Women’s Day

DDP celebrated International Women’s Day on Sunday rather than on Wednesday of this week in order to make it more accessible to more of the deaf community.  The Catholic Church Student Center allowed us to set up our tents in their spacious yard.  Click here to see the activities.

Technology and Deaf People

Technology has really benefited the deaf community.  Twenty, thirty years ago, communications among deaf people was either face-to-face or via TTY or TDD machines attached to telephone landlines.  Now, with the advent of smartphones and cheaper data service availability, deaf people can communicate more readily, like this young deaf woman signing to her friend on a smartphone Facebook Messenger connection.

DDP Staff Wedding

DDP has a young staff and we are always having weddings of the staff, here in Phnom Penh and in the provinces.  The latest one was Mr. Heng Ravy, our Job Training Project assistant, who married Ms. Roeun Srey March.

Before the wedding: A Cambodian wedding, even a Catholic wedding, is quite different from a Catholic wedding in the United States.  Here is the sanctuary prepared for the ceremony.
Before the wedding: No organ for these weddings.  They usually do have an electronic keyboard and guitar but this one also had these traditional percussion instruments to accompany a blessing dance that was part of the event.
The ceremony lasted nearly two hours with various cultural additions.  Finally when it was over many of the congregation gathered for a group photo with the newly married couple.
Ravy the groom is our staff member and afterwards the DDP staff who were present posed with Ravy and Srey March.  The two women on the right are the only Catholic members of the DDP staff.

Deaf Youth Camp #2

Friday started off early in Phnom Penh.  Then after a long bus ride to Siem Reap, the group had lunch and jumped into their camp program.  Metta Karuna is a reflection center run by the Jesuits, close to town but away from the noise and hustle of the tourists.  Click here to see pictures from the first day.

Phnom Penh Graduation

Today we had the third and last of our Education Project graduations, this time at our main office in Phnom Penh.  Actually this event centered more on the new incoming class of students who just started their education this week.

The deaf students watch the sign language interpreter. The hearing staff watch the speaker on the other side of the room.
Keat Sokly, the DDP director, gives some opening remarks.
Some of the new students enjoying refreshments after the ceremony.
A large number of the hearing and deaf staff who work at the Phnom Penh DDP office.

Kampong Cham Graduation

On Monday this week we went to Kampot Province for the graduation of our DDP students there.  On Wednesday we attended a similar graduation in Kampong Cham Province.

Kampong Cham students playing a game before the ceremony started.
Inside, other students were practicing the national anthem in sign language for the opening of the ceremony.
Students taking photos with proud parents.
A group photo of all the graduating Kampong Cham students.
Finally a photo of the graduates with their parents and with the incoming new students.

Kampot Graduation

Today we had a graduation ceremony for the students who finished our two-year non-formal education program in Kampot Province.  Quite a few staff from the DDP office in Phnom Penh were there for the occasion.

One of the deaf students receiving her certificate from Charlie Dittmeier.
An official from the Provincial Ministry of Education gave a talk.
A picture of all the students and their teachers.
After the ceremony, we went to our hostel, DDP House, for lunch together.