Joséphine has been an on field « Advocacy and Prevention » volunteer for 3 months in the Philippines for CAMELEON. What made her want to volunteer for CAMELEON? Why has she chosen this mission? How did she experience it? Read her testimony :
“Being an International Law student specialized in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, I have always been invested in the associative sector. While I was looking for an internship in a foundation in Paris, I crossed paths with someone who recommended CAMELEON. After reading about the organization’s actions, I very quickly decided to volunteer. Fighting against sexual abuse towards children is one of the causes that were already very important to me before my departure. This is the reason why I decided to assist the Filipino actions from October to December 2018. My main mission there was to sensitize populations and to heighten awareness to the importance of fighting against sexual abuse and violence. I was also able to help preparing two big conferences held in October and December named « Breaking the Silence » and « Heroes Award », as well as writing the report for the financial backers. Simultaneously, I wrote an article comparing both the French and Filipino systems concerning the care of sexually abused minors. I had the opportunity to attend the court hearings of certain girls which enabled me to catch a glimpse of the Filipino legal system and to understand the level of the emergency.
The main goal of my experience abroad was to spend the biggest amount of time with the children and to share real moments with the girls. We established contact very easily and quickly with the youngest ones who are always curious to learn new games and activities. I was able to organize my work and my days around the girls’ schedule so I could take advantage of their free time. I took part in each and every one of the girls’ activities: swimming on Saturday mornings, circus training on Saturday afternoons, rugby on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings, basketball on Wednesdays… I also organized a few yoga classes on Tuesday nights for all the willing participants. Finally, along with Julien, CAMELEON volunteer sports coordinator, we took the decision to have a small group of girls to run a “Color Run” race in Passi. Running 2 miles with the oldest ones brought us together.
Those 3 months were the most extraordinary months of my life. The girls and the Filipino team taught me a lot and made me grow – I feel like I have had a real impact on the youngest ones. This experience made me a better person. These girls are an everyday source of inspiration and give meaning to life.
Any advice for the future volunteers?
“3 words : GO – FOR – IT !! No doubt about it: if you have the time, a strong heart and are determined to make mentalities change, volunteer for CAMELEON Filipino. The girls need you and you do not know it yet but you also need them.”