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Mae Chun devoted her life to serve the elderly

Here’s the latest from Mae Chun: I am an immigrant from Malaysia and all our time here, Canada has given us every opportunity and freedom to make a good living, and we have. That’s why I’ve spent the last 28 years returning to a country that has given us so much. I have spent most of my career here in social services, and I am currently co-CEO of the MPC Foundation, a registered charity that works hard to reduce the social isolation of all seniors.

I am of Chinese descent, but because my childhood environment was deeply multicultural, I was educated to embody cultures that are Chinese, South Indian, and Malay. Even when I was a child, I remember the excitement of celebrating the Chinese New Year at the beginning of the year, visiting Muslim friends to mark the end of Ramadan in April or May, and then waiting to spend Diwali (Deepavali) with friends from South Asia in October. I grew up with an innate appreciation for the mosaic of cultures that enrich our daily lives.

Don’t wait for the perfect time to make changes. Do good today and do good now. The rest will take over.- Mae Chun– Mae Chun

Of all the years I have lived in this country, I have spent almost 20 years serving immigrants in the community and in the last 5 years my focus has shifted to mobilizing community resources to bring older people out of social isolation. and provide opportunities to facilitate participation. in community life. I didn’t set out to be a change maker. Instead, I saw a growing social problem and set out to do something about it.

The nature of my work with the elderly has given me a front-row seat to witness what the aging population faces on a daily basis: loss of employment and income, declining independence, loss of employment. self-esteem and a future full of uncertainties, especially in the field of health. While none of these concerns can be ruled out, they can be mitigated by belonging to a community of peers that is welcoming and inclusive and where shared experiences can be shared. This is the essence of what I do every day, which is to empower the elderly and the elderly to create a life that is meaningful to them.

I am proud of the values ​​I grew up with, such as loyalty, hard work, being kind to others, and respect for our elders. Although my heritage is Chinese, having lived and traveled much of the world, I have realized that these values ​​are shared by many cultures and that these values ​​are the basis of significant success in life. As one famous person said, “There are more things that unite us than divide us.”

“I am proud of the values ​​I grew up with, such as loyalty, hard work, being kind to others, and respect for our elders,” says Chun. (Esther Cho Photography / CBC)

One of the values ​​we inherit from our ancestors is the belief in self-sufficiency, that is, we live and die by our own efforts, and it is this belief that motivates me to work hard to achieve a successful life in Canada. Like most Asian families, there was a strong emphasis on education in our family and with that comes the pressure not only to do well in school, but also the drive to excel in the field. academic. Living in Canada has moderated my views a bit and I began to see the pursuit of education not only as a ticket to a well-paid job, but to appreciate education as a journey that enriches our mind, our worldview and its influence on our critical thinking faculties. It is the ultimate gift he continues to give.

I have been living in Calgary for about 25 years and have seen this place grow exponentially. Still, Calgary is still a family-friendly city, affordable to live in and with a lot of potential for bigger things. One of the key changes we need to see in Calgary is to have a more extensive public transportation network. This will create more connectivity among its citizens and play a critical role in reducing the social isolation of all, not just the elderly.

The impact I have been able to create in the community is not the result of my solitary effort, but the combined effort and passions of a community willing to come together to embrace, care for and respect the elderly in our communities. When community members are willing to face temperatures of -40 degrees in the winter to deliver care bags to seniors who need it, I am beyond words, and they are such selfless sacrifices of everyday citizens the that motivate me every day.

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