News from Taramana’s former students #1 – Goodbye Dara!

Some of our former students have come a long way and are now real role models for our current students.  We want to have a look back on their journeys. And we start with Dara!

Dara, 19, is an architecture student who is about to pursue his studies in Paris. He agreed to answer our questions.

Dara and Taramana, a story that has been going on for twelve years…

I started attending the Taramana center when I was 7, so 12 years ago. There, I was able to learn English and French, practice Rugby and take part in different activities. When I started high school, I didn’t have much time to go to the center because I was very busy. I kept coming for the drama classes, events, but also to teach French. I love teaching and seeing students making progress. In fact, for the past few weeks, I have been teaching French at the center. It has been a pleasure for me to be back as a French teacher. If I could do that every day, I would be happy!”

Dara explains that his interest in the French language originates from the meetings he made, especially the meetings with the French volunteers at Taramana, but also from a dream that motivates him since he was a teenager: studying in France. “I discovered France for the first time in 2016, when we went on tour with the drama group “Les Petits Chenapans” (which is Taramana’s theater class), and I loved it… and I tanned a lot! Today my dream is coming true. I am going to pursue my architecture studies in Paris!”

“It was thanks to Taramana that I went on stage for the first time”

When we asked Dara to talk about his highlights at Taramana, he mentions all the time he has performed in front of an audience. “We have done a lot of shows. The TaramanAcademy contests and Taramana’s Got Talent, the tour for our theater play, charity concerts…. It is thanks to Taramana, that I went on stage for the first time. It helped me to overcome my shyness and develop my talents such as singing, beatboxing, music, acting, video production… I even participated in the show Cambodian’s Got Talent with a friend. At first, I only signed up to have fun and see how far I could go, and it turned out we made it to the final! The Taramana team and the children even came to support me!

Dara keeps in mind all the good memories, but also the bad ones… like the day he was vaccinated by Jocelyn, president of Taramana and doctor. “I was scared… They had to hold me still to give me the shot!”

To conclude this interview, Dara gives some advice for the youngest students at Taramana:

“Without Taramana, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn and develop my potential. If I had one advice to give, it would be to continue to come to the center. My second advice, which is probably the most important, would be to dare to talk with people, try new things and ask for help when you need it. Just dare. It is a hard thing to do for Cambodians, but when you get there, you will succeed in your career and in life in general!

We warmly thank Dara for everything he did for Taramana and we wish him a lot of happiness and success for this new chapter of his life!