Ken Gallaher – Volunteer, Future of Children
Ken Gallaher is a retired PhD chemist whose service to Asia first began in 1968, when he spent two years in the United States Peace Corps teaching chemistry in the Philippines. It wasn’t until reading a 2012 New York Times article, that Ken decided to pursue his long-standing curiosity in Myanmar.
The article highlighted Myanmar’s first all-girl band (today, called Myanmar Girls), and over the next several years, Ken and his wife followed the band’s progress through Facebook. They also learned that one of the band’s members, Htike Htike Aung, was co-founder of a charity called Future of Children (FOC).
FOC is a group of young university students who volunteer to help local area orphanages in and around Myanmar’s capitol city of Yangon. FOC members make site visits to spend time with the children, provide needed supplies such as food and bedding, and offer financial support. FOC also sends volunteers to help build schools and other structures that would otherwise be inaccessible to the orphaned children.
During trips to Myanmar in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Ken saw, firsthand, the positive impact FOC was having on the lives of children, and him and his wife jumped at the opportunity to help. They supported the building of a new school at one orphanage, and the building of new restrooms at another. Additionally, Ken and his wife support a student who will graduate from Dagon University in the spring of 2018 with a degree in physics.
While Ken’s story highlights the power of seeing simple needs and filling them, he insists that, “the real heroes are the members of FOC. I just furnished them some money and moral support.”