A Khmer Buddhist Foundation is Launched

-- Nonprofit donates nearly half a million dollars towards COVID-19 relief in Cambodia; urges other organizations and individuals to join its efforts --

SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- San Francisco resident, philanthropist and Cambodian advocate Lyna Lam has launched A Khmer Buddhist Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the lives of the Khmer people and preserving their rich traditions and culture. The Khmer are native to Southeast Asia and constitute most of the Cambodian population.

The organization’s first act was to donate a nearly $500,000 gift to support Cambodians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation will be used to provide much-needed supplies, including oxygen manometers, patients’ monitors, ventilators and personal protective equipment to meet the dire needs of a country still grappling with the pandemic’s devastating effects.

In addition to the medical supplies, part of the donation will be also used to support food and aid to impoverished children, youth and their families. The humanitarian donation will be administered through Friends International, a Cambodia-based nonprofit organization that has been saving lives and building futures for the most marginalized children and youth, their families and communities in Southeast Asia and across the world for more than 26 years.

The gift was made in partnership with Digital Divide Data (DDD), the largest technology-related employer in Cambodia, whose innovative social model enables talented youth from low-income families to access professional opportunities and earn lasting higher income.

"We were saddened to hear about the devastating COVID-19 situation in Cambodia,” said Lam, founder and executive director of A Khmer Buddhist Foundation. “While we know firsthand that the people of Cambodia are resilient and have a history of recovering from any hardship stronger than before, we also know that additional supplies and resources can help accelerate their recovery and end this terrible pandemic. We believe it’s vital for ethnic Cambodians in the U.S. to help Cambodia in any way they can, just as Indian Americans have so heroically stepped up to help the COVID crisis in India.”

While this first donation is earmarked for COVID-19 relief, the foundation aims to support a wide variety of worthwhile causes for the Cambodian people, including arts and culture, startup grants for new businesses, community support and college internships, among others.

The foundation is accepting COVID-19 relief funds and encourages anyone with the resources to help to consider giving back without delay. Donations can be made here: https://www.akhmerbuddhistfoundation.org/donate

About Lyna Lam

Lyna Lam came to the Bay Area as a refugee following the Vietnam War and Cambodian genocide. Years of hard work and diligence yielded small business success, and she has launched the foundation because she has witnessed firsthand how support, mentoring and a small amount of initial funding can fundamentally change lives from desperation and poverty to empowerment and contribution.

Previously Lam and her husband, Chris Larsen, have made a transformational $25 million gift to San Francisco State University’s College of Business (now the Lam Family College of Business), where 37% of the students are the first in their families to attend college.  She is also the co-sponsor of the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award, which was formed to support innovative solutions to the world’s refugee crisis. In addition, she is financing a one-of-a-kind program to catalogue and digitize all the surviving Khmer scripts, documents that are crucially important to maintaining the Khmer culture. Currently she is also in the process of building a temple, always a foundation of Khmer culture, in San Jose, California.

About A Khmer Buddhist Foundation

A Khmer Buddhist Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the lives of the Khmer people and preserving their rich traditions and culture. It offers grants each year to enrich and strengthen the lives of the Khmer population, in areas that include arts and culture and business. Learn more: www.akhmerbuddhistfoundation.org

Media contact:
Birgit Johnston
birgitjohnston@me.com, 408 656-8025