FMN Annual Report 2014

Page 1

The Australian Association of

Children’s Home

Annual Report 2013 - 2014

Charity Number CH1521 Incorporation Number IA34163 FMN ABN 55 469 449


President’s Report 1

Craig Manley

Highlights 2

Andrea Nave

Thank You 4 Initiatives 5 Nepal 5

Anju Pun & THIS

Uganda 8

Melissa Faulkner & TCCC

India 10

Joanne Heath & LAF

Governance 12

Management Committee & Think Tank

Financial Report 14 Dreaming 20

Cover Image The cover image provides a visual representation of Our Vision, Mission and Purpose: With respect, courage and commitment, Forget Me Not honours the rights of every child and, works to ensure children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. We exist to prevent children and young people around the world from being displaced through investing in innovative initiatives that keep children within their families and communities. We grow our impact through leveraging local partnerships on the ground in-country, raising community awareness and advocating for change as we learn. Our attention is focused on the confidence and optimism revealed by the children playing in the central yellow circle. Yellow is associated with ‘life force’. Safe, happy, connected children are Our life force, giving us strength and vitality. The turquoise circle represents the Earth’s colour when viewed from afar and is also the colour of Our logo. Our culture lives and breathes respect & honour, courage and commitment. The colour turquoise represents open communication from and between the heart and spoken word with clarity, creativity and compassion. The purple circle represents family, tribe, community and belonging. It is the colour of the humanitarian combining wisdom and power with sensitivity and humility. The orange circle represents Our work, the way we bring Our Vision, Mission and Purpose to life through combining physical energy (red) with cheerfulness (yellow). Turquoise correlates with purple as Our Global Community. Our circles represent unity, wholeness and infinity.

It’s with pleasure that I write this year’s Presidents Report for the Australian Association of Forget Me Not Inc. I’m writing this year’s report in the departures lounge of Kathmandu’s international airport, en route back home after a quick monitoring, and visitors trip. I thought it important to quickly capture my reflections on Nepal post our first reunion visit of the 18 beautiful girls who you, our supporters, provide support and love for, and ultimately helped find their families. As many would know, over the past 12 months your committee has been working with our country directors in Nepal and our Nepali implementing partner, The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS) to firstly, reconnect and then subsequently, reunify, as many of our girls as possible with family. You will remember that it had become increasingly clear to your committee over 2012 and 2013 that many of the children in our home were not true orphans. Some had one parent, some both, almost all had some extended family. Our investigations revealed that many of our girls were ‘Paper Orphans’, trafficked into Kathmandu from poor remote regions, for the dream of a better life. The story is middle men are paid by unsuspecting parents to take their child to Kathmandu & provide food, clothing, shelter and a better education. The middle men are also paid by the orphanage in many cases. Unfortunately, government statistics state that up to 80% of Nepal’s 11,000 ‘orphans’ have family. To all intents and purposes they are ‘lost’ in Kathmandu. The model your committee decided upon in 2013 was to move away from permanently housing children. We decided we could do best to assist the social welfare authorities by funding our partner, THIS, to take children into our home, rescued by the government from poorly run orphanages that were at serious risk of exploitation or living in terrible circumstances. The only chance we have to stop the flow of trafficked kids that continues today and reduce the need for orphanages back to true orphans, is to work in partnership with the Nepal government child welfare organisations and try to attack the source. Make the lure of easy money for the traffickers less appealing. Work to educate the poor farming districts of the risk they take when they send their beautiful child/ren away to the big city for education. And continue to advocate for changes in policy from our hard won seat at the table with other organisations doing similar work with the government of Nepal. Progress is slow, but it is happening. According to DB Lama (Director, THIS) the number of orphanages in Nepal operating well below minimum government standards is falling. DB suggests within 5-10 years Nepal’s orphanages may house only true orphans where family placement of other care options have been exhausted. THIS is doing an amazing job of caring for our existing girls. Now we have the right people and have focussed our efforts on the right model, we are in a perfect position to really help so many more kids. We will work with authorities to assist in transiting trafficked kids through our home back to their families, ideally within 6 months. But nothing can be done without money. I can assure you that your money is going to where it is intended, it’s used wisely and appropriately. Can you say that about every dollar you give elsewhere? Please consider what we have achieved and what potential we have when you think about supporting charity in 2015. Our thanks to the wonderful Jan Owen AM for facilitating our second ‘Love In’, a 2 day strategy meeting in February this year. Out of this meeting, the committee came to realise that we needed to broaden our fundraising base. To this end, your committee has started a process to trial a number of new initiatives that we hope will make FMNs all-important funding base more sustainable. We are working with Moonlighting Connect, an events and media company in Brisbane, to host a number of events. I’d like to thank two of our Think Tank, Sunshine Coast businessmen and long term supporters Greg Biggs and Wade James for dipping the hand in the pocket and providing the seed funding for the first six months to trial this major new opportunity for us. We have also decided to relook at how we run our trips to Kathmandu. Traditionally, we have hosted two trips each year to Nepal. These trips have allowed sponsors to meet their children and serve as a chance for the committee to monitor the work being done on ground on a regular basis. In order to increase our fund raising potential and better manage the trip

