BOARD OF TRUSTEES
DATO’ LILY ZACHARIAH
Dato’ Lily Zachariah joined the Foreign Ministry in 1972 and has worked in various capacities in New Zealand, UK, Australia and Poland. She was appointed Ambassador to Senegal in 1993, Chile in 1996 and Italy in 2003. She served in the Ministry as Undersecretary for Europe and Central Asia organising many ministerial and prime ministerial visits to further bilateral relations with countries in Europe. Dato Lily is passionate about teaching English, and volunteers her time to teach the students and staff at Dignity.
Dato Lily has been a trustee with Dignity since 2011.
JAMES LING WAN CHYE
James Ling Wan Chye holds an Honours Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant with Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) since 2004. He has worked in the world’s largest dairy exporter Fonterra Co-Operative Group Limited for 14 years in various finance, commercial and business performance roles across New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. His last two roles in Fonterra Brands (Malaysia) were as Finance Director and Medical Sales Director.
Since January 2018, James joined Shopper 360 Sdn Bhd as Executive Director – Corporate Finance & Strategy. James’ areas of expertise include corporate finance, financial management, strategy, commercial projects and driving continuous business improvement. James is a big fan of tennis and rugby.
He has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013.
DR. LAI FATT SIAN
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lai Fatt Sian has been involved in the private higher education industry for over 25 years. He is passionate about higher education and enjoys seeing young people under his care excel and develop academically and socially to reach their goals in life.
Dr. Lai Fatt Sian has been a trustee with Dignity since 2013.
DATO’ KENNY NG BEE KEN
Datuk Ng graduated with a Bachelor of Law (Honours) degree from the University of Wales, Cardiff in 1983 and was subsequently called to the English Bar as a Barrister-at-Law of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in London in 1985. Thereafter in 1986, Datuk Ng obtained a Master of Laws degree from King’s College, University of London in Advanced Company Law and Comparative Constitutional Law of the Commonwealth. He was admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya the following year. He is also a certified mediator of the Malaysian Mediation Centre as accredited by the Malaysian Bar.
Throughout his extensive legal career, Datuk Ng has acted for various public listed companies in Malaysia and abroad. Presently Datuk Ng is the managing partner of the law firm of Azri, Lee Swee Seng & Co. in Petaling Jaya. He is currently also the chairmain and independent non-executive director of Sinotop Holdings Bhd, and sits on the board of four other public listed local companies (Widetech Bhd., Opensys (M) Bhd., Talam Transform Bhd., and Yong Tai Bhd).
Apart from his legal career, Datuk Ng is actively involved in various civic activities. He is in the seminar circuit speaking on various subjects relating to Christianity, law, human rights and Malaysian politics. He is particularly interested in the rights of various minorities in Malaysia, in particular those relating to the Orang Asli, Christians and children with special needs.
In recognition of his contribution to society, Datuk Ng was knighted with the award of Panglima Jasa Negara by the King of Malaysia on His Majesty’s birthday, on the 4th. June, 2011.
Datuk Ng is blissfully married to Datin Diane Lim Choon Kiat and they have three children together.
JACKSON HO YEONG FAN
Jackson Ho Yeong Fan, age 52, joined the Board of Trustees in 2015. He is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of England and Wales. After obtaining his qualificiation as a Chartered Accountant from the UK in 1988, he then worked with a local audit firm, a merchant bank and the corporate department of a public listed company. The company was then taken private in 2010 and Jackson went on to focus on retail bazaar management business managing more than 100 small retail outlets. Jackson is now the owner of Bentong Happy Farm, being a destination for a team-building camp facility. It also has a social enterprise arm to enable the lower income group build better lives through farming.
Suaran has extensive experience in all aspects of IP matters, information technology law, commercial law and personal data protection law. In addition, he regularly advices on legal matters in the fields of entertainment, media and communications. Suaran has been recognised as an “Up and Coming IP Lawyer Malaysia” in 2016, by Chambers Asia and is ranked Band 3 on the Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017 and 2018.
