Last month, we started the series “News from former students?” with Dara’s interview. 

Now it’s our budding doctor, Vuthny Din, turn to tell us his story with Taramana. With a smile on his face, the 24-year-old student looks back at his evolution since his beginnings at the centre and tells us about his aspirations.

A visit that changed his life…

It is the story of a teenager who sees a group of Cambodians arriving in his village accompanied by a white foreigner. He had heard that they were coming to carry out social surveys among the families in the neighbourhood, in order to welcome into their NGO the children who were most in need. The young boy then asked one of the Cambodians if he could join the association. The group of visitors went to his home to see his family’s situation, and that’s how Vuthny, 13 years old, started out at Taramana.

Now a 4th year medical student, which he has just validated hands down, he recalls his journey at the centre with an undisclosed emotion:

“I was very happy to be able to study languages and computer science, especially French because I had a good teacher thanks to whom I was able to progress very quickly. I also played soccer and rugby, which taught me the importance of teamwork and solidarity. At 15, I started theatre lessons with Jocelyn (editor’s note: Jocelyn Dordé, President of the association) and it completely transformed me. At the time, I was a child who didn’t talk much, who was afraid to stand out. So imagine a shy child who finds himself having to perform on stage in French in front of a French-speaking audience…” He smiles at the evocation of this memory, before continuing:Theatre has really boosted my self-confidence and helped me to express myself freely. It is largely because of the theatre and the advice of Jocelyn that I have become who I am today. »

When we ask him to name his fondest memories with Taramana, he doesn’t know where to start. 

“I have participated in many shows in the centre and outside, I learned to juggle with bolas thanks to a former volunteer, I passed the DELF B1 level test (editor’s note: French Foreign Langage examination)… I have experienced many beautiful things thanks to Taramana, but my most beautiful memory remains the trip to France with the theatre company. I feel very lucky to have been able to discover this country. It was a childhood dream come true. »

… and pushes him to go even further in his projects

From the age of 7, Vuthny aspired to become a doctor. Driven by his desire to help others, he wanted to work in a field that would allow him to have a positive impact on people’s lives. He then explains that beyond his history with Taramana, his interest in France also comes from the fact that the French language is essential in medical training in Cambodia. Having the opportunity to study and practice French, with the theatre company or with the volunteers, has brought me a little closer to my dream job. he adds.

Feeling extremely grateful to Taramana, Vuthny helps the association as often as he can, by giving classes in French, English or Khmer, by accompanying the children on outings, by hosting parties at the centre, etc. In the future, he would like to help sustain Taramana’s actions, in order to continue to see children grow, learn and flourish. One of his dreams is also to be able to open a second centre to support children living in the countryside.

It was thanks to Taramana that I was able to succeed. When I look at the children, it reminds me of when I was a kid. It is a great opportunity to be able to study in this NGO. It is important that students keep it in mind and remain motivated to come to the centre regularly, study seriously and participate in all activities. I hope they will also have the luck that has brought me along the way.” A beautiful conclusion to this interview full of humility and generosity.

Many thanks to Vuthny for his time. We wish him true success in his studies and future projects!


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