administration we are trialling a partnership with Inspired Adventures, a Sydney based professional travel company with a high success rate in assisting charities to run trips and raise much needed funds. The first adventure is set for October 2015. And the itinerary looks brilliant. There are many ‘holidays with a purpose’ out there now but this one ensures funds raised will help alleviate the problem. Unfortunately, ‘voluntourism’ creates an unsuspected contribution that fuels the orphan trade. NOT with FMN and THIS. Finally, we are trialling a market stall at the world famous Eumundi Markets as a way to raise sustainable funds regularly and also spread the FMN word amongst some of the 25,000 people who visit the market each week. The trial runs for six months through to March 2015. I’d like to give my special thanks as always to our talented and hugely dedicated staff in Australia Andrea Nave, our CEO and Emmalene Travers, our Program Offcer. These girls burn the midnight oil and work tirelessly with all our kids’ welfare at heart. Also a massive thanks to Eva Cappazzola, our Nepal Country Director who finished up with us to return home to the USA. Eva’s biggest contribution was the rescue of our girls from the control of our previous partners in Nepal, ensuring every chance toreconnect to family and the love they otherwise may never have had. This was done at serious risk to herself and I am in awe of her dedication to those girls. To our committee, Pete Mackay, Michelle Hay, Kate van Doore – thank you for your support and hard work again this year. I look forward to using 2014 as a platform for making a real difference in 2015. Thanks also to the Think Tank members, Greg Biggs, Wade James, Trent Harvison & Christine Jones - a group we call on for input and support regularly. They are always there to help.

Craig Manley - Namaste

President’s Report

Craig Manley


2 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14

Andrea Nave, CEO What an incredible year it has been. I will start by saying that Team FMN has displayed incredible courage and determination this year and followed through with major decisions. The biggest and by far most daunting for all involved has been the decision to finish what began so long ago and reunify our beautiful girls of Nepal with their families permanently.



After the triumphant effort of family tracing last year the next stages unfolded. During April and May 2014, one by one our beautiful long time charges joined their family with care orders securely in place, their custody signed formally back to the loving arms of their parents.

Our work in Uganda continues to support children to be the best the can be. Each of our children has had their needs met in true Forget Me Not style and each one of them is in the best position to thrive. With our Uganda families project as our ‘rescue and reunify’ model we were confident that we were doing the right thing for our Nepal children.

It was an emotional time for all involved. Our girls handled themselves very well and although many tears flowed from all sides we all understood it was finally time to face their own brighter futures. The reunification is now undergoing strict and regular monitoring to gauge the well being of each child on a case-by-case basis. Our heart felt thanks go firstly to our ever strong committed child sponsors who continue to see these children are not forgotten, that their education and health will remain on track and they will be forever Forget Me Not family and part of our Herd. The next big thanks goes to our Nepal Country Directors both outgoing and incoming. Outgoing Eva Capozzola for her vision, guts and bravery to grow a remarkable team on the ground with the right shaped heart to care for our girls in the strange and new frontier ahead. To incoming wonder Anju Pun who has filled the role so wonderfully generating a magical loving rapport with the Nepali partner team THIS and with the children. My final thanks for our Nepal operations goes to our in-country partner The Himalayan Innovative Society Team and Director Mr DB Lama for his calm and steady guidance and courage to address the big issues with grace and a clear mind.

Our Uganda project has practically displayed to us that children do better with family. They are relaxed and sure of themselves. Most importantly though, they are free to be children with a rightful place in their families and communities – living and learning with brighter futures ahead! Our Nanna Project children all attended school consistently and continue to be vibrant members of their village communities. The grandmothers that provide for their grandchildren are grateful for the support of Forget Me Not. Without it their grandchildren and great nieces and nephews in their care would be unable to gain a basic education or health care. This beautiful Project is well managed by volunteer coordinator, Mel Faulkner. Mel’s commitment to this grassroots project and the children it supports is inspirational. The Nanna Project is a shinning star under the Forget Me Not banner. Congratulations Mel! Into the New Year we will be more formally connected with our partner in Uganda - TCCC - as we take on more guidance and collaborative work in our exciting projects.


India Project HELP in India is going ahead in leaps and bounds. The features of this project (Health, Education, Livelihood, and Possibilities) are all taking shape with the Brighter Futures Study Centre (BFSC) as its flagship feature. Our partner on the ground Lakshya Aakriti Foundation, is tenacious and vibrant. LAF Director Mr Diptesh Singh and his team are driven to find opportunities to improve the lives of the those the Project touches. The project supports well over 100 children into basic early literacy and the opportunity to formal school entry.

My final thanks goes to my fellow employee and colleague Emmalene Travers who has worked tirelessly to help FMN look great out there in the world. Em, your input, output and insight is so much appreciated! Our e-zine ‘Herd Matters’ shows the world what goes on inside Forget Me Not and you pull it all together so beautifully! The incredible year that was – full of change, hope, challenges, determination and heart together with our sponsors we are raising children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity.

The opening and initial set up of the BFSC was assisted and made possible by the heroic efforts of philanthropist and mad keen cyclist Matthew Brice. Matthew cycled around India to raise funds to make sure the BFSC could be funded beyond opening and generated donations from far and wide to directly change the lives of some of India’s most impoverished children.

Going Home has never felt so good!

Our simple thanks seems so small for such and large selfless act. Matt your efforts are commendable. The world needs more people like you who simply choose to give - to give back.

