New Year Celebration
18 December 2011


The Wesley Methodist Church in Singapore has a very well developed social outreach program. One of their sixteen projects works with deaf people, and that group came to Phnom Penh this week to host parties for the Krousar Thmey deaf school and the Deaf Development Programme. Today they were at the Deaf Community Center operated by DDP on weekends, and they had a large gathering of local deaf people who came to play games, eat lunch, dance, and meet the visitors. The church group wanted their young deaf people to have the experience of helping others and to learn that not all the world is as affluent and comfortable as Singapore.

Here the Singapore group (in purple shirts) and some of the DDP staff organize a game. Small groups of deaf people had to learn a type of origami and compete in folding some paper figures.
Organizing a game
Charlie Dittmeier with some of the hearing leaders of the Singapore deaf group.
Leaders of the Singapore group
Many of the deaf people in Phnom Penh are unemployed or underemployed and living in poor families and are often hungry so a popular part of programs like this is lunch when rice boxes with chicken were served for all.
Eating lunch
Isolation from the society around them is one of the great afflictions of deaf people so they really enjoy getting together in settings where they are accepted and where they can communicate freely and easily with friends.
Eating lunch
In the middle is Kiyuki, one of the sign language students in the DDP sign language learning program. With her are four young deaf women who teach sign language. Kiyuki came to this activity to practice her signing with real deaf people--the only way to really learn sign language.
Sign language teachers and student
The Singapore group had hoped to show a video but they ran into a variety of obstacles. The biggest obstacle was the bright light in early afternoon. We had a tent set up in the community center grounds but it did not provide enough diminished light to be able to see the projected images. No one worried too much about that, though, and they just moved on to the next part of the program.
Setting up an activity

Go to Activities page on DDP website
Go to Charlie Dittmeier's home page