- WHY CARE ABOUT BURMA?
- WHO WE ARE
Dr. Lay Khin Kay left Burma almost forty years ago after graduating from medical school in Rangoon. She came to California and co-founded one of America’s foremost providers of disability evaluation services, and in 2004, the United States Congress formally recognized Dr. Kay for her leadership and enduring contributions.
Despite living outside of her homeland for many years, the people of Burma remained close to Dr. Kay’s heart and she felt that their needs had not been adequately recognized in the west, or addressed by the international community. She established the B.K. Kee Foundation in 2005 to focus humanitarian support on communities with the fewest resources and to honor her mother, Kee Beng Kung, the matriarch of nine children, and a native of Burma who immigrated to the United States in 1972. B.K. Kee passed away in 1980.
Dr. Kay, retired in Southern California, remains deeply connected to Burma — active in the Burmese community in the United States, and passionately committed to the Foundation’s mission. She enlisted the assistance of her nephew, Stan Sze, also a native of Burma, who guides the Foundation and travels to Burma several times a year. The two collaborate closely in making funding decisions, focusing on community-led health and education initiatives in the most vulnerable communities.
“The most important part is relationship building,” says Sze. “In Burma, there’s a lot of opaqueness, and people can be very distrustful. But when you continue to come back, and have a track record in what you fund and how you approach things, people are much more open.”
Community Partners International is grateful for the generous support the B.K. Kee Foundation provides for Malaria Control, Reproductive Health and Education programs.