SPEAKER PROFILES

David Begbie Founder – Crossroads Foundation, Hong Kong

An ordinary man with extraordinary ideas, envisages a broken world in need of repair.

He could see misery in the world. He knew there were people in need and when David Begbie chose to respond to the world’s despair – it was then he knew he had found his calling. Establishing the Crossroads Foundation, a non-for-profit organization in Hong Kong, David believed that for every person suffering, there was a person willing and able to provide help.

Connecting people together, the Crossroads map would soon grow into a Global Service. His interactive simulations give participants an ‘awakening’ of what it is like to experience the needs of poverty, of refugees, HIV/AIDS, and blindness, driving people to meet at an intersection and take action.

Through his service, David has been recognized as a world leader of humanitarian issues. A recipient of the Hong Kong Humanity award in 2007, David’s Global X-perience simulations have been attended by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, to name a few.

David is the bridge connecting the voices of people in need with its destination to those people willing to listen. His story will teach you how to understand the world from the perspective of others and to be a spokesperson healing the heart of the world.

Chris Temple Documentary Filmmaker & Co-Founder – Living on One, USA

He simply asked “How can we understand the reality of the problem when we ourselves have not experienced it?”

Amongst the beautiful countryside of Guatemala over half of the country’s population lives in poverty. For former economic student, now award-winning humanitarian, activist and filmmaker Chris Temple, living on one dollar a day seemed a cumbersome challenge of daily life.

Living amongst the local people and learning to become an experienced radish farmer, Chris managed to survive on just $1 a day. Though at times manual labor on an empty stomach seemed unbearable, this was the reality facing many people every single day.

Alongside fellow filmmaker Zach Ingrasci, Chris’s recent humanitarian documentary, Salam Neighbor, depicts the raw and real portrayal of living in a Syrian Refugee camp. The first filmmakers ever allowed by the United Nations to be given a tent and registered access inside, they uncovered the overwhelming trauma yet untapped potential these uprooted neighbors possess.

Chris provides the world with unaltered stories and visuals that challenge, inform and engage people in pressing global issues. His story will empower you to learn how to make an impact on the world by unleashing your creativity.

Geraldine Cox President and Founder – Sunrise Children Village, Cambodia

A fiery spirit whose passion rises against all odds, she believes that nothing is impossible – yet also knows that nothing comes easily.

The profound impact a career posting with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs to Phnom Penh in 1970 left Geraldine Cox in disbelief. To experience life in a country at war, when the Vietnam War spilled over into Cambodia, was to truly see its devastation and destruction.

Little did she know that a return visit to Cambodia to care for an orphaned child in 1993 would steer a compassionate Geraldine on an entirely new path.

Despite leaving Cambodia for a period of time, Geraldine refused to turn a blind eye to the displaced war orphans as a result of the war bloodshed. Resigning from the government in 1987 and continuing her career for another 8 years with the Chase Manhattan Bank in Sydney, Geraldine made the decision to move back to Cambodia in 1996.

With a determined mind and a nurturing heart, Geraldine co-founded the Sunrise Children’s Villages, giving hope and a loving home to Cambodia’s vulnerable children.

Her story highlights the real difference one person can make. Though her journey has not always been easy, from heart-break to triumph, Geraldine has captured her story in her autobiography ‘Home is Where the Heart is’ reimagined in an award-winning Hollywood documentary, ‘My Khmer Heart.”

Geraldine is the fearless mother of thousands, Cambodia’s “Big Mum,” and her inspiring story will make you laugh, will make you cry and most importantly, make you think.

Shomy Hasan Chowdhury Founder – Awareness 360, Bangladesh

She is a firm believer that access to clean water and sanitation is not a mere luxury, but a fundamental human right.

Each year in Bangladesh over 45,000 people die from diarrhea. In 2014, one of those 45,000 was Shomy Hasan Chowdhury’s own mother. You need not ask Shomy where she gets her passion from – she is a strong advocate for finding your passion in something that bothers you as a way to drive positive social change.

Hanging out in a local burger shop it dawned on Shomy that she lived a fortunate life compared to many in her community. The underprivileged people often remain unheard, Shomy remarked to her Co-Founder Rijve Arefin.

