Changing lives through the arts requires the work of extraordinary teachers, staff, and volunteers from across Cambodia and all around the world.
One volunteer we’re proud to have worked with is Juliette DELORON from Strasbourg, France. Juliette has been working with the Communications team at Phare Ponleu Selpak as a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer (and a few other things as well!). Learn more about Juliette at her website: www.juliette.deloron.fr
Watch this video (or catch the transcript below) to learn more about Juliette and her experience volunteering in Battambang, Cambodia at Phare Ponleu Selpak:
How did you become a volunteer at Phare Ponleu Selpak?
Juliette: I came to Phare as a “service civique” volunteer with a French organization. My process was a little different from the usual “service civique” volunteering experience, because I contacted a French association called CREFAD Loire, which helped me create my mission from scratch. So, I was the one who contacted the associations to be able to create my mission and go to Cambodia.
What made you want to volunteer at Phare Ponleu Selpak? What stood out about it?
Juliette: I did a lot of research to find the right organization that could host me. I found Phare Ponleu Selpak on the internet. What I really appreciated the first time I heard about Phare was the creative and artistic aspect that is at the heart of all the education it offers. The arts are really at the heart of this organization, and I think that’s wonderful.
What is your role at Phare Ponleu Selpak?
Juliette: I’m a volunteer in the communications department, so I’m responsible for everything to do with graphic design, video, photos, and a bit more.
I always feel passionate about doing photography, because I can show people my emotions and the beautiful stories through every photo that I take.
What do you like most about volunteering at Phare Ponleu Selpak?
Juliette: What I appreciate most about volunteering at Phare is the people I work with, who gave me such a warm welcome when I first arrived, and who continue to help me on a daily basis. You really get the feeling that the people who work at Phare are like one big family.
What I’ve really appreciated about working here is the creative freedom and opportunities. I’ve been able to share great moments with lots of people, including the students who have incredible stories. The chance to have these person-to-person encounters is something I really appreciate about volunteering here.
I’ve also been able to put together a personal photography exhibition project during my time at Phare Ponleu Selpak.
A favorite quote:
“Life must be such a damned great big adventure!” –Peter Pan
Tell us more about your upcoming exhibition in Paris.
Juliette: For a few months now, I’ve been preparing a photo exhibition featuring students from Phare Ponleu Selpak. I have five students who are the subjects of the exhibition: a circus student, a music student, a dance student, a theatre student, and a painting student.
It’s a way for me to show you in concrete terms what all your help can do for the school, and how the organization uses and implements its resources to help young people in the community as much as possible.
This exhibition is a bit like my baby, because I created it to mark the end of my year of “service civique” to the community. I wanted to share and present all the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, to collaborate with, to meet, and really to honor them through this exhibition and my work. And all this using a practice, a discipline I’m really passionate about, that is, photography.
This exhibition, this project, is also a farewell gift to Phare Ponleu Selpak. It’s a way of raising funds to help the organization as much as possible, with all proceeds going to Phare.
To finance the exhibition, I’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign, so if you’d like to help us put the spotlight on these arts students and make this project a reality, don’t hesitate to make a contribution and do your part in changing lives through the arts.
What advice would you give to someone else who is thinking about volunteering at Phare Ponleu Selpak?
Juliette: For any new volunteer wanting to work at Phare, my biggest piece of advice would be to be flexible.
As well as the warm welcome from everyone, a real benefit of volunteering at Phare Ponleu Selpak is really the campus you get to work on. It’s a colorful, lively, green campus. There’s greenery everywhere. There’s really nothing to get bored of on campus; there’s always something going on.
Want to help change lives through the arts? Join Phare Ponleu Selpak as a volunteer and use your skills and expertise in transforming the lives of children and youth in Battambang, Cambodia.