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Against All Odds

Michael Maher King | TEDxTokyo 2011

Channeling good intentions is tougher than it looks, but Michael Maher King seems to possess the knack. The young British founder and CEO of Smile Kids Japan—which has now joined Living Dreams—was a teacher in Fukui when his wife informed him that some of their students were orphans. In May 2008, they started up Smile Kids to lend their time, skills and care to Fukui’s orphanages.

The March 11 Tohoku disaster broadened the group’s focus and ambitions. Working alongside the Living Dreams NPO, Michael is now taking their network concept to 18 orphanages in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima through the Smiles and Dreams: Tohoku Kids’ Project. They plan to set up regular fun and interactive volunteer visits, distribute donated items, and spark long-term projects that cover everything from computers to mentoring to scholarships. Michael hopes to go nationwide and help Japan’s other orphans shape their own destinies.

Learn more about Michael Maher King Website