As part of our partnership with SNCF Réseau, we have interviewed several of our team members about their commitment with, and for CAMELEON. Learn today about Socheata’s career path.
Why have you decided to join the association?
I joined CAMELEON when I was looking for a mission as a volunteer in 2014. I chose this association for the cause it defends—fighting sexual abuse of children—and also for its holistic, innovative and positive approach. I was also interested by the international aspects of France/Philippines.
Later on, I was happy to join the team as an employee in order to develop the French Social Mission, conduct prevention action with young people and run advocacy campaigns toward general public and policy makers. This engagement allows me to work on several subjects close to my heart: Children’s rights, equal boy and girls’ treatment, international solidarity, prevention of violence and fight cyber pedo-criminality
How do you see your engagement?
Whatever we believe in, I think that each one of us has a role to make society evolve. To be an actor of change, at our very own level, may it be through little steps or more important actions. I find absolutely necessary to mobilize civil society to grow in strength and face often systemic and international issues (social inequalities, poverty, violence, discriminations…)
To finish with, I would say that an engagement is at the same time being an idealist, daring to dream of a better world, and being a pragmatist to be effective on the ground, I also think that what motivates us to act is our personal history and first-hand experience. It can be a sudden experience triggering our reaction or a progressive awareness facing a feeling of despair or injustice. This is what allows us to surpass defeatism and ambient status quo so that we can give hope and create solidarity.
What did you get from those years spent with CAMELEON?
I retain the importance of our educative posture for adult, to give care and respect to all these children. I like interacting with them as part of my job. Listening to them, giving them warm smiles, reaching for them when they don’t know whom to address when they have to face trouble at home or at school. We are here to remind them of their tights, most particularly the right to be loved and be protected against violence. Make them feel that even in the midst of the most painful situation they are not alone, that they there are people they can trust and who are willing to help.
When we read their thanking notes or when they tell us at the end of a workshop that they would later on like to work in an association such as CAMELEON, it is rather moving. It is the example of a virtuous circle with aware young people ready to engage in turn.
What is your expectation about the association future?
Ambitious. We have many new projects to do while improving our current programs to strengthen our follow-up of children and the impact of our actions. Children are our priority and our first beneficiaries, but we also advocate to raise awareness and mobilize more widely society at their side. I see hope and struggle to aim for a world without violence and respectful of children’s rights.