• French NGO Cameleon celebrates 20th anniversary

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    Cameleon founder Laurence Ligier (right), and Shaline Gamala, one of Camelon Association’s success stories

    Mallgoers had a rare opportunity to watch an amazing show by the French National School of Circus and how it transforms lives in Metamorphosis at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 29.

    This is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Cameleon, a French Filipino non-government organization (NGO) providing protection and rehabilitation to have young Filipino girls who have suffered abuse—towards the realization of their dreams of going to school and having a brighter future. It was founded in 1997 by Laurence Ligier, a French National, and is based in the province of Iloilo in Panay Island.

    The event is in partnership with the SM Mall of Asia with support from SM Cares, and the Zonta Club of Makati Ayala.

    In Metamorphosis, Camelon presents a unique and incredible circus show with nine excellent foreign circus artists coming from France and Canada. They performed different acts like cyr ring, aerial ring, aerial silk, Chinese pole, hand to hand, acrobatics, tight wire, Hula hoop. Camelon girls joined the show to present their talent in contortion, diabolo and unicycle.

    In Metamorphosis, Cameleon presents a unique and incredible circus show with excellent circus artists coming from France and Canada

    Luc Richard (stage director) and Patrick Mattioni (circus teacher) created and organized the circus show. The show was hosted by celebrity advocate KC Concepcion. Joining the show are 3rd placer France Got Talent 2016 Filipina singer Alienette Coldfire and renowned French actress Sabrina Ouazani.

    Metamorphosis also showcased how circus can be a tool for therapy and professional integration. Since the visit of the French Zanzibar Circus in 2004, circus has been fully integrated into the rehabilitation program of Camelon, thanks to strong partnerships with the French National Circus School (ENACR) and worldwide circus companies from Peru, Canada, and Cambodia. Circus is part of the girls’ therapy as it allows them to come out their shells, feel well, trust others, have fun and to build a positive image of themselves.

    Over the last 13 years, circus activities helped the girls in rebuild themselves. Circus is a “school of life” developing values such as solidarity and responsibility. Circus promotes physical wellness; it increases body awareness, circulation, focus, balance, strength and flexibility. On emotional health, circus promotes turn taking, leadership, communication, empathy, self-expression and trust. Engagement to circus activities also provides distraction from one current state of stress or mental instability.

    Circus is also a professional integration tool for some of the Camelon’s beneficiaries. Fifteen girls have become circus trainers and now give circus training sessions every weekend in the center in Passi (Iloilo) for 60 girls. One of them became the official circus teacher.

    In Cameleon, Circus is part of the girls’ therapy as it allows them to come out their shells, feel well, trust others, have fun and to build a positive image of themselves.

    This unique program in the Philippines has already shown its positive impact on girls who demonstrate outstanding progress and more autonomy. Thanks to this partnership, the skills of the girls improved. Four of them went to Peru and France for a 1-year training and 15 became regular circus trainers.

    People can help Camelon Association in their advocate for children’s rights and build a solid path together to protect women and children against violence by donating in cash or in good. All donations are tax-deductable since Cameleon is a non-profit NGO, accredited by PCNC (Philippine Council for NGO Certification) and DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development). They mobilize their Ambassadors, VIPs, the media and the social media to communicate, advocate and raise the voice of the Camelon’s Children.

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