2015 APA Winners

The Philanthropist of the Year, Nomura Motoyuki


Mr. Motoyuki is a pastor and social activist from Japan. He was born in 1931 in Kyoto, Japan, and grew up witnessing many prejudice cases against Japanese-Koreans in Japan and also was aware of many terrible acts that Japan committed to Korea during World War II.  Therefore, he decided to become a social activist to help people in Korea.  He started his social service when he first visited Korea in 1968. Since then, he visited Korea more than 50 times until 1985 and helped many Koreans living in poor neighborhood of Chungyechun in Seoul. In order to revitalize this poor neighborhood, he actively fundraised the money by asking for help to Japan, West Germany, and New Zealand from 1970 to 1980.  For any personal expense for himself, he only used his personal money and even sold his own house to pay for his expense. Mr. Motoyuki also traveled other poor communities across Korea and wrote journals and collected many references and data about situations of poor people.  In 2006, he donated 20,000 items, which he collected from his journey to Seoul Museum of History. Mr. Motoyuki is still active in philanthropy such as helping disabled children through Purme Foundation in Korea. In 2013, he received an honorary citizenship from City of Seoul, Korea.

The Best Fundraiser of the Year, Kwang Jae Lee

Since 1998, Mr. Lee has contributed as a fundraiser making many meaningful changes to several organizations he worked for last 16 years. He developed various different fundraising products and strategies customized for each organization. When he worked for Save the Children, Korea, he built a new vision for the organization, which was “Making a country where children are happy”.  To make this vision come true, he developed many events and fundraising products and contributed to the organization to overcome its crisis during that time.  For the first time in Korea, he created a donation method, which could use “cyber money”.  During his work at Social Welfare Society, he repositioned the organization to be a social service organization helping single moms and their children instead of being an adoption agency only, which was very passive in fundraising before. Due to this strategy, the organization was able to fundraise successfully.  For his present work place, Make a Wish Foundation, Korea as a director of development, he successfully partnered with several big corporations such as Samsung and Hyundai.  This made the organization possible to receive sponsorships and donations from these corporations.  Also he created an online platform called “Dadream” which connected a caregiver and receiver. Lastly, Mr. Lee continuously worked hard to develop his expertise in fundraising and contributed to many organizations he worked for.

The Best NPO of the Year, Dream Touch for All

Dream Touch for All (DTFA) is a non-profit organization, which started in 2011 with its mission to reduce educational gap between different regions and also social classes in Korea. The organization recruits outstanding graduates from top universities for its volunteers and sends them to the most disadvantaged regions and schools such as rural schools and schools for North Korean refugees to provide best quality education and support these volunteers to become leaders in their professional fields. Currently, DTFA is partnering with 6 schools and provides customized after-school classes for selected disadvantaged students. The organization also provides after-school classes, mentoring sessions, and summer camps for North Korean students. Recently, 16 students who received its service from DTFA for 5 months improved its math average level for 1.04 level higher and their grades increased about 21.38%. The founder of DTFA, Mr. Yu Gang Choi, who himself spent difficult childhood, is working hard to move forward its organization, setting even higher goal which is to expand its service to 300 disadvantaged schools in Korea.

Woman Philanthropist of the Year, Kook Ja Noh

Mrs. Noh proved that even a small effort by an ordinary citizen could make a big change in our world.  Mrs. Noh has worked as a teacher for her life.  In 2006, she began to participate in philanthropic activities when she happened to watch a documentary TV program about a little girl in Africa having a desperate life due to scarcity of clean water.  After she became aware of this issue, she developed her passion to help to solve this problem in Africa.  Since 2006, she actively began to fundraise money to help digging a well for people in Africa. Whenever she met anyone around, she actively fundraised for the need of clean water in Africa.  She also collected used items and exchanged these items for money.  Since 2006, she was able to develop about 1,500 donors and donated in project to build 19 wells in several different countries in Africa. She still is actively working to help to contribute to this “Building a Well” project in Africa and is called a “Well Lady” among many people.

Youth Philanthropist of the Year: So Hee Kim

So Hee Kim is a great youth philanthropist who committed herself in many ways to enhance philanthropy.  She has worked hard as a scout member for 9 years and also helped people in need with her families by saving her money and donating to UNICEF and Good Neighbors and also volunteering for social service center in her community since 2010. In 2013, she participated in Youth Philanthropy program of Korean Scout Association and designed a fundraising plan to send boats to needy families in Cambodia.  For this project, she was able to fundraise about $3,000 and sent 4 boats to families in Cambodia. Her school later became aware of her philanthropic activities and started to participate in Youth Philanthropy program and created “Discovering the World through Sharing” project, which collected used household items and donated items to a goodwill store. So Hee is currently a senior in high school and wants to become an environmental expert in order to improve global environmental condition of our world in future.

Lifetime Achievement Award, The Late Suk San Kim

The Late Suk San Kim is considered to be a father of disadvantaged children who committed all of his life for improvement of child education and social service. He was born in Japan and lost his parents during wartime and grew up in an orphanage. This early childhood experience gave him passion that he wanted to work for disadvantaged children for his life. He started his career at Child Fund, Korea in 1963 and became the president of Child Fund, Korea in 1995. Until he passed away in 2010, he helped about 400,000 disadvantaged children to become healthy member of Korean society and also helped about 8,300 missing children to find their families through search for a missing child program of Child Fund, Korea. One of his major accomplishments include the “We Start” campaign, which provides quality educational opportunities to disadvantaged children, so children do not repeat vicious cycle of poverty but can grow up as successful member of our society. Mr. Kim also brought in one to one (1:1) child matching program for the first time in Korea, so donor and beneficiary can have more personal experiences each other.  He expanded his service even for children in other countries such as Vietnam and Sri Lanka providing medical and educational assistances and also actively supported food assistance program for people in North Korea. In order to spread philanthropic spirits in Korea, he partnered with Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS) to air “Love Request” program on TV for more people to participate in giving.