Ombeline's first steps at PSE :

Ombeline's first steps at PSE

Ombeline, volunteer with 2 children sitting at a table in the canteen

Ombeline is a volunteer communications assistant at PSE. For her, it's a long-awaited experience, a human adventure. Read her story.

A special mission 

"For 6 months, I have the opportunity to be part of the very nice communication team of PSE in Cambodia. This is the perfect opportunity for me to get to know the whole organisation. I learn about all the programmes, all the events and I get to know many things. So it's a real pleasure to have joined this wonderful team."

Ombeline and the volunteers

First impressions 

"As soon as I arrived at the Centre, I hadn't even put my suitcase down when the children were already coming to see me, smiling, to play or simply to say hello in English. We were quickly taken in by the experience and we knew that we were going to spend 6 extraordinary months with children whose stories were each more touching than the next. 

One of my first impressions was to say to myself: "But in fact, they don't have any problem, they are all beautiful and clean in their uniforms, smiling, this school is a school like any other". And that's the beauty of PSE. This association manages to give back a completely normal life to children who come from communities (neighbourhoods where poverty is very present) and from whom the innocence and carefree spirit of childhood has been stolen."

European volunteers pose with a group of children cared for by PSE

Discovering PSE

"Before I started volunteering, I knew about the history of PSE and the enormous amount of work done by Christian and Marie-France. They are both true role models, because they have managed to rescue 12,000 children from poverty and lead them to a profession. But it is always difficult to realise until we are on the spot. And now I have no doubt about the benefits of the association. I soon learned that Leakhéna, a former PSE student, had been appointed General Manager of the association. It was then that I realised that PSE is working hard to lift these children out of extreme poverty. I like to say that PSE has not only saved 12,000 children from poverty, in fact, it is much more, because the future children of PSE alumni will also be saved and will grow up in a sustainable environment."

A little anecdote...

"During a day with the scouts, the children all spoke Khmer and despite the few words (which can be counted on the finger of one hand at the moment) that I learned, I didn't understand much if anything of what they were saying. However, I was keen to participate in the activities and have fun with them. Then one of the children started laughing when I made the slightest movement or when I said a word out of my mouth. He actually managed to make everyone laugh. Naively, I thought he was laughing at me. It was only at the end of the day that I was told that he thought I was funny and that he wanted me to participate in the next activities. PSE is an adventure where you give your time for these children, but in the end they give you a lot!"

Two European volunteers and a young Cambodian during a Scout activity