Elise: a meaningful volunteer experience with disabled children :

Elise: a meaningful volunteer experience with disabled children

Elise with her team

Elise, 24 years old from Toulouse, shares her experience as a volunteer physiotherapist at the association Pour un Sourire d'Enfant in Cambodia

Understanding the needs to succeed in her volunteering mission

Elise, a 24 year old physiotherapist, decided to spend six months in Cambodia with Pour un Sourire d'Enfant to help the team of the Adapted Teaching Section, which takes care of children with disabilities.

"My first days at PSE were marked by a very warm welcome from the whole team", Elise enthuses. "I got to know my two physiotherapist colleagues, Kanchna and Sophaktra, with whom I spend time in the physiotherapy room and in the children's homes, discussing the condition of our little patients, their rehabilitation and their objectives. Our exchanges allow me to have a better vision of physiotherapy and the health system in Cambodia," she explains.

It was after listening to the needs of her colleagues that Elise understood the stakes of her mission. "This allowed me to set some objectives on what I will be able to bring to them during these few months".

Elise and Sophaktra in the middle of a physiotherapy session

A varied volunteering mission in a spirit of benevolence

"Every day there are new small objectives in my mission: organising training for the physiotherapists, helping them to put their sessions with the children in order, accompanying them on home or hospital visits, planning the layout of the new physiotherapy room, helping to set up health software, multidisciplinary meetings, etc." explains Elise. "I have the feeling that the Adapted Teaching Section is constantly evolving and finds solutions every day to improve the quality of life of the children."

"The team is very caring and we always have a good time with the colleagues and the children," she adds. "Between the farewell parties for former volunteers and the birthdays every Friday, I had a rather festive first month, and it's always a pleasure to see the children dancing, singing and blossoming in their lives as pupils!"

Permanent professional and personal enrichment

"My mission is very different from the physiotherapy work I did in France and I learn a little more every day. I hope to be able to adapt as well as possible and to meet the needs of the team. I can't wait to find out what the next few months hold for us," concludes Elise, smiling.