Co-founder and Director
The MY HERO Project
MY HERO and Creative
Visions Foundation Honor Extraordinary Burmese Doctor
Los Angeles, CA - 8/19/12 – On a sunny day in
Malibu, while beach traffic labored along Highway 1, a crowd of people stood
listening to a soft-spoken physician from Myanmar. Though English is his sixth
language, he spoke elegantly and with passion about his first day on the job. “I
was the only doctor, responsible for the millions of people who live [in this
region]…so the village leaders promised me, they will elect a young man and a young
woman from each village, and I will train them.” He went on to describe how
they “faced challenges, from the Indian army, the Burmese army...but we never
lost hope, because we knew what we were doing…we had faith.”
The man speaking was Sasa, a young Burmese
doctor in the process of expanding the medical training facilities and hospital
he has developed from scratch in his home village, along the border of Burma and India. Throughout his childhood he
observed the suffering of his people, not just from political and military
turmoil but also from an utter lack of medical care. In response, Sasa was
determined to improve the lives of his family and neighbors. As a boy he
traveled to Rangoon for schooling, at great personal risk, since his government
had outlawed such education. When he returned, his friends and neighbors pooled
their money in order to send Sasa to an affordable medical school in Armenia.
While he studied there, his
people endured a plague of bamboo rats, famine and multiple atrocities committed
by soldiers. As soon as Sasa completed medical school he returned home, again
at personal risk, to fulfill his promise. The villagers immediately helped him
build a medical clinic, which he is now in the process of expanding. He is also
raising funds to support the education of young people in his community, with
the goal of bringing the first generation of educated Burmese physicians to his
people within the next ten years.
|Filmmaker Diane Namm and Burmese doctor Sasa with their MY HERO People's Choice Award|
A crowd of supporters and friends gathered at
The Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism (on August
19th World Humanitarian Day) to help honor this extraordinary man. A short film about Sasa, recently was selected as for The People’s Choice Award at The
7th Annual MY HERO International Film Festival. MY HERO’s festival
audiences and international network of students selected Sasa for this
prestigious award. The film by Diane Namm also won 1st place in the
Festival’s Humanitarian category.
In addition to helping Dr.
Sasa raise money for his medical operations in Myanmar, Producer Diane Namm is
currently seeking funding to expand her short film on Sasa into a feature project.
She praised The MY HERO Film Festival for bringing those fundraising efforts to
a wider audience, as well as for validating a project so close to her heart. “You
never know as a filmmaker, when you find a story that seems very important, if
the rest of the world will agree. We've seen, as a result of the MY HERO Film
Fest…that people are listening."
Her sentiments were echoed by Sasa, who stated, “it's just amazing
to know that there's a group of people, here in America, who recognize the
importance of the people who are like us, on the front lines every day, risking
our lives.” The MY HERO International Film Festival is indeed proud to honor
Dr. Sasa’s work, as well as the talent with which Diane Namm put his story into
Sasa is the first winner
of this special new award at The MY HERO International Film Festival. To
determine the People’s Choice Award winner, MHIFF judges and staff members put
together a ballot containing the strongest films from all the categories of the
festival. That ballot is then put online with an invitation to MY HERO’s
network of student users and the general public to vote on their favorite film.
Winners are announced online and at the Festival Awards Ceremony, in December
at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
The competition is already underway for the 8th MY HERO
Film Fest. If you have a film you would like to submit for The MY HERO People’s
Choice Award, please visit http://myhero.com/submit
|(Left to right): Kathy Eldon, Jeanne Meyers, David Kelly, Diane Namm, Sasa, and Lindsay Mofford|
The final deadline is October 1st.
To view Sasa, winner of
the first MY HERO International Film Festival People’s Choice Award, please
For more information about Sasa and his work, please visit: http://www.healthandhope.org/
more info on Creative Visions Foundation visit their web site: creativevisions.org
Visit the Creative Visions web page on the project: http://www.creativevisions.org/?s=sasa
more information on The MY HERO Project visit us at http://myhero.com