Suaran also serves as the Co-Chair of the Information Technology Committee of the Malaysian Bar Council. He is an active member of the Malaysian Intellectually Property Association (MIPA), the Licensing Executives Society in Malaysia (LESM) and is sitting on the panel for the Malaysian Arbitration for General Level Domain Names (GLD).
Jeevan Sahadevan is the founder of Leverage Lab and is one of Malaysia’s Top Business Growth Experts. He has over 18 years of experience in Business Growth methods, technology and consultancy in Sales, Marketing, Systems and Team and Leadership development. Over 100,000 people have experienced Jeevan’s programs from his one on one coaching sessions with CEOs and Entrepreneurs, to his group coaching sessions with teams and as well as his workshops and seminars along with 9 years of his Radio shows on BFM 89.9 and 2 years of his TV shows on Astro. Jeevan is also a former Action Coach Multi Unit Franchisee trained in Business and Executive Coaching with that Australian company and the winner of over 8 regional and global awards during his tenure with Action Coach including wining the coveted BEST Client Results Award for Asia Pacific twice; in 2008 and 2011 (twice) and Coach of the Year for Asia in 2006. Jeevan was also awarded Prestige Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2012. And in 2016 he was awarded the 100 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Insight Magazine.
Coach Jeevan as he is affectionately called by the Dignity Team and Students, is very passionate about helping the poor and the underprivileged and has also coached the team at Dignity on a complete pro-bono basis every month for 4 years. He joined Dignity as a Trustee in 2013.
LAM SIAW WAN
Lam Siaw Wan graduated and been in the corporate world for the past 20 years as a Chartered Secretary. Current running a management firm, involved in advisory works as well as administrative and marketing aspects of the organisation. She joined Dignity as a Trustee since 2013.
DATIN KATHLEEN CHEW WAI LIN
As Group Legal Counsel, Datin Kathleen heads a team of lawyers in the corporate headquarters of the YTL Group and is part of the Senior Management Team. She sits on the board of Wessex Water Limited, a UK subsidiary of the YTL Group that provides water and wastewater services to 2.4 million customers in the South West of England.
Datin Kathleen is also Programme Director of the YTL Foundation, a foundation established by the YTL Group to provide scholarships to deserving students and generally to contribute towards improving education in Malaysia. Additionally, she is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors of her alma mater, the Assunta Secondary School and a member of the Board of Trustees of Benenden School in the UK. She is Deputy Chairman of Hospis Malaysia and a trustee of the GAB Foundation, the Dignity for Children Foundation and Montfort Boys Town. She is also Chairperson of Alpha Malaysia, a Christian organisation.
Rev. Elisha Satvinder
Rev. Elisha Satvinder is the co-founder of the work now carried on by Dignity for Children Foundation. Birthed in 1998 from the church, New Covenant Community, pioneered in 1995 by him and his wife, Petrina, this work has seen the lives of more than 7,000 children transformed through quality education and quality care.
In providing counselling, basic support services and supplies to underprivileged families, Rev. Elisha and Petrina soon realised that access to quality education was the key if the poor are to break out from the cycle of poverty entrapping them. Simple tuition classes soon evolved into an education centre and by 2003, the first Montessori pre-school for the poor in South East Asia, opened its doors. Conducted from 2003 to 2009 under Harvest Centre Berhad and from 2010 under Dignity for Children Foundation, entities generously donated for housing them, the quality educational and care programmes now offered will take children from underprivileged and marginalised communities in Kuala Lumpur from the pre-school to the upper secondary stage of their development.
In November 2015, Dignity was exceptionally honoured by a visit by Barack Obama, then President of the United States of America. In April 2018, Dignity was then supremely honoured in being accorded the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support by the The Big Heart Foundation, a global humanitarian charity based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Believing that a holistic education must be grounded in real life experience and that education can take place beyond the four walls of a classroom so that education of the hand and the heart go alongside education of the mind, as from 2015, Dignity also operates transformational enterprises to break down the wall between school and community as well as to equip and empower youths for their transition into the marketplace.
