From South America with love

  • Community
  • Tuesday, 06 Oct 2009

Seven Latin American embassies in Malaysia teamed up with the Latin American Ladies Association, Malaysia (Lalam) to raise RM37,000 for cancer patients.

The countries with embassies in Malaysia are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela,

The money was raised to help 52 children cancer patients who are on the National Cancer Council’s (Makna) bursarial disbursement scheme. The children are from various parts of the country.

A cheque for the amount was presented by Lalam president Yolanda Velasquez to Makna president and chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin recently.

The ambassadors of the countries involved were present at the ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

They were Alejandro Gordillo of Peru, Pablo Sader (Uruguay), Manuel Guzman (Venezuela), Silvia Castano de Gonzales (Colombia), Segio Arruda (Brazil) and Marيa Isabel Rendَn (Argentina) and First Secretary of the Cuba Embassy Florentino Batista.

The money was raised during a fundraising event, known as the “Second Latin American Festival” that was held at the Westin Hotel Kuala Lumpur in June.

About 3,000 people took part in the event which displayed the indigenous art, lifestyle, culture and cuisine of the seven South American countries.

Mohd Farid said: “We are incredibly honoured to learn that Makna is the first non-profit organisation in the country to receive such strong support and endorsement from the Latin American community in the country.”

“This will augur well in our efforts to internationalise Makna. South America will definitely be one of the places we will seriously look at in the future,” said Mohd Farid.

Velasquez said the purpose of organising the Second Latin Americal Festival was to expose Malaysians to the many interesting aspects about the music, dance, food and art of Latin America.

About the contribution, she said: “We know this money is not a lot when considering how much a cancer patient would need for treatment these days but we certainly hope with this small act, we will bring hope to those children that Makna is supporting.

“The message that we would like to share is that that no matter how ‘different’ our background may be, the love, dedication, and charity, have the same meaning in all languages and to all of us,” she added.

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