19Apr2024

Making a Difference Building Dreams Creating Impact Saving Lives

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HEAD OFFICE:                          548 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94104         USA

PROJECT OFFICE:                  Pearl Condo, Bldg A, 15 Fl., Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd.,      Yangon, Myanmar

hello@marykyapfoundation.org

US: +1 415 991 2030                 US: +1 415 799 8282                    MM: +95 9 977 66 7777

Category: INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

KAZUKO KUMON

Having a heart for the unfortunate and disabled children

Kazuko Kumon

Kazuko Kumon’s heart for the children started when she visited the civil war-stricken West African country in 2001 and saw children dying daily. She moved to Kenya and noticed that children with disabilities were not receiving trained care and education. This absence of support suggests a need for greater social awareness about people with disabilities, leaving many families struggling.

“The spirit of helping shouldn’t be based on pity for the weak or disadvantaged,” said Kazuko Kumon,

Kumon founded The Garden of Siloam (https://gardenofsiloam.jimdofree.com/about-us/history), a facility and church ministry established on Nairobi’s bounds, wherein disabled children receive a range of support, from high-quality education to personalized health care. Those with mental and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism receive classes and rehabilitation in a fun-filled environment. 

The classes are being attended by people who have received specialist training in caring for and educating children with disabilities, however, they are only limited thus, Kumon started training her personnel from scratch. She believes that everyone is born with the power of living and that these vulnerable and poor children need a helping hand to bring such power out.

Kumon strongly holds that.

“By receiving appropriate treatment and education early, many children can utilize the potential they were born with. I think the one thing I can do as someone who has come from Japan is to use tangible empirical images to convey to Kenyans what the children are capable of and what kind of society it is possible to create.”

With the increasing number of children who are unfortunate and abandoned, someone like Kumon is a big help. These children, especially those with special needs, must be protected and given a healthy environment, proper education, and nutritious food to grow properly.   These are the same quality programs that our Mary K Yap Foundation team continues to develop and extend year by year to those orphan communities, especially in Myanmar, facing dire lifetime adjustments.  

Source:

https://www.japan.go.jp/tomodachi/2019/spring2019/empowering_children.html

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/29/national/christian-doctor-wakayama-offers-hope-disabled-kids-kenya/

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

John McEwen

“An Orphan Becomes Australia’s 18th Prime Minister.”

 

(1900–80). Farmer and politician John McEwen was prime minister of Australia from Dec. 19, 1967, to Jan. 10, 1968. He served for 37 years in the House of Representatives.

McEwen was born on March 29, 1900, in Chiltern, Victoria, Australia. Orphaned at a young age, he and his sister were raised by their grandmother. He left school when he was 13 years old to help earn money for his family. At age 18, he joined the army, although World War I ended before he was sent overseas. Upon his discharge, McEwen bought a farm and settled into dairying and sheep raising before he turned to rural politics.

McEwen became a member of the House of Representatives in 1934 and served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade in Gorton’s government until he retired from Parliament in Feb 1971. During World War II, he held several ministerial positions, including deputy prime minister from 1958 to 1971. McEwen was knighted in 1971. He died on Nov. 21, 1980, in Melbourne.

Despite losing his mother and father at an early age, McEwen didn’t let it affect his ambitions in his political career. With the right determination, he successfully lived his orphaned life. 

Source:  John McEwen – Students | Britannica Kids | Homework Help

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

Jennifer Anne Garner

Advocate of Early Childhood Education

Jennifer Anne Garner is an American Hollywood award-winning actress born April 17, 1972, in Houston, Texas.  She was voted “Most Beautiful Woman” by People Magazine in 2019.  Her father, William John Garner, worked as a chemical engineer for Union Carbide; her mother, Patricia Ann English, was a homemaker and later an English teacher at a local college. 

She is a strong advocate for Early childhood education activism. In 2009, Garner became an artist ambassador for Save the Children USA, promoting national literacy, nutrition, and early education efforts. Since 2014, Garner has served on the board of trustees for the organization, advocating for early childhood education. As an ambassador, she frequently visits with families involved in the organization’s Early Steps to School Success program, which coaches’ families to help children learn in the early years.

 

“My mom grew up in poverty in Oklahoma – like Dust Bowl, nine people in one room kind of place – and got out of poverty through education. My dad grew up without a dad, with very little, and he also made his way out through education.”

