Michael Lang's life was irrevocably changed when his girlfriend of two years was swept away in the tsunami that claimed more than 200,000 lives on Boxing Day 2004. Since then he has been using her memory to fight for a better quality of life for children in Thailand, establishing a charity with his girlfriend's sister to raise funds to build a school and finance scholarships. Mr Lang, 30, had been holidaying on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, with 25-year-old Hong Kong teacher Rubina Carmen Wong when the wave struck. Mr Lang, a Canadian, refused to leave the devastated country without her - and his painstaking search through morgues and mass graves was followed closely by the media. When he speaks of Wong, it is often in the present tense. 'She deserves better than that; to be buried in a mass grave. She's such an inspiration - and she'll be glad to know that people still care about her.' Following her funeral, he returned to Hong Kong, his home of two years. 'Those were very dark days for me, but I knew inside that this couldn't just be it ... it wasn't finished - there had to be more.' Wong's love of children was the impetus behind the decision to raise money to build the school in Khao Lak and fund scholarships. 'She wanted to have a family and a wedding, and all the things that one could wish for in life,' he said. 'She never got that chance, but at least the people who loved her can help less fortunate children in her memory.' The Rubina Hope for Kids charity, set up last year by Mr Lang and Wong's sister Iris Lee, aims to help rebuild the lives of those affected in the devastated resort centre of Khao Lak. So far it has raised more than $170,000, which has been used to build the school, and aims to raise another $35,000 to run the school for the next two years. The charity will hold its first public Hong Kong fund-raising event from 7pm tonight, a show and live music at the Vodka Bar in Old Bailey Street, Central. The cash raised is managed by the Canadian charitable group, ERDO (Emergency Relief and Development Organisation).