Cover Ricky Yu of Light Be provides transitional housing for in-need families.

Let these honourees from Asia’s Most Influential list inspire you to be kind always, whether in big ways or in little acts

Buy lunch, pick up the phone, donate to a cause—Pay It Forward Day calls on people to do small acts of kindness today. This year, to create a giant wave of happiness around the world, the movement aims to inspire 10 million good deeds. The kindness advocates from our Asia’s Most Influential list have been doing just that—offering a helping hand to single mothers, survivors and special needs children when they need it the most. Let them remind you to lead with kindness, not just today, but always.

Carys Mihardja, Indonesia

By shining a light on the creativity of the special needs community, Carys Mihardja is changing how people view children and teenagers with Down Syndrome. Her social foundation Carys Cares holds painting lessons for children with Down Syndrome, and then transposes their artwork onto merchandise, the proceeds of which are directed to Persatuan Orang Tua Anak Dengan Down Syndrom (Association of Parents of Children Living with Down Syndrome). Roomy dresses, totes, scarves and more are adorned with happy colours that reflect the talent and potential of the children. Recently, Carys Cares celebrated World Down Syndrome Day 2022 with a fundraising fashion show featuring the children and their works. 

Read Carys Mihardja’s full profile here.

Ricky Yu, Hong Kong

Ricky Yu extends a helping hand to the temporarily impoverished households of Hong Kong. His social housing organisation Light Be, together with like-minded landlords, rents flats at below-market rates for three years so that families experiencing economic or housing difficulties can turn their lives around. The platform also provides upward mobility training with guidance on work-life balance and self-reliance. The organisation has three housing programs across Hong Kong: Light Home, which is mainly for single mothers, Advanced Light Home, which has extra facilities and activities, and Light Housing for young nuclear families. Says Yu, “I believe in the talent of people. If we give them a second chance and the right conditions, they can go far.” 

Read Ricky Yu’s full profile here.

Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Philippines

Breast cancer survivor Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala co-founded the ICanServe Foundation to raise awareness about breast cancer, particularly its early detection—a focus that stems from her journey, having been misdiagnosed in the beginning. Today, the foundation’s flagship program, Ating Dibdibin, provides comprehensive breast cancer screening and free or subsidized cancer treatments for local communities. Magsanoc-Alikpala also co-founded Cancer Coalition Philippines, which advocates for institutionalising cancer care—timely screening, diagnosis, rehabilitation—for patients and survivors. In 2019, the National Integrated Cancer Control Act was passed into law. 

Read Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala’s full profile here.

Get inspiration from changemakers, industry titans and powerful individuals who are making a positive impact on the region in the Asia’s Most Influential list from Tatler.

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