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.
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.