Meet our interns!
For the past two months, these two (Caitlan on the left and Rachael on the right) have been serving as interns here at DDP. Both come to us from Macquarie University’s PACE Program in Sydney, Australia. Read some of their first reflections below.
My name is Caitlan . I am currently studying a Bachelor of Social Science and will complete my degree in June 2017. I am hearing and slowly picking up Cambodian sign language. Back in Australia I did a short course on Australian sign language (Auslan) although it is completely different to Cambodian sign. I have also learnt the American alphabet, too!
As I start my second week, I have seen the fieldwork that DDP does, the classes on offer and the friendliness of the office (even if I may look a little confused some of the time) and I am quite amazed at the work that the DDP does for the Deaf community in Cambodia how it empowers and provides support with minimal funds.
Also in our second week, we visited the DDP House that supports Deaf youth with housing while participating in job training. I believe training Deaf people with skills they can use and support themselves in the future is greatly important. As Deaf people are not disabled, they just communicate in a different language.
I’m Rachael. I’m studying towards a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Linguistics. I have a background in the education and community services sectors and I am also Deaf myself.
My first week here at the Deaf Development Programme (DDP) was quite overwhelming as there was quite a lot to take in, but it was also great to see how much work is being done with deaf people here in Cambodia. DDP has a strong focus in educating deaf people and promoting their inclusiveness in society by teaching them sign language and providing job training opportunities.
As a Deaf person with access to higher education, it has been an eye-opening experience to learn that education for deaf people is still not at a standard that is equal to their hearing peers here in Cambodia. I can see that DDP has faced a lot of challenges over the years and even though there is still a long way to go, progress is being made. Personally, I’m looking forward to learning more about DDP and learning Cambodian sign language.