 

 

Jennifer Garner donated $10,000 to West Virginia’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth. The donation will match AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers with local groups serving children in the summer. Summer Associate AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers serve at nonprofit organizations, schools, and state agencies to provide the Five Promises to children and youth. The Five Promises are Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, An Effective Education, and Opportunities to Help Others. In addition, the VISTA volunteers facilitate education programming to prevent summer learning loss for students, STEM programming, reading, arts, healthy futures, gardening, and summer feeding sites.

 

“My parents came from a poor background and worked their way up because of education. They saw it as a way to succeed. So, they cared about me getting straight-A grades growing up.

One of our special projects, “Myanmar Orphans (www.myanmarorphans.org),” introduces a unique set of learning for orphan youths by bringing English and Computer courses to the orphanages at an early age targeting boys and girls over twelve years old. Like how Jennifer Anne Garner has done with her early childhood programs in partnership with Save the Children USA, our volunteering teachers are introduced to our Road2Ace Campaign, which promises to organize English learning programs to enrich the orphanage communities by teaching the children how to read and write English and focus on Education at an early age of development.  For more information, click Road2Ace campaigns.

 

Your happiness is your own responsibility.

 

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

Miss World Venezuela

An Orphan who became a Miss World Venezuela

 Ivian Colmenares

There are so many successful orphaned stories all around the world. 

The story of Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares, a Venezuelan model and beauty queen, who was orphaned at the young age of 8 and was raised by nuns, is one of the popular orphan stories. So why did a young little girl raised by the nuns become a successful beauty queen? 

Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares was born on November 6, 2011, in London, United Kingdom, and unfortunately lost both of her parents when she was 8. She was raised by nuns in a covenant in Cojedes for five years. This period was so influential that she once dreamt of becoming a nun. She eventually gave up the idea when she realized she wanted the fame and success that being a model could bring.

Ivian auditioned as Miss Amazonas in her country’s national beauty pageant, Miss. Venezuela 2010, on October 28, 2010, and was crowned Miss World Venezuela. She also won the Most Beautiful Face Award. 

On November 6, 2011, Ivian won the 2011 Miss World pageant at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. She was awarded as a third runner-up during the Miss World Beach Beauty and the fifth runner-up in Miss World Top Model, becoming the eventual winner of Miss World. She became the sixth woman from Venezuela to capture the title. In a press conference after her victory, she said, 

“This has taught me that life, although it may be bad, doesn’t have to end badly. Although I no longer have my parents, it has taught me to be stronger. I want to carry on doing the wonderful work that ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ and the Miss World organization does and to help people in need. I want to help people like me.” 

The foundation is proud of the successful orphans who have a passion and drive for excellence in every task they are given. Your outlook in life should not depend on your history in life. Ivian made a turnaround in her life in that no matter what happened in her early years; she had a positive outlook that she could be a successful model one day. Indeed, she achieved her dream of becoming Miss World 2011.

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

Cynthia Lauper

A True Colors supporter of LGBT youth

– Cindy Lauper

Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper, born on June 22, 1953, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. She has been celebrated for her humanitarian work, particularly as an advocate for LGBT rights in the United States. She also was part of the USA For Africa music project, singing one of the most famous parts of the 1985 “We Are the World” song. Lauper has sold over 50 million albums and 20 million singles; Lauper’s acting skills earned her Emmys and Tonys.

“My mother said I was a little odd as a kid. I was alone a lot, but I didn’t feel alone.”

Her charitable efforts were acknowledged in 2013 when she was invited as a special guest to attend U.S. President Obama’s second-term inauguration.

Lauper has been an LGBT rights supporter throughout her career, campaigning for equality through various charities and gay pride events worldwide. Lauper stated that she became involved in gay rights advocacy because her sister Ellen is a lesbian and because Lauper herself was passionate about equality. Lauper cites her sister Ellen as a role model. Her song “Above the Clouds” celebrates the memory of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man beaten to death in Wyoming. As a member of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board, Lauper devoted a concert tour in 2005 to promoting the Foundation’s message.

 

“My music is about a joyful experience. I’ve learned that if you can affect other people, you should.”

She also co-founded the True Colors tour for Human Rights throughout the United States and Canada in June 2007. One dollar from each ticket was earmarked for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates equal rights for LGBT individuals. In April 2010, Lauper’s True Colors United launched the Care campaign to help get straight people more involved in LGBT rights. 

In 2012, Lauper started True Colors United after learning that while 10% of American youth identify themselves as LGBT, up to 40% of American homeless youths do so. The organization works to end youth homelessness, focusing on the experiences of LGBT youth. She set up the True Colors Residence in New York City for LGBT homeless youths. The 30-bed facility offers temporary shelter and job placement help.

“You always have to remember – no matter what you’re told – that God loves all the flowers, even the wild ones that grow on the side of the highway.”

