need for and then create a framework for a national network of youth organisations, this would aid communication and collaboration. Josh’s interest lies in social development, sports (football and squash) as well as reading and writing.


Office and Scholarship Program Manager

Vantha Kuon

NGO education in Siem Reap

Vantha moved to Siem Reap in 2002 in order to attend school and in 2011 he graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Banking from the University of South-East Asia. He joined JWOC in February 2009 and has taken his place as an invaluable member of staff through his hard work and dedication to community work.

Vantha manages the daily tasks related to the administration and maintenance of the office and school as well as working on the bookkeeping for all projects and coordinating the Scholarship Programme. He really enjoys working for JWOC and he hopes he can use his skills and time to help Cambodian students and people in the countryside and local communities.


Free Classes Program Manager

Kea Eng

Best Charities in Siem Reap

Originally from outside Siem Reap city, Kea moved in town to continue his education. After completing high school in 2011, Kea applied for a JWOC scholarship to pursue English studies at Build Bright University.

As a scholarship student with JWOC, Kea volunteered as an English teacher in Free Classes program for 4 years. Durig this time, he also worked full-time as the Free Classes Support Officer. Upon completion of his University degree, Kea was promoted to Free Classes Program Manager at JWOC. He is excited about this new endeavor and looks forward to using his skills/experiences to help Cambodian students and the community JWOC serves.


Education Loans Project Manager

Vuth Lita
Best Charities in Siem Reap

Lita was born in the Kampong Cham province and moved to Siem Reap in 2005. After graduating high school in 2011, she applied for the JWOC Scholarship award in order to pursue a degree in Finance and Banking at the University of South East Asia and was accepted into the program.

During her time as a scholarship student, Lita was an invaluable asset to the JWOC Microfinance Program. In that time, she acted as both Loan Officer and Team Leader while gaining a wealth of experience with Provincial Department of Rural Development and Fragrance Angkor Hotel’s accounting departments. She is very happy to have the chance to work in JWOC as Microfinance Program Manager and hopes to help scholarship students gain the experience necessary for success in the financial sector.


Community Support Program Manager

Konthea Mean

Best Charities in Siem Reap

After finishing high school in 2007, Konthea took a Bachelor Degree in English at Mean Chey University. While pursuing the degree, she taught English voluntarily to children near her home and also worked in private English schools in Serei Sophorn. When she graduated from university in 2012 she worked with an International NGO, Hope for the Nations, in Poi Pet as an Assistant and Translator.

At the beginning of 2013 with the purpose of self development, a desire to learn and wanting to help poor communities in Cambodia, Konthea moved from Banteay Mean Chey Province, where she was born, to Siem Reap Province to join JWOC as a dynamic team player. She believes that through the Community Support Program she can continue her commitment to helping many people in rural areas. She is optimistic about seeing the development of Cambodia and is excited to play a role in it.


Librarian and Child Development Coordinator

Sonesa Khuon

Best Charities in Siem Reap

Before joining JWOC Nesa used to teach English at Florida International School for five years, at the same time she also studied for her Bachelors in English at the University of South East Asia and graduated in 2013. After graduating, she wanted to get more diverse experience in teaching children away from traditional schooling and she found JWOC!

Since working in JWOC, she has learned many new things such as computer skills, internet, email, making crafts, leading a team and taking care of lots of books in the library. She loves the environment and people here and is inspired to provide free knowledge students through fun and creative methods. She loves her job and works tirelessly to improve herself and the Library. In her spare time, she likes to listen to music, sing and chat with her friends.

By working at the local level and focusing on education and training, JWOC works with and supports the local community to inspire long term positive social change.

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