Christmas Season 2017 #6

Charlie and the landlady with her DDP khrama

We don’t celebrate Christmas at the Deaf Development Programme because this Buddhist country makes no connection between Christmas and the birth of Jesus and we don’t want to introduce the commercialization of Christmas and Santa Claus into the culture.  But today we had an unplanned Christmas party thanks to the generosity of the landlady of our DDP office building.  Click here to see what happened.

Social Security in Cambodia

Several years ago, Cambodia started to develop a social security system for the welfare and protection of its citizens.  It was implemented just three or four years ago with the introduction of a scheme to care for workers injured on the job, what would be called workmen’s compensation in the United States.  This year a second phase is being rolled out, a healthcare plan; and a third phase, old age pensions will be introduced a few years from now.

Because the plan is relatively new and not well understood, an official from the National Social Security Fund came to Maryknoll today to speak to representatives of the Khmer employees of Maryknoll’s six projects.

The ministry actually called this meeting–a relatively rare instance of the government being proactive–but they were late for their own meeting so the Maryknoll staff from different projects used the time to get to know each other better and discuss some common issues.
When the ministry official did come, he spent 2+ hours explaining the program and answering questions from the staff who must now go back to their projects and repeat the explanation to the staff under them.

Off to Sihanoukville

Tomorrow the whole staff from the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme heads to the Catholic center in Sihanoukville on the southern coast of Cambodia for a four-day staff retreat or conference.  We’ll be there till our return on Friday.  I hope I’m in a building that has an Internet connection so I can post updates about the goings-on there.