Graduation in
Banteay Meanchey Province
29 June 2005

The Deaf Development Program has classrooms in Phnom Penh and four provinces for our two-year education program.  At the end of the course (which was actually 2½ years this time) we had graduation ceremonies for the students, to recognize their efforts and those of their families who allowed them to attend school when they could be working to help the family survive.

Our first graduation ceremony was in Banteay Meanchey Province, in the far northwest of Cambodia, near the Thailand border.  A trip that took 10 hours five years ago, when we crossed streams on bridges of logs, required 5½ hours in a speeding taxi this time.  We were able to go to Banteay Meanchey and return the same day, something unheard of just a few years ago.

Bunthok preparing notes before the ceremony

Bunthok, our Education Team Leader, prepares notes before the ceremony

Talking with the early arrivals

Bunthok and Chap Kim Hoeung, our new Program Manager (red blouse), learned a lot talking with the parents
Chap Kim Hoeung welcoming the families

Chap Kim Hoeung, the new DDP Program Manager, addresses the students and families

Teacher Chan Tong addressing the families

Chan Tong, the Banteay Meanchey teacher, with Sinoun interpreting into sign language
The students with their certificates

The DDP students and their certificates. Note the wide range of ages.

A student and her certificate
Parents pose with their daughter and her certificate. Chan Tong the teacher joined the photograph because Cambodians believe the middle of only three persons in a photo will die.

The restaurant venue for our ceremony and meal together. Luckily the owner stopped the bulldozer and dump trucks building an extension during our meal.
A stop on the way home
A quick stop on the return to buy a sweetened rice treat in a bamboo tube. Kim, our program manager (second left), was telling me how she, in her early twenties, spent "three terrible years" in this area in forced labor under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

Banteay Meanchey  |  Kampot  |  Phnom Penh  |  Svay Rieng  |  Kampong Speu

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