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At the Deaf Development Programme (DDP) in Phnom Penh, we recently created a video that celebrates hope. For our end of the year,  I wanted to do something that would bring the hearing and deaf staff together in a new way and to celebrate all our hard work. My hope was that this video would unite DDP and share a sense of community after the many difficulties we have had to overcome this year due to COVID-19 and other life stressors.

We looked at different types of videos we could make. Do we want to share a message through the song we choose? Do we want the song to just be fun and get up and dance kind of celebration? I had participated in creating end-of-year videos in my previous teaching job at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, Texas. It was a video that we all looked forward to watching every year, and I wanted to share that joy here at DDP.

After some discussion, the staff chose to do an inspirational song. DDP has a combination of hearing and deaf staff, so to unite everyone, all the hearing and deaf staff would use Cambodian Sign Language (CSL) that would interpret the message conveyed by the Khmer lyrics. The resulting video is uplifting and sparks a sense of hope, inspiration and coming together when problems arise.


Julie Lawler
Julie Lawler is a deaf education teacher with the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.