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HOPE Hero of the Year

Cynthia Abdon-Tellez

Cynthia founded MFMW to support foreign domestic workers trapped in exploitation and abuse cycles. She also founded Bethune House, a shelter for migrant workers in need, named in memory of her late daughter, Bethune.


Her unwavering commitment spans four decades and has empowered 30,000 workers in Hong Kong, shedding light on their struggles, from underpayment to abuse. Cynthia catalyzed empowerment, nurturing advocates and leaders among migrant women. Under her guidance, migrant organizations and unions thrived, championing rights and change.

HOPE Hero Runner-Up

Anton Lim

Concerned after witnessing children crossing treacherous rivers to reach school, Anton Lim co-founded the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation Their mission: ensure safe school commutes for coastal kids through yellow boats, boosting attendance and educational opportunities.


As of April 2023, the foundation’s impact is truly remarkable: 5,241 boats, 13 school buildings, 5 dormitories, and more. This work benefits 127 communities and 143 public schools nationwide.


HOPE Hero Runner-Up

Zacarias Mansing

Despite being paralyzed from the chest down, Zacarias Mansing’s unyielding spirit has sparked true impact through his Books for Kids Project, touching the lives of over 50,000 school children across 250 public schools in 20 municipalities and cities in Negros Oriental.


The Books for Kids Project serves as a catalyst for igniting a love for reading and elevating literacy levels. It aims to foster awareness about disabilities, advocate for inclusive education, combat bullying, and instill cherished Filipino values within the hearts of young learners.

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