She’s young, in her 30’s, beautiful, athletic, studied in New York and an independent entrepreneur who loves Michael Jackson and wants to help others as much as she can through charitable works. “I think this is our purpose on earth, to help and want to become better people,” she says, before we start talking about her amazing pioneering charity project “Cyprus Fundraising Roller Skate Tour”. Marierose Tarkmanian (or Marierose Jackson as she likes to call herself), who originates from Larnaca born in Beirut, explains her innovative charity project that will soon take place on our island.
She’s making a move…are you?
Editor’s Note: This interview was carried out by our friend Stylianos Lambrou from LimassolShortcut.com on our behalf. So a quick thank you to him and to Marierose for her passion to raise money for those who need it most, the children.
How did you end up with such an innovative idea for a fundraising project?
First it started for the love I have for Michael Jackson, when I was informed, after his death, that one of his wishes was to build a hospital for children in Africa, I was moved. I felt the need to contribute to this vision. Thus, through the amazing “Cyprus Fundraising Roller Skate Tour” (which will last 12-14 days in September), I will travel the free Cyprus areas (96 hours total) with roller blading, biking and solo free rock climbing. I will certainly stop at stations (villages). We will also visit schools to talk to children about the sacred role of philanthropy for my project etc. Also we have channels and radio stations to cover the route and otherwise supporting media (online journals, etc.)
How will you raise the money for the orphanage/hospital in Africa?
We will be collecting money from the areas I will pass. There will be tickets for those who would like to help and offer any amount they can afford. To mention here, that even though it was my own idea, I am supported by a group of people that are helping me all the way. I would like to say a big thank you to all and our friends on FB. They are all young, with a vision to make a change in this world. Also, sponsors or volunteers who want to contribute in any way can contact us either through our page on Facebook Act For A Child Foundation, or phone 95120700.
Why Africa and not your country?
From a young age I have seen what is happening in Africa and through M.J’s humanitarian projects and charities. I’ve been really sensitive for these matters and I have always wanted to do something about these children. They have no hope, they have no help and they need love and care.
I would like to add that not only Africa will get help, but also children from our community. Part of the amount that will be collected will go into community projects in Larnaca, again for children. I’ve already talked with the Mayor, Mr. Louroutziadis, who I must thank for his support in this effort. In fact, for the launch of the “Cyprus Fundraising Roller Skate Tour”, he has allowed us to use the square at the beginning of the Phinikoudes, in front of the fountain for a small party, since we will start from there.
Will ‘Act For A Child’ do more then just a tour? What are your plans for the future?
Act For A Child Foundation will stay here forever. My plans for this are big. Let’s say Worldwide. We will have many projects after the tour. We need to keep our children happy and never give up on them. They are the future for a better world.
We heard Michael Jackson is a big influence in your life and for the project. Why is that?
Michael Jackson is something sacred for me; I do not think I can express in words how much he means to me. He was an amazing artist and person, whom we lost so early. Although I always wanted to donate through charitable work, it is my love for him that drove this project to contribute to the vision and for the orphanage/hospital in Africa. I would like to remind people, that it was M.J’s last wish before he died. It is even recorded and talks about his desire …. What can I say …. (smiles) ….. I wonder how his family will feel when they hear that people here in Cyprus, through a charitable project, have contributed to making his wish come true.
It’s an innovative idea for Cyprus, don’t you think?
This whole idea will of course help many people, cities, and countries. One can call me a dreamer, but this will happen eventually. We want to help not only our country but also the whole world. If every body pitched in, imagine what we could do. How things would change. Cyprus will be put on the map of humanitarian projects.
What do children mean to you Marierose?
Children…I could talk about children for hours and be around them. Children are the light of what we all do. It all starts from their innocence, their smiles, their questions, they are so coachable, they want to know things. You can learn so many things from a child. A smile of a child can heal your heart.
There you have it, be sure to spread the news about this amazing initiative or drop questions for Marierose in the comments below.