Deaf Development Programme

A reflection from our new Aussie volunteer

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself; I am Sarah Laverick, here in Cambodia on a 2 month volunteer placement organised by Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia (along with Australian Volunteers International). I am studying a Bachelor of Human Sciences with a Community Services major, and I am passionate about helping people and creating a world that provides opportunities and experiences for each and every person to be happy and peaceful.

As it comes to the end of my second week here at DDP, I am feeling slightly overwhelmed with everything that I have learnt and all the amazing people I have met. Never have I seen such dedication and commitment to a cause that is both so important but sometimes so seemingly out of reach. There are so many forces and difficulties that make developing a deaf community and providing services for them such a challenge; in a country still recovering and rebuilding, economically and politically, from a terrible war. Seeing the hard work that is going on to try to establish support networks and provide necessary education and resources for the most disadvantaged of Cambodians, has shown me just how difficult life can be for those in poverty or those who have a disability.

Far from being disillusioned or giving up, the staff and the community here have so much hope, empathy and strength that I can see is driving them to empower others and create more fairness, equality and social connections. I know I have so much to learn from each and every individual here and I can’t wait to get out there and see more!

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