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About Wai Jia

Dr. Tam Wai Jia

Kitesong represents the dreams we each have to make a difference to others, to help others fly and sing their own kitesongs.


My hope is that these stories will inspire those who dream of making a difference to others to take that first step.

Lying at the intersection of art, community service and global health, Wai Jia’s work inspires hope and catalyzes change in communities for a better world.



In January 2005, 18-year-old Wai Jia traveled to Nepal for the first time. There, the stories of girls who had been abused and abandoned broke her heart. Every year, they would be evicted from their home.


What they needed, was a permanent place to stay.


Their incredible joy and audacious hope to pursue their dreams inspired her to write and paint a picture book, “Kitesong,” to raise funds for a home for them.


But who would read, let along, publish a book by an 18-year old? Through a miracle, “Kitesong was published and more than $100’000 was raised for a home for the children.


Since then, Wai Jia’s life has been forever changed. She's traveled to more than 20 countries on humanitarian trips, and continues to write and illustrate poignant picture books for advocacy and philanthropic purposes. She has raised more than $200’000 for orphans, women rescued from sex-trafficking and refugees. In 2011, together with her husband Cliff, she left for Uganda to serve as volunteers for a year.


In an accidental walk of faith, Wai Jia founded Kitesong Global in 2018.

Today, Wai Jia's work as a humanitarian physician, writer and artist
continues to inspire children, youth and adults all around the world.


Wai Jia graduated from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, fully funded on 3 scholarships- the Fulbright, Johns Hopkins and Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship in 2018.


She graduated with a Masters of Public Health with 5 awards and honors, which recognized her academic excellence and outstanding international public health practice contribution through Kitesong Global. She was voted to be 1 of 5 Student Recognition Award recipients for her impact on the community.


Wai Jia was recognized by Forbes Asia’s inaugural “30 under 30” list in 2016, as one of 30 outstanding young changemakers in the Healthcare & Science category. In 2011, the 24-year old then was awarded the Young Outstanding Singaporean Award (JCI) and in 2015, she was a Singapore Woman Award Honoree. Wai Jia received the Excellence in Public Health Practice Award at Johns Hopkins University, for founding Kitesong Global.

Her work in Africa was featured on Channel NewsAsia, a broadcasting news station that reaches 25 countries with a viewership of more than 50 million households, in their documentary series in 2015.


Wai Jia is married to her best friend, Cliff, whose life of overcoming liver cancer and accomplishing an IronMan triathlon event continues to inspire her daily.


Both of them continually grapple with the concept of "home" as they've moved more than 10 times over 4 countries, as pilgrims traveling around the world. Their heart is for transformational change among the needy.

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