Andrea Nave

Until next time - warmest wishes,

4 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14

Thank You

dhanyabad kongoi thank you asantedxanyaa’baad dhanyabad kongoi syaabaas asantedxanyaa’baad Ugandans in Queensland Community | Robert Tumusiime | DJ Onassy Nash | Mark Bradshaw | Queensland African Community Council | Permaculture Gold Coast | Vanessa Fernandez | Justin Sharman-Selvidge | Lois O’Connor | Lyn Mansfield | Sylvia Ramsay | Cameron Mackinnon | Gold Coast Sexual Health Services | Robyn Evans | Jess Markey | Sam Goldsmith | Nicole Faulkner | Judy Bunn | Connie Sheen | Helen Singh | Jeanette McKenzie | Elaine Broomhall | Amy Bratty | Morgan | James Hargreaves | Ann-Marie Power | Charles Frewen | Sarah Judd | Sarah Grealy | Verna Walroth | Lucia Tai | Amanda Cells | Louise Macdonald | Audra Bosley | Kirsty Blacka | Taane Morris | Bridget Ady | Amy Watling | Carmel Goldsmith | Anand Singh | Lori Boren | Cheryl Kenny | Pam Goldsmith | Julie and Marco Gliori | Amy Gliori | Sophie Gliori | Tiffany Cruise | Dion Doro | Cate and Lily Banks | Joy Faulkner | Lucy Holland | Jasdeep Gill | Sharelle Simpson | Bean Beatz | Jeff Tan | Clare Francis | Keegan Travers | Emmalene Travers | Judy Bloom | Brenda Cullen | Hope and Russell Doro | Heidi Affleck | Caitlyn Affleck | Harrison Hunt | Isabella Hunt | Robert Doro | Cat Dunlop | Sarah Nakiguude | Olivia Male | Elsie Smythe | Maureen Wall | Sarah Campion and Family | Brian Jones | Matt Fox | Michelle and David Hay | Wendy and Frank van Doore | Stream Financial | Elston Partners | Libby Mcpherson | King Fisher Bay Resort | Melissa and Craig Manley | Kate van Doore | Greg and Robyn Biggs | Peter and Sally Mackay | Christine Jones | Trent and Katie Harvison | Wade James | Rosalie and John Lewis | Kylie Bartulis | Doris Facini | Rotary Club of Hervey Bay City | Geoff and Stephanie Andrews | Annette Cameron | Geoff and Souraya Thomas | Dina and Greg Jenkinson | Sharyn and Graham Ambrey | Donna Baynton | Stephanie Evard Williams | Janet Venturini | Grant Vormister | Melissa Cornish | Libby Raymond | Margaret and Doug Manning | Ally Schultz | Christine Alley | Stacey and Steve van Derwegen | Joan Flynn | Bernie and Corrine Trafford | Robyn and Wayne Peach | Jo and Dale Stagg-Taylor | Cristine Davies | Brendan Pappasaviliou | Carla Olsen | Arielle Olsen | Candy Salkeld and Matt Waters | Matthew Brice | Brian Bacon | Jan Owen AM | Greg and Jane Furney | Stephen White | Trudy Schneider | Tanya Stone | Chris and Debby Cloran | Nathalie and Gerard Dugne | Frederique Long | Kate and Andrew Curry | Kristy Parmenter | Lynisse Ashford | Justine and Liz Lemberg | Leica Burley | Jason Wall | Summer Osmond | Lindsay and Jenni Hart | Amie Fabris | David Reynolds | Clarence Wilkins | Phillip van Derwegen | Bernadette Browing | Gramae Pagel | Gunilla Myren and Phillip Wheeler | Julie Jarvis | Dawn Dwyer | Lesley Hunt | Michele and Jeremy Hunt | Jan Norman | Alex Pretorious | Hunter Dalzell | Natasha Cross | Heather and Garth Ussher-Giovannoni | Amanda Tottle | John Sach | Robyn Graham | Karina and John Pike | Claire and Sacha Sanders | Bree and Evaristo Myols | Janardhan at Prema Shanti Yoga & Meditation Centre | Joanne and Christine Heath | Diane Livingstone | O’Brien Family| Annabel Deuchar | Matt and Barb Underwood | Robin Sydney and Family | Jennifer Dodds | Judy King | Brianna OBree | Manjit Thapa | Nikki Williams | Kim Yabsley | Hanne Kovarik | Hannah | Tessa Leon | Therese Wilson | Alain Bouvier | Jack Harvison | Sita | Dikshya Thapa | Patrick Ruhwezer | Eva Capozzola | Anju Pun | DB Lama | Puja Shrivastava | Lakahya Aakriti Foundation | Toro Child Care Centre | New Beginnings Children’s Village | Share the Love Children’s Home | Peg Bennett | Kate Cherry | Andrew Bell & Associates | The Zen Den | Ekata Sharma | Sabitri Dhamala | Yangjum Lama | Saraswati KC | Goma | Lydia | Jessie Bloom | Ally Hawthorn | Erin Munn | Ebony Nave | Rebekah Northam | Rija Maharjan | Jampa Tsering Lama | Surendra Lama Tamang | Bindu Basyal | Sabitri Dhamala | Ganga Maya (Sita) Karki | John Glenn | QPAC | Private Mediation | Kate Rudge | Katie Noonan | KC Weir | Rachael Donovan | Roxanne Adams | Louella Pettit | Troy Cassar-Daley | YOU!

