Not only is ចិន្តា (Chenda) the father of a child with autism, but he is also an inspiring disability professional and leader in Cambodia.
Starting in 2018, Chenda participated in our disability trainings with Hands of Hope Community (HHC) & Save the Children and in 2021, he become one of our DSI Master Trainers! He is an amazing advocate for both his son and all Cambodian children with disabilities.
Chenda is currently one of HHC's principals, training teachers to work with children with disabilities and striving to provide more children with disabilities access to education.
In 2019, he helped to open their first early intervention classroom and enthusiastically shared updates with us when we checked in with him. He told us he has studied the written materials we left before many times and now trains and coaches the teachers and has seen a lot of progress. He enthusiastically shared that the teachers are less stressed and everyone feels like they can work better together now instead of just trying to control the children. He said 'when I attend the training, so good. Before we only try, but now it's good...'
He shared his vision to continue to increase access to early childhood services because he can see the difference it makes. He wants to help lessen the support children with disabilities need, even 'exiting' them from separate classroom environments into regular education after children and their families are provided with earlier support and assistance.
Hear from Chenda in his video story here:
Thank you UNICEF Cambodia for gathering and sharing important stories like this one!