For those who do not know, JustWorld International is a non-profit organization that supports more than 6,500 children in Honduras, Guatemala, and Cambodia. This support, however, is more than just the average food donation or school supplies. As mentioned in their mission statement, "We don’t focus on only one area of need. Hungry children cannot learn. Sick children cannot attend school."
JustWorld brings together a community from different regions of the world of all ages. You may be an Olympic equestrian in the United States or a thirteen-year-old girl living in France. People come from all over to provide education, nutrition, health and hygiene, as well as leadership and cultural development for these young minds. JustWorld's support has allowed children in these communities to attend universities and become employed - the first step of breaking the cycle of poverty.
I feel thankful to have found this organization in August of 2013, and becoming so knowledgeable in the world beyond my "comfort zone" at only the age of fourteen. I've gotten the opportunity to connect and fundraise with girls across the country for JustWorld's Team Challenge, raising the most money out of the three countries' teams for Honduras - the country where most of my barn's compassionate and hardworking grooms called home.
I could go on about how much being a part of JustWorld as an ambassador has helped me strengthen my soft skills that have helped me grow as the person I am today, but the important message here is that the more you help people, the more you help yourself, too. You learn about another person's culture, their story, and the world, while learning about your own strengths and weaknesses, your capabilities, and build character.
So thank you, to the JustWorld International team, for providing adults and children alike an opportunity to become a part of such a loving and supportive community. Your presence, especially amongst the equestrian community, has helped us become humble and stay grounded. Not only are you changing and shaping the lives of those outside the country on the project sites, but also those like me who have been able to grow along beside you.