Rev. Elisha’s heartfelt desire is to see a national transformation with the next generation raised to care passionately for the poor and marginalised. This has led him to speak and teach extensively in among others, Australia, USA, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, and Philippines as well as in Malaysia.. He is often invited to lecture in Bible schools, especially on Scriptural injunctions on serving the poor, and to speak at local institutions on various aspects of Social Responsibility and Social Ethics.
He is a Council member and Honorary Secretary of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, a Board member of Tung Ling Seminary where he lectures each semester and Chair of Children at Risk Network in Malaysia. In 2007, he served as the Director of Mobilization for Celebration of Hope Malaysia, an initiative of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Christian Federation of Malaysia as well as of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.
Rev. Elisha has 2 beautiful daughters, Davina and Hannah and is a father to many more including a growing number of foster children.
“Our journey is a journey of thousands of children believing, desiring, and reaching out to take hold of a secure future through education to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.”
– Rev. Elisha
Petrina Shee Shiang Fei
Ms. Petrina Satvinder is the co-founder of the work now carried on by Dignity for Children Foundation and is its Chief Executive Officer and Principal.
In providing care to the poor communities surrounding the New Covenant Community Church pioneered in 1995 by her and her husband, Rev. Elisha, Petrina’s heart became heavily burdened by the illiteracy and abject poverty of the children and their families: they seemed to be without hope and denied a future where they could realise their full potential and be valuable contributors to society.
Spurred on by their desperate needs, Petrina embarked on formal training of herself and went on to develop quality educational programmes based not only on what she had learnt but also on what children who are left behind specifically need to catch up. Extensive training materials were also then developed by Petrina so that volunteers and prospective staff could be equipped to care for and teach the growing number of underprivileged and marginalised children enlisting in the programmes, offered by Harvest Centre Berhad from 2013 and then from 2010, by Dignity for Children Foundation, entities most generously gifted for the work at the educational centre set up in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.
Holding dear, core values of love, excellence, integrity, stewardship, hard work and accountability, Petrina strives to provide quality care as well as quality education to the children, embracing their families by home visits when necessary, for a better understanding of their needs. Passionate about learning continuously and implementing child-directed teaching through the Montessori philosophy, Petrina trains community teachers to be child-focused caregivers as well as teachers so that, restored through transformative nurture and education, underprivileged children may be agents of change to their families, their communities and society.
Petrina holds two Master degrees: Master of Arts in Holistic Child Development from the Malaysian Baptist Seminary, Malaysia and Master of Education with majors in Curriculum and Pedagogy from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She has also been awarded an International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy from Montessori Centre International, United Kingdom, as well as an Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori Teaching Diploma from the North America Montessori Center, Canada.
Petrina has two beautiful daughters, Davina and Hannah and is mother to many more including a growing number of foster children.
Rebecca Lin Hui Lin
Born in the small town of Sitiawan, Rebecca spent all her schooling years in Terengganu, the east coast of Malaysia.
She studied psychology in HELP and then in Oregon (Eugene), USA. When she came back to Malaysia, she pursued Masters in Counseling at her alma mater. She joined Dignity in 2012 and since then she has taught lower primary, upper primary and secondary students. She currently heads the Secondary Programme and enjoys working with and mentoring youth.
She also enjoys hiking, cooking and traveling in her spare time.
Heng Huey Lin
Huey Lin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chinese Language, as well as a Diploma in Montessori Pedgagoy. From a boxed-up view of education, she has since experienced a paradigm shift in understanding education. She is a strong supporter of student centered and empowered learning. Huey Lin is very involved in Dignity school life – from leading an education department, conducting teachers’ training, organizing fieldtrips to managing exhibition booths and fundraising!
