Searching for Deaf People

PHNOM PENH – In the bluish early morning light, we gathered by the gate of Deaf Development Programme (DDP) with our provisions of fully-charged smartphones, water, face masks, cameras and scarves for what promised to be a long day. The four of us, a teacher, an interpreter, a deaf interpreter and a tag-along anthropologist, climbed into a tuk-tuk and set off, navigating the morning traffic on our way to find deaf people in the villages.

The purpose of this outreach is to find deaf adults between the approximate ages of 20 and 45 who have never been to school or learned Cambodian Sign Language. The team is searching for deaf people who want basic adult education or job training at Deaf Development Programme; however, finding deaf people is harder than it seems.

On this trip, one of many made during a two-week period in late November, we traveled for about an hour north towards Kampong Cham to visit a chain of Cham settlements off of National Road 6. The Cham are an ethnic minority and largely Muslim population in Cambodia. Most of them live along the Mekong River and Tonlé Sap Lake.

After about a hour or so fighting a stream of —> Read More Here


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