Maryam Khairul Anuar is a young nine-year-old Malaysian, and she has Down Syndrome. Maryam has successfully raised RM80,000 to aid children needing surgery in Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) or National Heart Institute.
Maryam sold 95 pieces of her art through Maryam Saves A Heart (MSAH) campaign. The MSAH campaign managed to raise RM80,000.
MSAH was created by Sharifah Sarah Syed Mohamed Tahir, Maryam's mother and Dr Khairul Anuar, Maryam's father and also a paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at IJN.
According to Sharifah, some children die before having a chance to be treated at IJN due to a shortage of funds. MSAH would be a long term campaign in hopes that they could save lives. The funds raised are channelled to IJN, and Tiny Gold Heart Project, a Kuala Lumpur social initiative that raises funds for refugee children in need of surgeries.
Maryam started painting three years ago when she was just six. Her talent is shown through her art. She uses acrylic paint and various techniques, including finger painting, brush painting, and sponge painting, to create her masterpieces.
When my husband and I first saw her paint, we knew she had talent that we could nurture, said Sharifah.
It started as an alternative to a permanent art painting class because Maryam just enjoys painting. Maryam’s paintings feature different facets of nature.
We decided to sell for charity when we have no more space to display them, added Sharifah when interviewed by the Star.
"It is important for Maryam as well as our 2 other children to know that they can help others, even if it is just a smile. In whatever they are involved in, we want them to ask themselves what impact they are making on others around them."
The children are raised to have empathy towards others and not be indifferent to others.
Maryam has also raise RM6,500 for her therapy centre, the Kiwanis Down Syndrome Centre in Petaling Jaya.
We need more of little Maryam in our society.