Lex Hamilton April 2021 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Lex is an Early Years professional from the UK with a PGCert in Special Educational Needs Coordination. She has worked with children for 20 years in various countries including Australia and Rwanda. She moved to Cambodia with her husband in 2015 with the desire to increase quality SEND provision within the country. She is SENCO and Head of The Giving Tree School’s Early Years campus in Phnom Penh. As well as supporting her fellow teachers she also teaches a class of two year old students. Lex is passionate about early intervention and networking with other professionals to bring awareness and high quality provision to all children with SEND in Cambodia. She also has 3 young boys at home that love to keep her busy when she’s not teaching! Lex took over as Chair of SENIA Cambodia Chapter in 2020, spearheading multiple projects while tirelessly supporting SENIA and wider community members.

Congratulations to Lex Hamilton as the April 2021 SENIA World Changer recipient!

Mohammad Zulfadhli bin Amban March 2021 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Mohammad Zulfadhli bin Amban, who has a hearing impairment, is a vocational student at Keningau Vocational College in Sabah, Malaysia. He represented his state to compete at the National Abilympics Championship in the silk hand painting category. His paintings portray the traditional motifs of leaves and flowers in geometrical designs known as Batik motifs in Malaysia. His art wowed the visitors and judges. His signature style of portraying Malaysian Batik motifs on his artwork helped to popularize the intricate patterns as a unique concept that are highlighted at annual art exhibitions and competitions in the country. Also, his efforts contributed to the preservation of traditional arts by familiarizing a younger generation with the centuries-old theme and craftsmanship of Batik.

Congratulations to Mohammad Zulfadhli bin Amban as the recipient of the March 2021 SENIA World Changer Award!

Zandri Byleveldt February 2021 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Zandri is an Occupational Therapist based in Hanoi, Vietnam.She started her journey when she visited Vietnam in Nov 2017. Looking through her Occupational Therapy (OT) lenses, she saw that limited accommodations were being made for people with disabilities. She returned to Vietnam in Feb 2018, taking Hanoi by storm and advocating for inclusion in the community and schools. She serves as an OT service provider and is also a board member of SENIA Vietnam.

Zandri develops programs and training for teachers, parents and other service providers in Hanoi to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to create an inclusive classroom. She does school visits to support the development of Learning Support and provides recommendations that fit with the teacher’s teaching style and classroom challenges. Zandri provides training and guides newly qualified OT’s in Vietnam to broaden their impact in the community through professional and self-development.

Zandri is passionate about creating equal opportunities for all and believes through education, awareness, and skills training, Vietnam (and the world) can view the world and its beautiful people through lenses of love, empathy, and understanding.

Through love for ourselves and our neighbors we change the world – one by one.

Congratulations to Zandri Byleveldt as the recipient of the 2021 February World Changer Award!

Jane Christine Justine January 2021 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Jane Christine Justine, a student with a hearing impairment, was the leader of her school innovation team specializing in producing vegan food. Along with her team and their advisory teacher, they initiated a project called “Veganbond” which seeks to produce their own vegan food and raise public awareness on vegan lifestyle. In 2020, she led her team to win three innovation medals in a local innovation competition and two global innovation contests that were virtually hosted in the UK and in Southeast Asia. Veganbond was also a finalist in the 2020 Youth Solution Report produced by SDSN Youth. They presented their project in sign language and this led to major changes made by the event organizers in order to accommodate special needs individuals as only oral presentations were allowed in the past. Her efforts have successfully broken the barriers for special needs individuals especially those with hearing impairments.  Here is a link to their presentation: https://youtu.be/pE774orv8OI

Congratulations Jane!!

Edelson Dell Evaristus November 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Edelson Dell started as a track and field athlete in the early 2010s before transitioning to football. He played actively in the special needs football championship in 2014. He represented his state, Sabah, to play professionally in various national level matches across the country where his team often earned the top three spots including several victories. His incredible talent and efforts helped him become an exceptional player. He successfully made it to the national team and represented the country at regional and international level football championships in Taiwan, South Korea and Brazil. His remarkable feat in football has inspired many individuals with special needs especially those from his state, Sabah, and his former school, KVKEN, to participate in football and other sports tournaments. Due to this, many schools in the state have begun to invest more in sports for special needs students.