She is currently leading the Lower Primary department and is passionate about creating materials for child-directed learning.
Fadlin bin Linsai
Fadlin grew up in Sabah, Malaysia and joined Dignity in 2010 as an Assistant Teacher after finishing Secondary School. He pursued his teaching certification while working full time and graduated with his Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy. A rare breed, Fadlin has worked with children as young as 4 years old, serving as the Preschool Lead Teacher at one point!
Today, Fadlin is a class teacher at Foundation 2 (Lower Secondary), and is a lead coordinator in the Dignity sports development program while pursuing his Masters of Arts (Education) at the University of Derby (online). One of his highlights at Dignity was attending the Cityzen Giving Young Leader Summit in Manchester City in 2015 and 2016.
Fadlin is a passionate coach to his Under-14 football team.
Jeremy Chin Kok Soon
Jeremy was educated in a conventional education system. He taught in a primary school for 2 years before pursuing a Bachelor of Psychology from UTAR. He joined Dignity in 2015 as a lower secondary teacher and then moved on to be the lead teacher in the same department in 2016.
He believes that the teenage years, particularly those in lower secondary, are critical years for character formation in adolescents. Jeremy’s key role is to ensure that each youth reaches their full learning potential and are ready for life.
Benjamin Yap Pik Chun
Benjamin studied Biology and Chemistry during his STPM years, and first came to Dignity as a teenager who studied in the Epoch Café which was a youth community drop-in centre. Struck by the mission of Dignity, he joined the Dignity team in 2010. Ben has brought a set of diverse talents to the crew, teaching children from Upper Primary all the way to Secondary students. He has taught English, Biology, Physics, Drama, Business Studies and even Urban Gardening!
Today, Benjamin is a core part of the Creative Team under the CEO’s office, creating corporate videos and other graphics related wizardry for Dignity. He also currently teachers English and Business Studies in the Upper Secondary program. He is most passionate about creating things with his hands.
Christina Chung Siew Lian
Christina Chung grew up in Sentul, where she encountered poverty directly at an early age. As a child, she attended Dignity’s tuition programme and in 2009, started working alongside Petrina to anchor various educational programmes and the teacher trainings. She is currently the head of primary education.
Christina holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) from HELP University College and an International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy (Early Childhood Course).
Christina enjoys singing and loves mentoring youth and young children. She wants to see ALL children gain equal access to quality education and be given a fair chance to create a better future for themselves.
Fiona Nicole A/P Justine Gomes
Fiona took the pathway of pursuing her passion to be a Special Needs educator rather than her family choice of a career. She holds a diploma in Special Education (Early Years) from Kolej Dika. Fiona interned at Dignity and later took up the job of a preschool teacher. Since 2018, she is assisting to supervise one of the preschool classrooms. She takes great pride in her job and is happiest when she sees amazing progress in her children.
Abeer’s passion is to work with children, especially those who are poor and underprivileged, so that she can make a difference in their lives and make them a better person.
She joined Dignity in 2011 – her first job ever. After many years of frequent in-house Montessori teachers training and support, she is now one of Dignity’s best preschool teachers and team leaders, as well as a teacher trainer herself.
Maria Remedios Garcia Ortega
Maria Rem graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of the Assumption in the Philippines in 1988. She then worked as a staff nurse for 12 years. She has worked in different specialty units including the Psychiatric unit, General ICU, Hemodialysis Unit, Neuro ICU, Coronary ICU, and Pediatric ICU.
In 2004, she joined Dignity as a toddler teacher while completing a Montessori Diploma in Infant and Toddlers. She is passionate about preparing the right learning environment for the toddlers.
She also puts her nursing skills to full use by being Dignity’s nurse to 1000 children! She enjoys gardening and swimming during her free time.
Natalie Loi Yean Ching
Natalie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Help University and has been working with children for 10 years now, mostly in private kindergartens. She was first drawn to Dignity’s mission whilst working first-hand with toddler students as a volunteer.
