Anastasia Sofia Semaan

Highly Commended

Canterbury Christ Church University

The significance of my work lies in that I have translated the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) into a simplified format using Widgit Symbols, which are often used to support students with additional needs. Although the SDGs have been globally promoted by organisations and individuals at all levels, I was very surprised to find that they had not been translated into formats to make them inclusive and accessible to people of mixed abilities. How can we expect the goals to be inclusive and achievable if we are leaving out a large section of the population from these discussions? 

My contribution will hopefully lead to the beginning of a process of translating the SDGs into local sign and symbol languages and developing activities around this.

It makes me happy to think that in future the SDGs will be fully accessible to children and potentially adults with additional needs using Makaton and other such symbol-based languages. 


What the Judges Thought

A great application which is worthy of being highly commended. Anastasia found a gap in how global sustainability priorities are lacking inclusivity, and sought to make the changes herself, which shows drive and passion. Anastasia's work has the potential to have a global impact and it is great that she thought of so many others, we wish her every success with this project's future! 

What it Means to Win

“This award is a wonderful recognition of the innovative and ambitious work undertaken by Anastasia to make the SDGs more inclusive and accessible. The fact that one of our students felt empowered to produce this work of potentially global impact is a source of great pride for us as a values driven and socially committed University.”

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Taking small steps consistently, can lead to much bigger work and impact.
  2. The best way to see change happen, is to take action to make that change.
  3. Awareness and advocacy for inclusion I believe needs to become a bigger part of education, sustainability, and society.
4 - Quality Education 10 - Reduced Inequalities 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Sustainability Champion - Student

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