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Kimberly, Philippines volunteer in Pailin

23/08/2019: Cambodia

Kimberly A. Camiring is a Filipino Marist volunteer from the East Asia Province. She was in Pailin, Cambodia, from April 20 to May 21, working on the programme "Integrating Visual Arts in English Language Teaching".

Kimberly is part of the Marist Volunteers programme of the East Asia Province, which works in coordination with the General Administration's Department Collaboration for Mission, International (Cmi).

The Marist Brothers have been present in Cambodia (District of Asia) since 1995. The mission of the Marists in this area responds to the need to work for the most needy and vulnerable children and young people.

We transcribe below the testimony written by Kimberly, where she tells us about her experience in Cambodia.


“What we did in Pailin opened our eyes to see things in different perspectives and to see Jesus in the eyes of every child we teach. The whole experience was a roller coaster ride. We felt different emotions in our one month stay there.

From the time we stepped foot in Pailin, we already felt the family spirit embracing us. The brothers (Bro. Francis, Max, Ricardo and Pierre) the staff and the children at the center welcomed us warmly and made our stay there memorable. They helped us in any ways possible and provided us everything that we need. They offered great friendship and camaraderie that we will be always thankful for.

We may find it difficult to implement the program at first because the idea that we had in mind turned out to be quite different from the actual situation, good thing we are taught to always find solutions to every problem. We started teaching English at the center from 8 am to 7pm with only recess and lunch for a break. And we did that with different age groups and pupils.

We also visited a nearby village on a Saturday and teach English to the kids there. It was tiring; we had to adjust with almost everything - the culture, the language and the people we meet. But as time goes by, we started to feel at home and be comfortable with everyone at the center. Together with our mentor Dr.Noemi Silva, we were able teach English to the students at the center and introduce different art and physical activities. Teaching the kids and seeing their genuine smiles made me inspired and motivated to do more. It was priceless.

Of course, being able to tour around Cambodia is just a bonus. We were able to see the magnificent Angkor Wat, and stroll around Phnom Pehn enjoying different local cuisines. The time might be short, but it was sweet.

We will always be grateful for this opportunity given to us and we will always be proud to be Marist Volunteers. The whole journey in Pailin made me feel VOLUNESIA - a moment when you forget that you are volunteering to help change lives because it already changes yours - and YES, it indeed changed mine.

I am still looking forward for future volunteering activities and being able to use my God-given life in service to other people in all walks of life. Mabuhay Marist Volunteers!”

Have you ever thought, as Brother, layperson, student, ex-student, of becoming a Marist volunteer? Listen to your inner voice and contact the Coordinator of Province Volunteering or the Department of Cmi (Collaboration for Mission, International) - cmi@fms.it

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