New “old” staff

Today Nob Samnang (L) came to her first day of work at DDP as administrator. On the front porch to welcome her were (L to R): Russ Brine, Sau Soknym, and Thuch Sophy.
Later Russ (L) and Soknym began an orientation for Samnang. She actually worked for DDP before but left to get married and move to Battambang. Now back in Phnom Penh, she heard that the administrator position was open and we were pleased to be able to hire someone with both experience and sign language.

Online Learning

Our Education Project classes have been canceled most of 2020 and 2021 but we’re still trying to provide some learning experiences for our deaf students. Here some of our staff make short video lessons to post on a special Facebook page for the students to study at home.

New Manager

Today the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme welcomed a new program manager, Mr. Sau Soknym. Soknym had previously worked for the Maryknoll Seedling program until it closed so he is well known to many of the DDP staff and the Maryknoll community. He will be in charge of managing the day-to-day operations of the DDP Administration and the five projects. Welcome, Soknym!

Eat Here

Yesterday you saw the cooks preparing food for dinner at the hostel of the Deaf Development Programme. This is the eating area, outside the kitchen, where the deaf youth gather for their meals.

Visit by Ministry of Social Affairs

Today a delegation from the Ministry of Social Affairs came to the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme for an official visit, the first time they have ever done that. Each of the Maryknoll projects is under one of the mainline ministries, and we are under MOSVY (the acronym for the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation).
First the visitors went to our classrooms and the hostel where our students sleep, and then they came to our meeting room to discuss what they saw and ask questions. I was happy to see them and to see the government taking an interest in our doing what the government should be doing. The bad side of the visit is that we have to provide transportation for their group of eight and take them to lunch!

A reunion at DDP

Today four of the Salesian Sisters from their commercial training school in Tuol Kork came to visit DDP. One of the purposes of the visit was to reconnect with Phany (C), a former student who is now the new social worker at the Deaf Development Programme.

Launch of campaign to prevent violence against women

Today eleven DDP staff and members of the deaf community participated in the national launch of a campaign to protect women against violence. Here our DDP interpreter conveys the message of one of the early speakers.
Probably more than 500 persons attended the launch. There would have been more but the chairs were socially distanced because of the coronavirus. Another anti-COVID-19 measure: at the break it was interesting that the hotel did not supply the usual buffet of snacks and pastries and fruit, but instead prepared a foam box full of snacks for each individual. They were quite generous in the quantity of snacks in each box so it probably cost the organizers more than the usual reception.
After the morning-long ceremony, many of the DDP staff posed for a picture.

Starting again

Yesterday the Education Project of the Deaf Development Programme resumed its classroom teaching after the most recent suspension for a month or two.
The power went off for quite an extended period today so we moved the students outside to a porch where they were working on an illustrated version of the classroom rules they have been discussing as part of the restart.