Initiatives | Nepal


Anju Pun, Project Director

international human rights treaty in history. The Convention changed the way children are viewed and treated – as human beings with a distinct set of rights instead of as passive objects of care and charity. Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and Central Child Welfare Board shares its 2014 most recent data showing - 797 registered Child Care Homes in 46 districts of Nepal accommodating 16,349 children where 8,027 are girls and 8,322 are boys. Highest number of Child Care Homes is recorded in Kathmandu – 226, followed by Lalitpur with 120 Child Care Homes and 61 Child Care Homes in Kaski district – key tourists’ hubs.

Our children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. July 2013 to June 2014 was a terrific year for our 20 girls since their rescue from MNBG on 18 November 2012. Girls named their new home ‘Shakti Ghar’ meaning a ‘Home full of Power’. All 20 girls breathed fresh air, enjoyed their freedom, and made friends in their new schools – The Himalayan Boarding School in Budhanilkantha (10 minutes walking distance from Shakti Ghar) and Kathmandu Valley College in Chakrapath (30 minutes by public transport). Babita, Jamuna, Namrata, Sita, Gyanu, Basundhara and Kabita impressed us doing very well in their final term exam with results in April 2014 and made us proud. As each individual is different – we encouraged the others to do better and work harder for next exams. Months of July 2013 to February 2014 were mostly dedicated in family assessments and required reconnections via phonecalls and visits home during Dashain in October 2013. These 7 months were emotional, happy and difficult, having mixed feelings and budding dreams in girls to go to their families forever. We recruited a Counselor in September 2013 to help all 20 girls go through individual counseling and family therapy.

Prevention Coordination with local government authorities is crucial and important to make the local state aware about issues of child trafficking. With regular coordination and information sharing with Central Child Welfare Board, District Child Welfare Boards, Child Rights Officers have a clear understanding of our work and have appreciated our efforts and coordination with them. Principals and School Teachers have appreciated our regular monitoring and care for the reunified children. We conduct regular monitoring visits to ensure safe reunification and sustainability and most families receive some level of financial assistance for education and living expenses. We have developed a support level from category A to F. During monitoring visits our team counsel families and children about the risks associated with child marriages, abuse and trafficking. Our team also teaches families about parental care and how to improve communication between child and family. We empower families to reduce financial burden by encouraging them into income generating activities (IGA) and skill development training. We will develop IGA plans based on interest and will provide NPR 25,000 micro loans to support their small businesses.


The girls spoke freely about reunifications, asking questions about their families, siblings, cousins, kinship care and building confidence about where they are going. In January 2014, we employed Reintegration Officer Surendra Lama Tamang to conduct family visits and get to know the families where children were to be reunified. His role was to counsel families and prepare them for their children coming home. Based on those visits and team discussions a support level for each child and family with criteria A to F was prepared.

We had no rescues this year as our priority was the reintegration of 20 girls in our care supported by FMN since 2006 and rescued from MNBG in November 18, 2012. CCWB had approached us three times for taking up new rescues but we could not afford it due to our prime responsibility towards our 20 girls rescued from MNBG and limited funding.

Monitoring started in April 2014 by our Counsellor, Reintegration Officer and Home Manager throughout the ten districts namely Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Nuwakot, Dhading, Rasuwa, Dang, Banke, Kailai, Surkhet and Parsa. The objective of our first monitoring visits was to assess the child’s initial adjustment phase in family, community and school and review the kind of support level for the child and family.

Having successfully reconnected 19 out of 20 children in 2013/2014, the focus has been to allow the children and families to rebuild their connections. We completed in-depth family assessments in order to manage each child’s case for the most positive outcome, in their best interest. Between March and May 2014, we fully reunified 15 children with their families. Four girls were reunified to their both living parents, four girls were reunified to their single parent, and seven girls were reunified in kinship care.

Initiatives | Nepal

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We have at least three meetings with family members/guardians and children before reunification and legal responsibility transfer, to discuss possibilities and logistics of reunification and preparing both children and families. We plan the support mechanism for each reunified child on the basis of the field reports and observations, team discussions and the recommendation of our field staff. The support levels were developed to strengthen the reunification process and ease the initial adjustment phase of each child. We decided to spend this year, monitoring the wellbeing and adjustment of girls in their families. Reunification of the children with their family members was done in the presence of the local authorities such as Child Rights Officers and Women and Children’s Office heads of respective districts through a written legal responsibility transfer agreement. After successful meetings and with agreement of families and children, we began reunifying our girls. Regular monitoring will continue to ensure the child’s safety and that it is the best situation for the child and family.

Advocacy FMN and THIS are members of the Alternative Care Working Group (ACWG) chaired by CCWB on a monthly basis, where we share about our programs and reunifications status. We feel honored and proud that the Child Rights Officer, Mr. Hari Prasad Upreti, of DCWB in Dhading district invited local journalists, other social activists and Women Development Officer to lean about our work, and also to be more vigilant on issues of child trafficking and displacement. Whenever we do a rescue and reunification we always advocate for the rights of the child to be upheld within community, schools and family to prevent child marriage and displacement due to trafficking, poverty and internal conflict in the country. We also keep sharing information to visitors, students and interns about child trafficking and displacement as part of our advocacy.

Research FMN has contributed to the Voluntourism Report and Reintegration Guidelines where a Case Study of FMN has been used as an advocacy tool in the document.