She now serves as an assistant lead teacher in Dignity’s Preschool Department. She is committed to the cause of delivering quality education that nurtures children to believe in themselves and motivates and inspires them to acquire the knowledge and resources necessary to break the cycle of poverty.
Rolitah Binti Robinson
Rolitah is from Kudat, Sabah. She has a bachelor’s degree in Education TESL and an International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy (Early Childhood Course). She joined Dignity in 2011 because of its work with the underprivileged children.
Raised in a poor family herself, Rolitah strongly believes in Dignity’s vision and mission. Through quality education, the poor have a better chance of a brighter future. Rolitah started as a teacher in a primary class and since 2017, she has been leading the Middle Primary Programme.
Shereen Wong Kwan Yee
Shereen found her passion for education when she was working as an auditor in Ernst & Young. She was sent to the rural areas of Sabah for site visitations and first encountered underprivileged children there. She then joined Teach For Malaysia (TFM) and taught in a FELDA settlement in Pahang.
Shereen has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education. She joined Dignity with the desire to serve the urban poor community and discover alternative ways to bring education to life. Shereen has been leading the Upper Primary programme since 2017.
Crystal Sea Fickers
Crystal Fickers has a postgraduate degree in Human Rights from University of Roehampton and a background in non-profit management in US, UK and Australia. She has also owned and managed social enterprise businesses in Australia and China. She pours her heart and energy into Dignity’s Executive Director’s team, organises Dignity events and supports the creative team on key projects. From brewing coffee in eat X dignity, to sourcing new garden supplies for grow X dignity, Crystal also works to support the enterprises and their growth. In her free time, you can find her exploring KL’s specialty coffee spots, sharing her passions about social enterprise models or with her nose in a book.
Natalie Tan Sook Ling
Natalie grew up always knowing she wanted to be a teacher. An avid reader, she pursued her Degree in English literature and education at Victoria University of Wellington, NZ and came home upon graduation. She joined Dignity in 2014, as part of the Project and Education Innovation team in the CEO’s office. She anchors the Skills Training Education Programme and loves to teach. Her heart is to build a youth education model that brings joy back to learning.
Beant Kaur started her career as a kindergarten teacher in 1972 and moved on to the insurance industry in 1973, where she stayed for many years. She obtained the Associateship from the Australian Insurance Institution.
However, her heart has always been to serve the community. In 1998, she supported Dignity with community work over the weekends in the Pekeliling flat areas of Sentul.
In 2008, she started to serve as an administrator and then, having obtained the International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy in 2009 from MCI, London, became a Preschool Teacher.
Over the years, Beant has been everything from administrator, mentor, grant-writer, volunteer-recruiter to passionate foster-care parent. She also assisted with anchoring the set up of new preschools and teachers training for poor orang asli children in East Malaysia, particularly Lawas.
Vivian Ng Wing Wei
Vivian obtained her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from the University of Nottingham. Upon graduation, she worked with Dignity as a social worker for a year.
She then pursued her Master of Clinical Psychology to enhance her knowledge and skills before returning to lead the Welfare and Mental Health department.
She works closely with a counsellor and a social worker, together with 5 trainees in the Mental Health unit, to promote the well-being of students, and to assist underprivileged children in overcoming their socio-emotional difficulties.
Michelle Lim Hui Sin
Michelle received the Best Graduate award in the Master of Professional Counselling course in Monash University Malaysia, and holds a degree in Psychology. Michelle has volunteered with special needs children and participated in the Volunteer Internship Program in Acts Church. Her interest in baking also led her to work in cafes.
Michelle is currently a social worker at Dignity, supporting the mental health unit and welfare department. She hopes that her actions and conduct as well as the food that she makes will be a blessing to people around her.
Eunice Chong Yu Vun
Eunice grew up in Miri and moved to New Zealand with her family after Form 6, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce. She has worked in chartered accountant practices in Auckland and Miri before joining the oil & gas industry for 18 years including 7 years as a cost engineer.
