Deaf Day 2018

The past week was International Deaf Week around the world. DDP had some small activities for the week but the big celebration was today, Sunday, when most deaf people were off from work.

We used the grounds of Maryknoll’s Seedling of Hope project which we have often used in the past. Just after coming in the main gate, one group of deaf people were offering Cambodian snacks for sale.
The Seedling grounds offer a large open space for the deaf people to gather in. We rent the tents for the day, a common practice in Cambodia.
The Deaf Day organizers always seem to come up with simple but challenging games that really keep the group engaged. Here the object is to blow the orange ping pong ball across the tops of the five glasses of water. It’s a lot harder than you might imagine!
Keat Sokly (R), our director, mingled with the group of sign language interpreters during a slow time in the afternoon.
When participants successfully completed one of the games, their “report card” was stamped and if they received enough stamps, they could claim a small prize.
One of the biggest benefits of this type of gathering is just the ability to meet with friends. Isolation is a tremendous burden for deaf people because they do not share a common language with society–and usually not even with their family.
One table displayed colorful paper flowers that our DDP staff are very skilled at making.
Deaf people have an advantage in that they can carry on sign language conversations even when not sitting close to each other. And on days like today there is a lot of talking going on.
Toward the end of the day the organizers had a “lucky draw,” a raffle for small door prizes.