Congratulations to Edelson Dell Evaristus as the recipient of the SENIA World Changer Award November 2020!

Dr. Shyielathy Arumugam November 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Dr. Shyielathy Arumugam is a special educator by profession in Malaysia.  She has dedicated her life to supporting and providing resources about special education and inclusion through her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/shyielathy81/featured. Her main focus is to incorporate inclusion into every aspect of life. She strongly believes that the value of diversity will not be achieved without inclusion. In efforts to ensure that every child has equal educational opportunities, she fights for inclusion everyday. One of the quotes she lives by is: “If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” 

Congratulations to Dr. Shyielathy Arumugam as the recipient of the November 2020 World Changers Award!

Zico Luck Elvister October 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Zico Luck Elvister is a 17-year-old student at Keningau Vocational College located in the interior region of Sabah, Malaysia. Zico is a student whose main means of communication is through sign language due to a hearing impairment. Despite this, Zico has inspired students of special needs and people from the rural communities in the state with his accomplishments in chess tournaments at the national and international level. He was the 1st runner up of Malaysian Lions International English Chess Competition for special needs category in 2019. He was also the 1st runner up for the same category in the national Malaysian Chess Tournament for the Disabled in 2019. He achieved this feat at such a young age despite coming from an economically disadvantaged and remote area. He has successfully paved the way for other students of special needs to venture into chess tournaments and has revived the community’s interest in the sport.

Stefanus Lucas October 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Stefanus Lucas is a special education teacher at Sekolah Rendah Pendidikan Khas, Sabah, Malaysia. Stefanus has advocated for and changed the perceptions of people with disabilities in Sabah, Malaysia. He has done this by sharing the beautiful experiences of individuals with disabilities on social media and through promoting his special education classes. His inspirational message of “focusing on ability, not disability” is very evident in his music classes and the impact that music can have on people’s lives. Music unites people and allows individuals to communicate ideas and feelings. It includes everyone as everyone can take part in making music together. Stefanus also focuses on our similarities and how we are all human beings who need each other’s love and support.  To see his classes, click on the link: https://youtu.be/4l_CFHwHyiI

Kumaresan Muniandy September 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Kumaresan Muniandy is a special education teacher with a degree and master’s degree in special education. He has 10 years of special education teaching experience. At Merbok Special Education Vocational School, he trained students in vocational skills to become skilled workers and venture into the field of entrepreneurship. He also contributed in developing transition program modules for career development which was adopted by special education teachers throughout Malaysia. His expertise in the field of career transition allows him to be one of the experts in training special education teachers at Seameo Sen Malaysia. He has been given various awards such as Excellent Service Award, Outstanding Teacher Award, Innovation Teacher Award, Innovative Teacher Award  and Special Education Icon Award. He has written 23 research papers related to career transition and advocacy among SEN students, as well as provided much needed training for educators, industry and the community.  To see some of his work, click on the link below: https://youtu.be/0oGENqf2mx0

Charnin Ming Suntaranond September 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Charnin, also known as Ming, attends the International School of Bangkok (ISB) and is a valued member of his grade 3 class.  He will be moving to grade 4 this year, has many friends and learns alongside 35 other students. He loves art, especially drawing. He is an outstanding artist and his teammates go to him for guidance and instruction. Having Ming in ISB classes, taught the school to think about differentiation in a whole new way. His presence inspired deeper thought into how students are taught, making a positive impact on everyone. Ming works in partnerships, small groups, and is more confident and proud of his accomplishments because of peer feedback. Being a valued team-member has improved Ming’s ability to follow directions, seek support from teammates and work alongside others on projects. Ming has had a profound impact on classroom culture. Inclusion means that all students develop social, communication, and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to get along with others in diverse communities. Ming’s outgoing, kind, funny nature established a network of friends that exemplifies ISB’s values of respect, care, integrity and gratitude.