sofia
sofia-tam

Sofia Tam

(1994 – 2013)

Her passion and spirit will live on forever with your help.

What began as a mentorship between 5th Grader Sofia Tam and her teacher Erin Terzieff, evolved into a collaboration touching thousands of lives and so many communities around the world.

Sofia and Erin met September, 2005 at Carver Elementary School in San Marino, California where as a 10 year old, Sofia showed a budding passion for Human, Rights, Social Justice, and the Environment.   Over the school year Sofia and her friends, with Erin’s facilitation, became more involved in extending their lessons outside of the classroom and into the real world. As a result, Sofia challenged Erin to travel to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma with her grandfather Wayne Tam and visit the orphanage, the Mingalar Parahita School and Orphanage. There Erin learned about the situation of Burmese children living in conflict and crisis.

Erin took the challenge. Shortly after, Erin began working with BMWEC, a community based organization focused on educating Burmese Migrant Children living in Mae Sot, Thailand on the Thai-Burma Border.

As Sofia continued on through middle and high school, she advocated, fundraised, and hosted special events to support the Burmese Migrant schools in Mae Sot. She spent her summers on The Border along with her family, Robert, Julie, William and Emma, and Erin, working at the schools and beginning to build the foundation for what would become All You Need Is Love.

Sofia’s light was so strong, it shined bright even during the darkest times. Although confronted with brain cancer in her junior year, she was undeterred by her adversities, committed to graduating from high school, continue working with her NCL philanthropies, and serving the migrant children. She chose to volunteer in Mae Sot with her family even as she was undergoing treatments. And just 3 weeks before she passed away in August of 2013, she, with the help of her siblings William and Emma and a cast of friends and family, hosted a fundraiser that kept seven Burmese Migrant schools from closing and she did all of this by the age of 18.

"Sofia is the drop, and we are the ripple."

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Larry Dohrs

Chairman of Board of Directors for US Campaign for Burma

“It is a fundamental truth that ripples and waves emanate outward from good work undertaken. What Sofia and her family have done, and will continue to do, has changed lives and provided inspiration. Those inspired and supported are now carrying the work forward, reaching others, in a chain that extends across time and space, and across generations. There is no limit.”

Burmese Migrant Education Committee

 

“Sofia was a truly remarkable gift.

As our teachers lead children in prayer, Sofia is being remembered as someone whose love for others could break through the constraints of illness, and cross the borders of nationality, ethnicity, language and distance. We have so much to learn from her.”

International famed Burmese Artist Maung Maung Tinn

 

“To live a long life is important; To do good during life is the most important. That is the great lesson that Sofia gave us.”

 

In collaboration with Sofia and her family, and in gratitude for all she has taught us, Erin founded All You Need Is Love Charity.

Sofia’s mother Julie Wong Tam, and Erin’s good friend Ashleigh Chu both joined the Board.

Sofia’s whole family and now, all her friends and so many in the communities she has touched continue to walk in her steps, making their own way based on her example.

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