I am happy, my mother is supportive and is like a friend. Anita

My parents are very loving and care for me, I accompany my sister Sita to know my village and relatives. Alisha

It’s very hot in Nepalgunj but I am knowing my family and they care for me. Rabina

THIS/FMN Partnership

Dhan Bahadur, THIS Executive Director

Reunification has been our prime area of work with Forget Me Not in 2013/14. Our reunification plan and strategy for each child to be returned home safely was created in partnership with our staff. THIS is still working on family preservation and kinship care options while we reintegrate children back to their families and relatives, whichever is suitable for the benefit of the child’s care. The FMN/THIS team had many meetings with the parents and spent time discussing the drawbacks of institutional care with them. We tried to make these issues known to the parents and guardians so that the reintegration would be a successful one and none of the children would be re-trafficked into institutions. We tried to focus on the importance of the family and parents, education and career goals, and how we could best help families to care for their children. We focused on awareness and consequences of child marriage because our children are girls. In Nepali culture girls are considered a burden for parents. In Terai and Hindu culture there is a dowry system and in the Madeshi communities they have to give money, bike, car etc as dowry. In the hills they consider the girls as guests in the family and they have to go to the husband’s home after marriage. They try to marry the girls as soon as possible if they can get a good family and capable boy. We will ensure the children have awareness about Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). We are very grateful and happy with all the support given by FMN and everything is going well. Thank you friends and supporters.

The best interest

of the child shall be a primary consideration; and, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

FMN works in partnership with THIS with a Mission to help keep vulnerable children safe and to ensure that children’s most fundamental rights are protected; including their right to be with their families. Our vision is to contribute to the reduction of child trafficking by restoring dignity in Nepali girls, women and families through family reconnection, education and empowerment. In Nepal, many children’s homes and orphanages are run below prescribed minimum standards of the government, in which the children do not get enough food and clothes and are not sent to school for basic education. The government is constantly monitoring the homes and closing down the homes run in pathetic condition and reunify the children with their family and relatives through alternative care options such as kinship, foster and then lastly to standard orphanage for the orphans. Our genuine efforts are highly appreciated by the government mainly CCWB and DCWBs to filter the children residing in orphanages and help them reintegrate back to their families and communities. THIS and FMN believes that reunification of the children is sustainable as long as the local government authorities are mobilized and made responsible for monitoring of the children. DCWBs being one of the witness signatory in the legal responsibility transfer agreements, has helped in bringing awareness to avoid any further displacement and re-trafficking of children from districts. In the long run, it is the state that is responsible for the children and its citizens. So, we believe that sustainability of the reunification is only possible if we include the government bodies from the initial phase of reintegration processes.

Initiatives | Nepal

Reunification of children back to their family and community helps children build relationships with their family members and relatives and make the bond stronger and more healthy, adjust in their family atmosphere, learn life skills, help their family members in daily chores, help their siblings in studies etc. It also helps children to understand their culture, tradition and customs which inspire them to be strong and proud of being the member of their community and society. This also builds the confidence to belonging to that particular community and society.

“I want to be a social worker, traveller and photographer too.”

Initiatives | Uganda

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Uganda The Nanna Project

Melissa Faulkner, Project Manager & Child Sponsor Our children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. As a whole The Nanna Project kids are doing fabulously. It is truly amazing to be a part of these young peoples life journey. We have seen a dramatic reduction in the incidence of health issues among the children and their families. Children who have struggled academically have improved and shown a desire and fight to continue to work hard at their studies. Overall The Nanna Project children are enjoying a happy and ‘normal’ childhood with their families. Reports, photographs and correspondence from Uganda are testimony to the thriving and vibrant nature of these children and young adults.

Prevention In 2013-2014 The Nanna Project continues to support the education of 27 children and young adults whilst they remain in the care of 14 ‘at risk’ families. Most of these are families headed by elderly grandmothers who are unable to work and achieve an income. The children are mostly orphaned although a few have been abandoned. In this period we have effectively supported the primary education of 18 children, 3 secondary students, vocational/skills based studies of 3 young adults and specialised education of 3 children with special needs. The main tool The Nanna Project engages to keep the children and their families together is to provide access to education. Without education the situation is bleak and the families cycle of poverty is bound to continue. The grandmothers provide love, care, guidance, shelter and food for the children but unfortunately do not posses the financial means of providing education. By providing school fees and school requirements we encourage these families to keep the children in their care rather than then seeking other means of care e.g. orphanages. In times when any of the children become seriously ill we have provided a rapid and means tested response to ensure the child is well cared for. For children with special or specific needs we have provided individualised support in the way of assistive devices, dietary supplements or modifications to the home environment. For each child that remains connected with family and community we know we are doing our best to serve the needs of that child. In the holidays we have provided tutoring for those students who require additional support with their studies as well as technology and computer training for secondary students. This training will be a valuable part of their ability to succeed and become self reliant in the technological future. The annual Nanna Project gathering was held in January 2014 where we were able to celebrate the project and the children’s achievements as well as provide information and encouragement around care and responsibility for the children. Our Ugandan supervisor conducts 3 annual visitations to families where she is able to assess the family situation and provide counseling to empower families to address issues, take responsibility and care for their children/grandchildren. Families can also contact our Ugandan supervisor at any time for advice or action dependent on the issue at hand. For any issues outside of the families capacity to deal with, consultation is sought via the team in Australia and appropriate response/ action is provided.