Founding Awareness 360 in Bangladesh, Shomy believes that in order to make the world a better place we must first motivate each other to live consciously. By creating awareness around the globe through projects such as Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Be Proud That You Bleed and Say YES to Change – Awareness 360 Projects are now being run in 15 countries worldwide.

Shomy is breaking down barriers by encouraging worldwide dialogue on taboo topics. Her story highlights how individual power can raise awareness and shine light on important issues – issues that we should care about.

Sangduen Lek Chailert Founder – Save Elephant Foundation, Thailand

She does not need to speak the same language to understand them, for she can heal them with love.

In the luscious mountain landscape of Northern Thailand, an elephant rolls joyfully in the mud, trumpeting with joy. Sangduen “Lek” Chailert smiles at the gentle giant, an animal once severely wounded from a life lived in captivity.

Lek was born in a small hill tribe village where she grew up surrounded by wildlife. Her love and respect for Thailand’s national symbol, the Elephant, gave her the courage and determination to care for – what she calls her family.

As of 2016, over 200 elephants have arrived at the Save Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai. The Elephant Sanctuary, founded by Lek is a home dedicated to the protection and salvation of traumatized elephants. For many, these innocent creatures are exploited and abused at the hands of the animal tourism and entertainment industry.

An international Animal Rights Activist and one of six Women Heroes of Global Conservation awarded by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010, you can still find Lek amongst nature with her rescued elephant herd. Lek is Thailand’s Elephant Whisperer. She is the voice and fearless protector of Thailand’s maltreated animals. Her story will open your heart to the animal kingdom and teach you how to live peacefully amongst other beings that share our planet.

Nikhiya Shamsher, Recipient of Princess Diana Legacy Award, India

She wanted to help but she did not know how. All she knew was that she loved to learn and that others should also have the confidence to succeed.

At the age of 13 Nikhiya Shamsher handed her old school bag to her housekeeper’s daughter. She thought nothing of the gesture, yet that school bag had an extraordinary impact. The small girl clenching the bag beamed, she had never owned a school bag before.

The power of having the proper means to study, taught Nikhiya that education is the key to creating a better world. With this lesson fresh in her mind, Nikhiya founded Bags, Books and Blessings, donating reusable school supplies to schools across India.

She has now helped over 15,000 students in India across 30 schools. Nikhiya took it one step further by establishing the Yearn to Learn Project, setting up 119 Math and Science Labs to improve the teaching facilities in Indian Schools.

Students that have benefited from the Yearn to Learn Laboratories are now inventing sustainable technologies, giving back to their own communities.

Nikhiya is the recipient of the prestigious Princess Diana Legacy Award for her dedicated service to quality education. She believes that the best way to predict the future is to create it and her story illustrates how we can motivate young people to become problem solvers for the future from the simple act of having the means to learn.

Sam Cawthorn CEO & Founder – Speakers Institute, Australia

From a fatal near-death experience, he defied all odds and sprung into a new found love of life.

Travelling at 206 kilometers per hour, a man falls asleep at the wheel when his car collides with a semi-trailer truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene for more than three minutes. Sam Cawthorn’s life flashed before his eyes, then brought back to life, he was soon presented with new challenges.

What happens when a person’s life flashes before their eyes? In a brief moment of lonely silence, Sam reflected on how he had lived his life up until that world-shattering moment.

He had lost his arm and severely damaged his leg, he was told that he would never walk again yet just one year later, Sam took his very first steps. You see, life presented Sam with a choice; to remain the victim of a tragic accident, or to transform impossibilities into possible realities. Sam chose to bounce forward in life.

Sam’s decision led him to become an international best-selling author, an entrepreneur and one of the world’s most in demand keynote speakers.

Sam chooses to live each day with meaning and purpose. He is living proof that it is our decision, not our condition, that determines our happiness and success in life. His story will challenge you to think about how you live your own life and the important everyday decisions you can make to live with a spring in your step.

Subscribe To Our List

Sign up with your email address to receive the latest news and updates from Humanitarian Affairs.

COPYRIGHT @ Humanitarian Affairs Asia, All Rights Reserved.

Close Menu