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"His future is bright, there is no going back. His life can only improve for the better.."

Sokly

A Just Future Starts with Community

Rattanak from Cambodia

Rattanak is a skilled young barber, living an independent life in rural Cambodia. But it wasn’t always that way. As a child he contracted polio and also became deaf. Like many people who are deaf or hard of hearing, Rattanak faced isolation at home, with a lack of opportunity to escape poverty.

His sister discovered the Deaf Development Program (DDP), run by Caritas Australia partner, Maryknoll Cambodia. It provides sign language, job training and interpreting services to people aged 16 and over who are deaf or hard of hearing and aims to raise awareness about deafness in the hearing community.

So far, it’s helped over 430 deaf or hard of hearing people with their education and more than 200 people to find jobs.  It has also trained more than 300 people without deafness as sign language interpreters

Rattanak graduated from its education program in 2010, returning the following year to train as a barber. The DDP then helped him to set up his shop in his parent’s house in the village.

Having emerged from his isolated world at home, Rattanak is now running a successful business, supporting himself and his wife...and now a baby.

We are very proud of him. It can show to other people in other countries that deaf people with a disability can do anything." - DDP Co-Director, Sokly

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MORE FEATURE STORIES

We offer a different story to feature each week during Lent. Focused on the theme “A Just Future,” and featuring a new country each week, the stories explain the issues faced in each country.