It is with great pride that we saw the return of a young mother in 2014 who stepped up and retook responsibility for her two children who were in the care of their elderly grandmother. We are now working with this young mother to ensure that she continues to care for the two girls and her other children. This reunification means that the girls are no longer reliant on their grandmother for care and that the uncertainty of living with an elderly relative, especially in Uganda where the age expectancy is lower is lower. The girls can enjoy a life with their mother where the role of ‘Nanna’ is returned to their grandmother.

Advocacy The Nanna Project craft stall provides the perfect opportunity to advocate the work of Forget Me Not and the issues we are facing and addressing in Uganda. In this period we have held stalls at community markets, multicultural festivals and family gatherings. The stalls have provided opportunities for dialogue with hundreds of amazing and caring individuals.

Initiatives | Uganda TCCC/FMN Partnership Sarah Nakigudde, Project Manager

Our children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity Our children have been resettled in comfortable places they call home (either in their families or with care provider and with efforts to unite them with biological relatives. We find that those ones with blood relatives are very comfortable and happy, yet the ones (7 children) in children homes still have a longing for their parents/relatives. They still want to visit their relatives whom we haven’t found yet. Efforts are still being made to trace these relatives. All the children are in school and doing well. Some of our children have changed schools to secondary school. Our children who sat their final examinations last year are all doing well in secondary school; they are all in good health and performing very well. We are encouraging the children who have joined secondary school to begin thinking about an activity, however small, which they can begin to earn a living and work towards self reliance. One young woman joined Candlelight School of Beauty and Design where she is majoring in fashion design. She will be graduating in March 2015 to begin her own business. Malaria continues to be a challenge. We have had several cases to deal with over the year with many children requiring hospitalisation. all have returned to full health as a result of FMNs support to reduce suffering and ensuring a quick return to study and life.

Initiatives | India

10 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14


Joanne Health, Project Manager & Child Sponsor Almost three years since the idea of starting a FMN project in India was born, I am thrilled to report that the hard work of many dedicated people enrolled in the vision of projectHELP has resulted in a truly grassroots, locally managed project that all those involved in can be very proud of. I arrived at Kalyanpuri Slum around 10am on Sunday the 25th of May with LAF Chairman Diptesh Singh, to find sixty four children seated in four perfectly formed rows in a large, blue shed. A joint initiative between the local council and LAF, this building was recently completed by way of LAF fundraising efforts. The building serves as a classroom in the day and is equipped with mats and blankets to provide much needed shelter for vulnerable women from the surrounding area in the evenings. Silence and stillness soon erupted into a chorus of “namaste” (hello) and waving hands as I entered the building. I was greeted by Puja Srivastava (Project Manager), Neha Srivastava (Board Member), Chandra Shekhar Singh (Teacher), Anil Pandey (Field Support Executive) and Ashish Shukla, Ujjwal Paul and Narender Sharma (Volunteers), before being launched into an enthusiastic round of handshaking as the children proudly held up their name badges introducing themselves. After ten minutes or so the children quickly settled back into position upon a commanding request by Chandra Singh, for a zealous round of times tables and the alphabet in both Hindi and English, led proudly and with great authority by class monitors Karan and Gulshan. As I sang along to the English alphabet perched on a stool next to Karan and Gulshan, I was overwhelmed by the feeling in the room and the look of joy and hope on the sea of faces in front of me. The class came to a dynamic end and the children stared wide eyed in wonder in my direction as I introduced myself in Hindi before Puja translated “I’m from Australia, the cricket country”. “Is that near India Gate?” (an iconic landmark in the centre of Delhi) enquired a boy in the third row. As Puja proceeded to explain where Australia actually was in relevance to number of hours on a plane, the look of intrigue on their faces was priceless. “We’ve got to get a world map in here” I said. A few of the volunteers started setting up a makeshift sound system as three girls gathered at the front of the room chattering nervously amongst themselves and four mothers gathered inquisitively at the door. “Come in, come In” I yelled across the room. “Dhanyavard (thank you) they said excitedly, running to sit amongst the children before the performance commenced. Bollywood music a little too loud for speaker capacity blared out, and the girls began to dance with reservation. As the crowd started clapping their confidence quickly built, and a few minutes later they were having the time of their lives busting out some moves way beyond their years. Eleven year old Mukshan took the stage by herself as a new track came on. Lost in the music she entertained the crowd like a true professional. “She could so be a Project HELP success story!” I shouted to Puja over the thumping music. “Tell me about it!” she shouted back.

