Year Joined MKLM: 1987
City: Phnom Penh
Focus: Education and Community Development
Project(s): Deaf Development Programme and Pastor of the English speaking Catholic parish
People Served: 500-700 deaf students and young adults
Project Goal(s): Research, develop and teach Cambodian Sign Language and literacy
Father Charlie lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and serves as the Director of the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme. The program offers sign language, education, vocational training, and basic life skills to deaf individuals. Besides efforts to promote a national sign language, the program fosters leadership skills and the establishment of deaf organizations in various areas. It has three community centers for students and members of the deaf community to participate in social activities, sports, and adult education.
Father Charlie is also the pastor of the English speaking Catholic community in Phnom Penh.
He is Secretary of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners Board of Directors.
Father Charles (Charlie) Dittmeier, is a diocesan priest from Louisville, Kentucky, and a Maryknoll Associate Priest. He began working with deaf people in the seminary in Baltimore and has continued that ministry in assignments in Louisville and in deaf schools and deaf communities in India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and now in Cambodia where he has lived since 2000. He was also a parish priest in Louisville and a teacher, chaplain, and counselor in a high school there for thirteen years.