Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Local sign language frees Cambodian deaf from 'prison'  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 23/01/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) At a hairdresser’s shop in the Cambodian capital, there is none of the usual chit chat you might expect when getting a haircut — because the barbers are all deaf


They have graduated from the only education course for deaf adults in Cambodia, where the vast majority of people with hearing problems never had the opportunity to learn sign language


“I didn’t have any contact outside of my family. It was like being in prison. I was stuck there. I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have any education,” barber trainee Oeun Darong, 27, explained in Cambodian sign language


Until the late 1990s, Cambodia was one of the few countries in the world without its own sign language


But that is changing thanks to the work of American priest Charlie Dittmeier, who began to develop the kingdom’s own version with help from foreign linguists and researchers after he was posted in the Southeast Asian nation 13 years ago


“We get people coming to us at the age of 25, 30, 35. They have never been to school a day in their life. They have no language,” said Dittmeier


His Deaf Development Programme (DDP) is one of only two groups running schools for people with hearing problems in Cambodia. The other one is for children


About 30 deaf students aged 16 or older are currently taking a two-year course at the DDP center in Phnom Penh, learning simple sign language, writing, reading and other life skills, said Dittmeier


A third year is spent in job training like at the barber shop, where the students receive instructions — given in sign language — on how to offer hair cuts, shaves and ear cleaning


Many have spent their life working in rice fields or as cattle herders, with no one to teach them how to use sign language


“I was by myself. It was a sad life. I couldn’t learn anything. I couldn’t talk to my family,” said Darong, who once thought he was the only deaf person in the world


He was born into a family of farmers — one of eight children — and missed out on an education


“The others would walk to school but I was left at home taking care of the cow, fishing and working in the garden, while they would go and learn how to read and write.&rdquo


Other pupils at the same deaf school had even worse experiences, such as the pair rescued from one of the country’s rehabilitation centers, which rights activists criticize for unlawfully detaining street children, beggars, drug users and other undesirables


“They had no social skills at all. They did not know how to take a shower,” said Dittmeier


On the walls of the DDP center, some drawings show the basic rules of hygiene, while others teach Cambodian sign language


“We are constantly trying to expose them to new ideas and then they start developing the signs. Then our work is to record the signs. We draw them. We scan them. We put them into books and dictionaries,” Dittmeier said.


 






  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 1 2014 - India hires masked monkey men to combat macaque menaceKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) E very talented group of men has taken to wearing monkey masks imitating their whoops and barks and hiding behind trees to ward off the aggressive animals.India has hired a ...

 Aug 1 2014 - Isolated indigenous make contact with outside world in BrazilKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Azilian experts said the indigenous people likely crossed the border from Peru facing pressure from illegal logging and drug trafficking at home.Isolated native people ...

 Aug 1 2014 - Hopes dim for India landslide survivorsKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Out 160 people were thought to have been living in the dozens of damaged houses.Women mourn a victim of the landslide in Malin village of Pune district in western Maharashtra ...

 Aug 1 2014 - Indian nurses stuck in Libya to be shifted from todayKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Acuation of Indians from the strife-torn Libya will begin on Friday with the first batch of 36 nurses from the southern state of Kerala moving to Tunisia in the morning on ...

 Aug 1 2014 - General Suhag takes over as the new India army chiefKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Neral Dalbir Singh Suhag on Thursday took over as the new chief of the 1.General Suhag assumed charge after his predecessor handed over to him the Chief of Army Staff baton ...

 Aug 1 2014 - European Union formally adopts Russia sanctionsKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) E new measures finally agreed earlier this week after months of hesitation target Russias banking defence and energy sectors.The European Union formally adopted broad ...

 Aug 1 2014 - Train hits bus with bridal party in Bangladesh 10 killedKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Lice said the accident occurred at an unguarded railway crossing allowing cars and buses to move freely across the track during the early hours of Friday.A train smashed into ...

 Aug 1 2014 - Gas blasts kill 24 injure 271 in TaiwanKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) E explosions believed to have been triggered by gas leaking from underground pipelines were powerful enough to upturn cars and tear open paved roads.Vehicles are left lying ...

 Aug 1 2014 - Friends CC GM score easy victories to enter Al Faraa T20 semisKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The quarter-final matches Friends CC defeated Emistate by four wickets while GM CC coasted to a six-wicket victory over X Eleven.Friends CC defeated Emistate. — ...

 Aug 1 2014 - Romelu Lukaku lost focus as was not first choice says MourinhoKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Joined Chelsea from Anderlecht for 18 million in 2011 but failed to make an impact at Stamford Bridge and spent the 2012-13 season on loan at West Bromwich Albion.Jose ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help