After chatting to children in my very limited Hindi and discovering the contents of their exercise books, Diptesh took me on a tour of Kalyanpuri Slum itself a few minutes away, as the children set off with team LAF to a shady outdoor area next to a nearby lake. It was now nudging 40 degrees at only 11am. We entered the slum to find clusters of families doing their best to protect themselves from the brutal heat and manage the persistent onslaught of flies that gathered around them. Humbled beyond words as I was warmly welcomed into their world, we walked slowly past the numbered shelters greeting everybody one by one. I looked around me in disbelief. Never have I seen anything like this. We proceeded to the outdoor area about twenty minutes later, a few of the family members following on foot, to find the children gathered in an orderly fashion, waiting for something to happen. I was introduced to Shankar, the village leader and few fathers of the children, before Karan, his younger brother Arjun began drumming with abandon leaving the children, myself and Team LAF (including the teacher) with no choice but to get up and dance. A gymnastics performance by Karan and his trusted tricks partner Rishu followed, involving some pretty impressive back flips and walking handstands. As the gathering closed, a round of handshakes began again to the sound of “What’s my name” “What’s my name?” before leaving on the back of Diptesh’s bike with the children running behind, high fiving me and laughing uncontrollably all the way to the main road. We proceeded to a well air-conditioned South Indian restaurant which provided much relief from the midday heat to discuss the upcoming gala dinner in a few weeks time to celebrate the completion of Matt’s cycle around India, before a tour of the new Brighter Futures Study Centre. Located on the third floor in a busy commercial area, it offers bathroom facilities and a large balcony area that can also be used for classes and LAF meetings. The two rooms next door are currently vacant with the fourth room that opens out onto the same balcony, occupied by a Christian missionary organisation one day a week. We met with the landlord and discussed plans to paint the rented room and ways to create a classroom environment. The study centre will facilitate computer classes for the children and vocational training for the parents as part of the Brighter Futures Microfinance Program. Between the shed located five minutes walk from the slum and the study centre, which is only ten minutes cycling distance from the slum, these two buildings represent an excellent foundation for LAF and FMN to build on. In witnessing the living conditions of Kalyanpuri Slum, there is still a long road ahead, but at the same time, so much has been achieved and a fertile seed has been firmly planted that will help the children and their families grow into their potential. Perhaps what is of greatest value is the obvious sense of hope that now resides in the hearts and minds of this impoverished community. The recent passing of little Ali, is a cruel reminder of the thin line that divides life and death for the families of Kalyanpuri slum. In his honor, may projectHELP be a shining light and a benchmark for a truly sustainable community initiative that only dreams are made of.

Diptesh Singh, LAF Trustee

Hundreds of families have been living in appalling conditions for over sixty years in Kalyanpuri Slum. The Slum is located 20kms from the International Airport and 11.5 km from India Gate in the heart of New Delhi. Due to very limited start up funding Lakshya Aakriti Foundation (LAF) began working with 23 children from nine families living in jhuggis (tent-like shelters) on the side of a busy road above a drain. The families survive through an unconditional commitment to life giving them strength to overcome difficult challenges on a daily basis. The children of Kalyanpuri Slum have no access to medical care; no adequate shelter to protect them from the burning sun or torrential monsoon rain; are severely malnourished; have little or no clothing; and, have never attended school. The primary income source for these families comes from scouring the local dumps collecting rubbish for recycling and also begging. Some also earn money through drumming, street stalls and selling balloons, toys and beads. The average monthly income for these activities combined is $20 to $50. This falls short of the $135 to $165 required each month for the survival of a family. Initially none of the children wanted to go to the school. They believed that they were born in some different world and schools are not for them. The children were frightened about how they might be treated by staff, teachers and other children. No local schools were ready to take their admission because not one of these children were able to satisfy the minimum requirements for enrolment. Each child is required to present their official birth certificate; purchase a school uniform and study materials; and, have some basic numeracy and literacy skills. Unfortunately, infant mortality was high; sexual abuse of women and young girls was common; people were under threat of being abused or robbed by the police; children were begging and rag picking for very long hours; and, people had little or no clothing. In earthquakes, the shake kills people. In a tsunami, the water kills people. But in winter, it’s not the cold that kills people - it’s the lack of proper clothing and poor shelter. Why don’t we consider lack of clothing & shelter a disaster? LAF launched their first on-road campaign ‘Covering the Naked’ to raise awareness and clothe the poor and destitute in Kalyanpuri Slum. Forget Me Not representatives Kate van Doore and Andrea Nave attended LAFs first ‘Covering the Naked’ campaign rally in New Delhi in December 2012. Since then LAF has successfully worked on several initiatives bringing about lasting change. LAF has executed various awareness campaigns based on importance of health, hygiene and education. Two healthcare workers train the children and their parents in preventative healthcare and general/dental hygiene. Mothers are also being trained in slum based infant care and malnutrition management. Hygiene kits, clothing and cooking utensils are distributed are obtained by LAF via donations and distributed to families in need. In some circumstances acute healthcare needs have been facilitated by LAF staff and covered by donors. The site is sprayed weekly with mosquito repellent. LAF provides clean drinking water, fruit, milk, multigrain biscuits and fresh juice daily at the Brighter Futures Study Centre. LAF has undertaken various initiatives to motivate parents to value the long-term benefits of education and encourage their children to attend school. Initially parents said they could not afford to send their kids to classes and children played an integral role in providing an income source for their families often times through rag picking and begging. We look forward to working with FMN in 2015.

Initiatives | India

LAF/FMN Partnership

Governance | Management Committee

12 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14

Craig Manley

Pete Mackay

To my committee, Pete Mackay, Michelle Hay, Kate Van Doore – thank you for your support and hard work again this year. I look forward to using 2014 as a platform for making a real difference in 2015.

When looking back on the highlights of our last year, it’s always with a clear picture of each child we are supporting, and not of statistics and numbers on a page. Each of these numbers is a real human – an actual living, albeit vulnerable child.

President | MC | TT | CS | FF | FM | SG

Thanks also to the Think Tank members, Greg Biggs, Wade James, Trent Harvison & Christine Jones - a group we call on for input and support regularly. They are always there to help.

