Christèle has been volunteering for CAMELEON for 5 years. Today, she talks about her experience with us.
– How did you hear about CAMELEON?
I heard about CAMELEON 5 years ago. I had the opportunity to discover the Philippines while I was on vacation. I loved the Filipino sense of hospitality, so I looked for a French organization present in the Philippines. Very quickly, I stumbled upon CAMELEON which matched my expectations. I decided to volunteer first, and then to become a godparent.
– How long have you been a godmother? Do you currently sponsor a child?
I have been sponsoring my third godchild for two years: Rose, who is now 18 years-old like my daughter. Rea was the first girl I sponsored – it lasted 10 months since she was at the end of her studies. Josepha was the second girl I sponsored, and it lasted almost one year and a half. It ended due to her pregnancy that she kept from CAMELEON. She has decided to pursue her studies during her pregnancy.
–What is your goddaughter doing in the USA?
When she ended her studies, she started working in a call center in Passi that processes calls from the USA. During one of our email exchanges, she mentioned her project to be an au-pair in the USA. I encouraged her even if it was not easy for her to leave her family and friends and to go abroad for the first time. Since I, myself, was welcomed by host families in the UK and Germany when I was a teenager and studied in Germany via Erasmus afterwards, I was obviously going to encourage her!
– How did you meet in the USA? How did it go?
Rea has been living in Phœnix, Arizona, since February 2018. Since I have acquaintances living in Los Angeles, I decided to schedule a trip in California and to then visit Rea in Phœnix. She had a few days of vacation, so we went to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas together. We had a great time in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, where we stayed for two days. It was quite cold in Flagstaff, and Rea was not used to such a climate that she was experimenting for the first time. We obviously exchanged about CAMELEON, her projects, my life… She wishes to continue her experience as an au-pair girl for at least one more year in a new host family in Arizona.
– And, as a volunteer, what are you missions?
As a volunteer, I have organized two craft markets (items made in the Philippines). I participate to CAMELEON events, I obtained a 4000€ grant from the BNP PARIBAS, a significant French bank, after building a grant file. I have sold books and greeting cards and also collected clothes and hygiene products. Moreover, I have raised more than 400€ when running the “Course des Héros” (“Heroes’ Run”) in 2018.