Interview with Richie - Volunteering Reciprocity Program


In a changing world, where living rogether is a challenge for all societies, the principle of reciprocity in Citizen commitments are needed to foster a more balanced relationship between countries.

Richie will will stay 10 months in France as part of a Civic Service reciprocity mission. He will carry out his mission within the Apprentis d’Auteuil, at Vocational High-School Victorine Magne in Lisieux (Normandy).


Can you introduce yourself briefly ?

I’m Richie, 21 years old a native from Passi IloIlo City which is in Western Visayas, Region 6. I am a former beneficiary of Caméléon association which became a bridge of this new endeavour of mine.


Is it the first time you’re going to France ?

Actually, it’s my second time in France. I was also invited by Apprentis d’Auteil, one of the French organization, to become part of their Olympic celebration last year. I was there last time to give testimony to the youths and also to give a little background about the Philippines education system.


Can you speak about the Civic Service ? What will be your missions ?

I will work as a volunteer with three main missions under Civic Service program. First is to assist the teacher in teaching English to the students. The second one is to become an assistant in a restaurant, as part of my training in connection with my degree, Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant management. Lastly, which is the main focus, is to give awareness to the beneficiaries of Apprentis d’Auteil about sex education, with regards to living a good and healthy reproductive health.


Can you tell us what was your motivations in applying for this mission ?

My primary motivation is my family, and aside from that, its my eagerness and passion of making a change with regards to handling adolescents on a specific topic which is related to their reproductive health.


Do you have any apprehensions?

Actually, this time, I don’t have any apprehensions since I know Apprentis d’Auteil and Civic Service is going to make the best out of this mission, and they will cater all my needs. I think the only thing I am worried about is being far away from home.


What will this mission brings to you, personally and professionally?

It’s a great opportunity for me as an individual, personally and of course in my career life in connection with my degree.

First thing for my personal life, it will develop my confidence, self-esteem and of course living independently. I know I will struggle in some things but I can handle those situations. So being with this mission, it will surpass the old Richie, the old me.

With regards to my degree, my professional career, I can exercise or practise what I have learned from school which is a very great training ground for a Fresh graduate like me.


Can you speak a little about reciprocity? What are your ideas about this project?

It is a very great idea. A really good job for the persons behind this program since they are going to send volunteers in France or in others countries. It’s something like an exchange project so it is a really great opportunity to the host and also to the person who is the subject of the program.

The subject will learn not only for himself but the host as well. It’s like a mutual program since, it’s an exchange, I will learn and you will learn too.


Can you give us a little word how France Volontaires assisted you on this journey ?

FV was really great, they assisted me about the visa process. From time to time, I could contact them, they were really reachable and I think it would be difficult for me and Caméléon as well if we were just the only one processing all the documents needed. So we are very much thankful to FV from the very start until today which is the day of my flight.


May we know what’s inside your luggage ?

Actually, I didn’t bring something from the Philippines because I know it can be difficult for me to adjust if I do so. So, the only things inside my luggage are my clothes and of course memories.