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Antoine, European Voluntary Service in Cambodia

"I would like to say that this EVS is the best experience I have had so far. It allowed me to learn a lot about myself, about others and about opportunities that may present themselves to me!"

Hello ! my name is Antoine Fauvel, I am 23 years old, I live near Lille, in the north of France and I have done a 2-month EVS with the association ADICE. My host structure during this mission was the CYA (Cambodian Youth Action) located in Cambodia. This beautiful country still has a lot to do in terms of developing local populations and the country. I was sent to a small village called Angkor Chey, near Kampot. In this village, the locals live mainly from agriculture and there is not much prospect for the younger ones. That is why, after public school in the morning, students go to the learning centre to receive English lessons. There are about 100 children between the ages of 6 and 17 who come to the centre every day.

My mission at the centre was mainly to prepare the lessons in the morning and to teach in the afternoon, from 1:30 pm to 6 pm. When we had time du

ring the day or on weekends, we also did manual work, landscaping or agriculture. We also offered sports, artistic and musical activities to students who were interested.

 

In the centre, we were staying with a host family, we had a room for 4, two German volunteers, my Cambodian mentor and myself. We shared everything

together, accommodation, meals, household chores… It was really good!

I decided to get involved in this mission because I wanted to have a first experience in contact with a children’s audience, improve my English, be part of an association and meet people from all over the world.

The biggest difficulty I encountered was communication in a foreign language. When I arrived in Cambodia, my English was not very good. Then quickly, my level improved and I was able to communicate with everyone, it was very formative to be confronted with the language all the time. Then there is Khmer, because the locals don’t speak English, I learned some words, phrases and used Google translation, to be able to make myself understood.

What I am most proud of is that I have proven to myself that I too can take part in a project like this one, that I have gained in autonomy and that I have integrated into a group whose main language is English.

I think that this experience will help me to develop my skills, to apply for various projects or companies and to have more prospects for the future.

My best memories are the time spent with the locals who invited us just because we were spending time near their home, or during certain celebrations. We were invited to sing, dance, share the meal, they were really fun moments!

Finally, I would like to say that this EVS is the best experience I have had so far. It allowed me to learn a lot about myself, about others and about opportunities that can present themselves to me! So don’t hesitate, take the plunge!