Women’s Day (Part 2)

A really important part of any deaf gathering is the communications among deaf people who are isolated from almost everyone else in their daily lives at work or school or at even at home. Click here to see some photos of deaf people enjoying being together–and talking together–at the DDP Women’s Day celebration.

I told you so….

One week ago (February 21) I related how I try to keep this cat out of my office because once before a previous cat gave birth to kittens there. I was (partially) successful. This morning, Sophy, our Education Project manager, came to work to find the cat and two new kittens settled down in an open desk drawer Sophy had forgot to close in her office.

A truce of sorts

This cat–caught today waiting? resting? stalking? on top of our accounting filing cabinets–and I have a running battle going. Our deaf office building is not “tight” as you might expect a solid concrete building to be. Doors are often just grates; even if solid, they’re mostly open; and the way the tile roof sits on the walls, the cat can always get in and out. I always tried to make sure she was “out” because a previous cat gave birth to a litter of kittens in my office. The cat always makes sure she’s in, and judging from the overturned rubbish bins in the offices, she manages to be “in” a lot, searching for food scraps. I used to chase her out, and then when we were having exasperating rat problems in the Maryknoll office, it occurred to me that maybe we are not having the same problem in the deaf office because of the cat. So now I tolerate her–chasing her out of my office but not getting too exercised when she’s slinking through the second-floor corridors.

Musica Felice Donation

Three weeks ago Musica Felice held a benefit concert for the Deaf Development Programme, and today Ms. Miwako Fujiwara came to present the money DDP was to receive from the event. Miwako handed over $5,100, more than she initially announced to us. That will really help us for the coming year in which we will need to make up a $30,000 deficit. Thank you, Miwako, and Musica Felice!

More Musica Felice!

A week ago we had the Musica Felice charity concert which was a great success. 100% of the ticket sales went to the two groups—our Deaf Development Programme was one of them–for whom the concert was organized by Miwako Fujiwara. A reporter contacted me after the concert and we talked a bit but then I didn’t see anything in the paper and thought an editor might have killed the piece he was planning. But today Miwako sent me the following link to the article–and I was quoted!

Take a look to get a “feel” for the concert experience!

Year 2 Graduation

The Deaf Development Programme has a two-year non-formal education program for older students who come to us with no language. Today we had a graduation ceremony for the students who–finally–finished Year 2 after the classrooms were closed 1.5 years because of Covid.
Fourteen students graduated today. It is sad that they are able to receive so little education but they are bright and energetic so we hope they will succeed in job training or returning to their families’ farms.
The social communications office of the Vicariate of Phnom Penh was present for the graduation and afterwards interviewed two of the students.

Musica Felice Concert

Sunday evening we had the Musica Felice Charity Concert and part of the proceeds were designated to assist the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme. Organized by Ms. Miwako Fujiwara, the concert filled the large ballroom of the Sofitel hotel both with people and beautiful music.

Before guests arrived Thuch Sophy (left) and Sau Soknym, both of our management team, set out DDP brochures for the concert-goers to peruse.
DDP staff helped to welcome guests and punched their tickets. Understandably, not many deaf people attended the concert. I suspect some of our deaf staff came just to experience what a concert might be like for hearing people.
Miwako and several of the singers are members of our English Catholic parish and it is very satisfying to see them participate in community events such as this.
Afterwards the DDP staff gathered for a photo with Miwako Fujiwara.

Musica Felice Concert

Ms. Miwako Fujiwara is a professional musician and the organizer of Musica Felice, a choral group of Phnom Penh singers. Their series of benefit concerts was interrupted by Covid-19 but today held a concert at the Sofitel hotel in Phnom Penh with the Deaf Development Programme as one of the beneficiaries. More than twenty DDP staff attended. Most of the concert was not interpreted but at the intermission Miwako made some introductions. Unfortunately, our sign language interpreter offstage didn’t hear her name called, and when she didn’t appear I stepped in for some impromptu interpreting. (More on the concert tomorrow.)