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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CT's plan progressing well

CT's plan progressing well

C AMBODIA Trust, which runs the only prosthetics and orthotics school in the

country, has taken another step forward with the opening of a new accommodation

block for its students.

The $72,000 building, which includes 14 bedrooms,

a library and a social area, was designed by a young Khmer architectural student

and built by Roymar Services.

Cambodia Trust established the National

School of Prosthetics and Orthotics at Phnom Penh's Calmette Hospital early last

year to train Cambodians to fit artificial limbs to amputees.

It now has

19 students on a three-year course. As well as prosthetics and orthotics, other

subjects such as psychology, sociology and mathematics are taught.

The

course attempts to get the students, none of whom are disabled, to understand

the feelings of amputees and make them more aware of their

needs.

Sometimes the students are told to disguise themselves as disabled

beggars, to get experience of how some disabled feel.

Second-year student

Bo Kim Song said understanding the attitude of patients was vital.

"We

learn how to make them feel confident with artificial legs and walk properly

like normal people."

School principal Carson Harte said the students were

recruited from the Ministry of Social Action and NGOs around the

country.

The school aimed to have a new intake of 12 students each year.

Eventually, he said, the school's four expatriate instructors could be replaced

by Khmers.

"In three to four years, some of the students will become

teachers and in six to seven years from now there will be no more expats and the

project will still be run by Cambodian teachers as part of the international

community."

Everything, including fitting amputees' legs, training

teachers and raising funds, will be done by Cambodians, said Harte.

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