Quotes: 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.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 May 3 2015 - Pleasant weather forecast over next three daysJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) The weather on Sunday is expected to be pleasant in the hilly areas and moderate in other parts of the Kingdom with northwesterly moderate winds.According to the Jordan ...

 May 3 2015 - Israeli forces destroy hundreds of acres in NablusJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Israeli forces destroyed hundreds of acres of cultivated lands on Sunday in the Khirbet Al-Tawil area east of Nablus in the West Bank.Member of the Popular Committee ...

 May 3 2015 - WHO pushes the health diplomacy agenda forward in a fourth high level seminar in CairoJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Saturday started the fourth seminar on health diplomacy in Cairo, Egypt.The seminar is ...

 May 3 2015 - Israeli occupation forces hold military maneuvers in West BankJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Israeli occupation forces on Sunday started large military training and maneuvers in the northern West Bank.Israeli Radio said that these maneuvers which will last until ...

 May 3 2015 - 650 trucks with goods, construction materials enter GazaJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Some 650 trucks loaded with commercial goods and construction materials entered the Gaza Strip on Sunday as the Israeli occupation authorities reopened the Karam Abu ...

 May 3 2015 - Muscat Municipality delegation concludes visitJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) A delegation from Muscat Municipality concluded a visit to the Amman Greater Municipality (GAM), during which representatives discussed how they might cooperate and ...

 May 3 2015 - Officials call on Jordanian and Kazakh private sectors to increase cooperationJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Jordanian and Kazakh officials have called upon the private sectors in both countries to take advantage of investment opportunities, especially after political ...

 May 3 2015 - Results of poll of Ensour's government to be announced tomorrowJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) The University of Jordan's Center for Strategic Studies will hold a press conference on Monday to announce the results of a poll regarding Prime Minister Abdullah ...

 May 3 2015 - Jordan adopts special strategy to counter terrorism, says interior ministerJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Interior Minister Hussein Majali said Jordan is making every effort to counter terrorism and extremism through developing a strategy involving civil society ...

 May 3 2015 - Iraq voices concern over US Congress billJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi received a telephone call from United States Vice President Joe Biden, in which al-Abadi discussed his concerns over a bill before ...

more...


 






Google

Arab Advisors_12th convergence conf

 
 

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

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

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
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


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


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help