Eunice joined Dignity in 2016 and has brought with her, corporate accounting controls and practices to enhance the integrity of Dignity’s financial standing.
A durian lover who loves collecting colourful cast iron pots, Eunice enjoys travelling, trying new food and reading in her spare time.
Suguna Rani A/P Kolandasamy
Celine Tong Choy Lin
Geraldine Rani A/P M. Jeyapalan
Geraldine graduated with a Degree in Human Resources in Malaysian Institute of Human Resource (MIHRM), and has been in the field for the past 20 years working with 2 large multinational organizations – Hewlett Packard and T-Systems.
She was raised in a family that is passionate about social causes, and to serve the underprivileged. After 18 months of voluntary work at Potta Keralla, India, working with the homeless, she returned to Kuala Lumpur in 2016 and now serves as the HR & Admin Manager at Dignity. Her desire is to enable Dignity to build world-class leaders.
Isaac Ang Kai Ming
Isaac graduated with a Degree in Corporate Administration from TARUC. After 1 year of working in the corporate world, Isaac decided to work in Dignity where he currently serves as a HR & Admin Executive. Isaac is passionate about serving underprivileged children by trying to build a safe place for children.
Jassica Keling Laing
A native Sarawakian, Jassica is currently pursuing Bachelor of Human Resource Management (Honours) in the Open University Malaysia. After working in the corporate world for the past 3 years, she joined Dignity and currently serves as the HR Executive. Her passion is to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged kids.
Liew Tong Ngan
Tong Ngan is passionate about serving those who are “poor, weak and oppressed.” He has been working to bring transformation to communities for the past 30 years. His work has brought him to various countries, teaching, encouraging community work and promoting advocacy for policy changes that affected the underprivileged and disadvantaged. He believes that the most impact is achieved when people are mobilized into movements to bring hope to communities, especially children. Dignity is a place where he can use his vast experience to bring hope and transformation.
Norman Ng Hui Liak
Norman graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in E-Commerce and joined Dignity in 2005 as a teacher. A dedicated and passionate teacher for 6 years, he then moved on to join the Fundraising team where he works closely with corporate companies and handles partnerships and sponsorships. He enjoys watching young people grow and learn, and inspires to instill the spirit of adventure in them. In his spare time, Norman loves hiking and cooking.
Peter Tan Jin Aun
Peter earned his Bachelor Degree in IT from CSU Australia, and has been with Dignity since 2001. For more than a decade, Peter has been serving in multidisciplinary roles, including IT, Administration, Fundraising and Finance.
Peter desires to build a better world, and believes that everyone can give, create and love. He likes cooking during weekends or night and loves trying out new things.
Renee Koo Huey-Ee
Renee was in a courier logistics company for 4 years before joining a digital marketing agency. She then went on to intern with Metro World Child Manila, Philippines for 4 months, working with children in the slums area. She then joined Dignity and currently handles communications and social mobilization in Dignity.
Renee is a finance and marketing graduate from Monash University. She loves the great outdoors and is passionate about empowering the next generation. She is also an active commander in the Royal Rangers ministry.
Priscillia Lew Yuin Shean
Priscillia is a Commercial Design Graduate from Taiwan. She was a freelancer and a contract based designer cum videographer for charity events, Lunar Fest and Taiwan Fest, organized by the Asian Canadian Special Event Association. She was also a part-time art & crafts teacher during her college years and holds a Waldorf Educator Cert.
A year after Priscillia graduated and worked overseas, she felt that there is more that she could do for her own country using her skills and knowledge. She is now handling video productions, social media marketing and designs in Dignity while building her portfolio in how Art Psychotherapy can help the less privileged.
Marsha Ong Fei Chen
Marsha graduated with a Diploma in Multimedia Design from TAR University College. She loves to draw and hopes to pursue her wanderlust and explore hidden treasures of the world.