The Foundation applauds Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper, whom we idolized as teenagers.  She has become a champion of social causes, bringing equality and accessibility for many LGBT youths and homeless communities.  

Our team is pleased to recognize Ms. Lauper on the International Day of the LGBT as one of the role models for bringing positive change for all LGBT youths who have been discriminated against and ridiculed.   The Charity film titled “Myittar” which our organization partnered with in collaboration with Mandalay Productions has a small supporting character embracing love for the LGBTQ community.

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

Camilla Cabello

 

“An electrifying Cuban singer is bringing positive change.”

Camilla Cabello is a Cuban American Singer-Songwriter born in Havana, Cuba, on March 3, 1997. In February 2016, she partnered with Save the Children to design a limited-edition “Love Only” T-shirt to help raise awareness of issues involving girls’ equal access to education, health care, and opportunities to succeed. She also later created her charity single, together with the members of the nonprofit arts organization OMG Everywhere, called “Power in Me.” Cabello has also partnered with the Children’s Health Fund, a non-profit dedicated to providing health care to low-income families with children.

 

On April 3, 2017, Cabello performed at Zedd’s WELCOME! Fundraising Concert, which raised money for ACLU. That same year, she joined Lin-Manuel Miranda and multiple other Latin artists on the song “Almost Like Praying” for Puerto Rico hurricane relief. Cabello also announced she was donating all proceeds of “Havana” to the ACLU for Dreamers.

Cabello donated portions of proceeds from VIP sale packages to the Children’s Health Fund while on 2018 Never Be the Same tour. On July 13, 2018, she performed a concert in San Juan and donated some proceeds to the Hurricane Maria Relief Fund. In November 2018, Cabello became an ambassador for Save the Children.

In March 2019, Cabello announced she donated $10,000 to a GoFundMe campaign for a homeless immigrant. She also pledged to raise $250,000 for the Save the Children organization. In October 2019, Cabello performed at the We Can Survive concert, which donates to breast cancer. She also participated in iHeart Media’s Living Room Concert for America, a benefit to raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 pandemic. In March and April 2020, Cabello participated in Global Citizen Festival’s Together at Home virtual concert to raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Foundation is pleased to recognize the extraordinary services and offerings of Camilla Cabello at a young age.  As part of our online blog posting on the Individual Spotlight series, we would like to recognize her love for the needy population in distress. She is one of our young, inspired leaders who bring positive change to disadvantaged children’s communities.

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

Beyonce Giselle Knowles

 

“You determine your self-worth,”

Beyonce Knowles

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Beyoncé Giselle Knowles, famously known as Beyoncé, is one of the world’s most renowned musicians born and raised in Houston, Texas. She was known as the lead singer of the R&B group Destiny’s Child before she embarked on a hugely successful solo career, beginning with the album “Dangerously in Love,” released in 2003 to rave reviews.

The world-famous pop star has been known to produce some of the best songs, with her music ‘Dangerously in Love’ being her best-selling song ever, with 11 million copies sold worldwide! And as of 2020, her net worth is a modest $400 million!

“A true diva is graceful and talented, and strong, and fearless and brave and someone with humility.”

Despite her popularity, Beyonce prioritizes giving back and using her music to inspire and become an influence for the betterment of those around her. She donated $250,000 to provide transitional housing for those affected by Hurricane Katrina as she and a former girl group mate, Kelly Rowland, founded the Survivor Foundation.

Beyonce also stands for feminism, LGBTQ rights, and equality, using her ability to compose songs to empower people, especially those experiencing racism. 

Beyonce leaves an empowering message: 

“It took me some time. But now I am strong. Because I realized I got. Me myself and I.”

On International Women’s Day, our Foundation would like to credit Beyonce Knowles as a fierce advocate of women’s rights.  With every new song, Beyonce makes herself different by setting an example of what she does.  Passion and inspiration fuel songs by Beyonce.  Beyonce’s songs are not just mere expressions; they give you much more. They make you proud of who you are and give you abundant confidence and motivation, which are lacking in orphanage communities, compounded by children who are young girls that make up more than 50% of the orphan population in places like Myanmar, India, and Pakistan.

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

Aung San Suu Kyi

By helping others, you will learn how to help yourself.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, the most visible and polarizing political figure in Myanmar’s modern history, has contributed much to the country. She is an advocate of freedom and democracy. She was awarded the 1990 Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize in 1990, awarded to individuals that have distinguished themselves in their work for human rights and democracy. She has also won a $1.3 million Nobel prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights that she used and donated to establish a health and education trust for the Burmese people, wherein she founded Daw Khin Kyi Foundation.

The Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, named after the memory of her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, is a non-profit charitable organization that promotes the country’s people’s health, education, and living standards, focusing its attention, especially on the needs of Burma’s least developed areas. The foundation has developed different programs to achieve the needs of the citizens in Myanmar, which are mostly concerned about health, specifically Mobile Library for education, Hospitality and Catering Training Academy, La Yaung Taw (a Horticulture Training Academy), which provides Humanitarian assistance, and others.

“To be kind is to respond with sensitivity and human warmth to the hopes and needs of others. Even the briefest touch of kindness can lighten a heavy heart. Kindness can change the lives of people.” Aung San Suu Kyi

The foundation’s mission is to achieve these goals irrespective of ethnicity, race, political division, or religion, believing that improvement in one place creates a better future for all. Aung San Suu Kyi has the purest heart and gives all their love to her citizens, as she stated that she is willing to donate her body organs to whoever may need them, even if this can cause harm and death. She also presented her house as an exhibition for the young generation to observe how Burmese Traditions and Burmese woman’s culture and outfits. Given her love for the country, Aung San Suu Kyi is considered the heart of Myanmar.

Mary K. Yap Foundation recognizes Aung San Suu Kyi’s undivided attention dedicated to the people of Myanmar and to providing humanitarian attention to the country she bravely extends to the fullest. 

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

Angelina Jolie

 

“A mother of six doing it all for the Orphan Bill.”

– Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie, a famous American actress, is a mother of six children in which, three of whom she adopted internationally, and the other three was biological. Jolie had first witnessed the effects of a humanitarian crisis while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) in war-torn Cambodia. Having seen it, Jolie contacted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for information on international trouble spots. She began visiting refugee camps worldwide to learn more about the conditions in these areas. 

Angelina Jolie was moved because of the children and the people she has witnessed from around the world, resulting in her considering adoption

Angelina Jolie says,

 “Each is a beautiful way of becoming family. It is important to speak openly about all of it and share. ‘Adoption’ and ‘orphanage’ are positive words in our home. I can’t speak of pregnancy with my adopted children, but I speak with much detail and love about the journey to find them and what it was like to look in their eyes for the first time.” 

 

Angelina Jolie is truly the definition of an advocate, for she is taking strides to help children in need in developing countries. In 2007, Angelina Jolie launched the Global Action for Children (GAC) Program to help orphaned children in third-world countries receive support, including a free primary school education. Jolie spends considerable time assisting orphans in third-world countries, for many of her children are adopted from poor nations. 

Jolie and her former husband, Brad Pitt, also worked towards passing the Orphan’s Bill in Congress for orphaned children in poverty-stricken nations to gain access to a proper education. They believe these countries will improve if the future generation is properly educated, helping to end the continuous cycle of poverty. Angelina Jolie wishes to see millions of orphaned children receive proper care and support through the Orphan’s Bill. Through this, hopes that the poverty-stricken nations surrounding them will also improve.

The Mary K. Yap Foundation would like to acknowledge Angelina Jolie in our Individual Spotlight series as an incredible ambassador and inspiration to all children, especially those most vulnerable and affected. 

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INDIVIDUAL SPOTLIGHT

A generous heart

We have been in a world of pandemics and crises from the year 2020 up until the present. A lot of people, especially the poor, are greatly affected by Covid19. Many people have transitioned from working in the office to working from home, and students have transitioned from having a face-to-face class set-up to having virtual classes.

Many businesses were also affected and needed to close, resulting in people losing jobs. However, despite the downside of the pandemic year, some companies grew exponentially, especially those online platform businesses like Amazon.

Since a lot of people are afraid to go outside to shop and buy necessary things, people resorted to believing in online platform businesses. Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, said she accelerated her charitable donations because of the “wrecking ball” effect of the coronavirus, which she noted has also “substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.” 

Melissa Berman, CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, told Bloomberg that Scott’s nearly $6 billion in donations this year “has to be one of the biggest annual distributions by a living individual” to working charities.  Scott also signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, promising to give most of her wealth to philanthropy. 

This is great news for the economy because even though we are undergoing a pandemic, still some businesses are getting their target sales thus, it will not have a great low impact on the economy. It’s a blessing to have someone like Mackenzie Scott, who supports the welfare of others and who has a generous heart for giving back to other people. 

Like Mary K. Yap Foundation, the people behind this foundation have a great heart for orphaned children who need help. They aim to support orphans and philanthropies because they believe that these people can still go a long way given the proper care and guidance.