Vice President | MC | TT | CS | FM | SG

FMN’s achievement of recently reuniting the 18th of our first 20 young girls back with their families is a win that tugs straight at anyone’s heart. All of these girls were officially deemed ‘orphans’ and most of them have been away from their families and home nearly 8 years. Many were mere infants when this occurred, all were frightened if not terrified - and their families distraught and overcome with grief. But what we all thought was the impossible, has come to be an amazing reality. To see the raw emotion on a parents face when they once again hug their child, once thought lost forever, cannot be conveyed in words. However one grandmother came close. As she sat on her haunches on a bare dirt floor, seemingly living in the direst poverty when viewed from Western eyes, she described that miraculous moment as if ‘God had been laid gold at her feet’. In her eyes, she was the richest woman on earth. And from my eyes, she was just that. This why I continue to work and support Forget Me Not.

Kate van Doore

Secretary | MC | TT | CS | FM | SG Here’s to another fantastic year for Forget Me Not! We have now reunified 58 trafficked children with their families ensuring that they are safe, happy and connected to family and community. We have over 100 children in our programs that are benefiting every day from the power of positive action. It is a wonderful testament to the incredible work that our in country partners, The Himalayan Innovative Society, Toro Child Care Centre and Lakshya Aakriti Foundation, do every day to ensure the rights of the children in our care are not just recognised and upheld, but celebrated. A huge thank you to Andrea Nave and Emmalene Travers who keep our Australian operations running splendidly. It is so encouraging to see Forget Me Not continue to shine and reach beyond where any of us ever dreamed possible. I’m so proud to be involved with Forget Me Not and look forward to the year ahead.

MC = Management Committee TT = Think Tank CS = Child Sponsor FF = Friend of Forget Me Not FM = Financial Member SG = Strategy Group

Michelle Hay

Treasurer | MC | TT | FF | FM | SG Reuniting the majority of our Nepalese girls with their families was the highlight of my year. I am so proud of the trailblazing work Forget Me Not is undertaking in deinstitutionalising these beautiful young ladies and helping them reintegrate with their families and communities.

TT | CS | SG

Well another 12 months have passed and what another amazing year FMN has had. Robyn and I were fortunate enough to travel to Nepal again in March to see our 20 beautiful girls and celebrate Holi with them which was a fabulous experience. It was soon after our visit that the reunification with their families commenced. There was definitely some uncertainty, however 6 months on one has to say it has been an overwhelming success. A huge thanks to our partner in Nepal (THIS) for their tireless work, and also to Jenny and Anju for the support and love they show the girls. Once again, we would like to thank Andrea for her exceptional drive and motivation. The support from Em and Kate is also greatly appreciated. It has been great to be involved with the “Think Tank� again in 2014, and thanks to all the members for their continued passion for FMN. In March we also were fortunate enough to meet Diptesh from our Indian project, and to listen to the work they have done was simply inspiring! Perhaps a trip to Uganda is now required to totally appreciate and understand the great work FMN does in that Country. A major focus for 2015 will need to be continuing to fund raise, so that we are able to carry on with the important work that FMN does in these countries.

Christine Jones TT | SG

FMN has accomplished so much again this year that it is tough to single out just one highlight. The descriptions of the happiness of the young women in Nepal, and the acknowledgment of their difficulties returning home, were really moving. On an organisational level, the energy and creativity of the strategic planning process was a unique and new experience. The FMN team never fail to unite in joyous effort.

Trent Harvison TT | CS | SG

A highlight for the 2013/2014 year was watching FMN continue to kick goals and head in the right direction. Visiting the girls in Nepal with my 13 year old son was the pinnacle - and to see their beaming faces and gratitude was truly inspirational. The reconnection of the girls in Nepal was a standout, with a relatively smooth transition due to the consistently fine work of the staff on the ground, and with our partners in THIS. Continued guidance from the management committee, and steerage from the Think Tank and from our valued and trusted friends ensures that the future of FMN is in good hands.

Wade James TT | SG

My highlights for 2013/14 have been: being part of the FMN team and playing a small part in something that is helping to bring happiness, safety and health to some children who need it; visiting the girls in Nepal for the first time and getting to meet them, spend time with them and understand even further why we do what we do; and, getting to know the rest of the Think Tank better and share some time with some great people making a difference.

Emmalene Travers

Program Officer, PR & Development Editor, Herd Matters | TT | SG 2013/14 highlights for me were interviewing Katie Noonan and Troy Cassar-Daley and reporting on the excellent personal achievements of young people in our programs internationally. I was also completely blown away by the young folk here in Australia who chose to support a cause bigger than themselves, especially: Libby Mcpherson; Hunter Dalzell; and, Jack Harvison.

Governance | Think Tank

Greg Biggs

Financial Report

14 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14

Financial Report

Financial Report

16 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14

Financial Report

Financial Report

18 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14

Financial Report NOTE: Accompanying notes available to Members upon request


20 Forget Me Not Annual Report 2013/14

where education is not a privilege, it’s a right and families have safe options for a brighter future

Andrea Nave

CEO | TT | CS | FM | SG My dream comes from being wide awake to the challenges ahead. In my dream we grow wings for children’s lives to take flight. To grow these strong child wings, we generate a strong passionate herd who believe in the dream as well. In my dream Forget Me Not is the platform children safely walk along then run to fly home where they belong. In my dream there are no disconnected children. Incredibly, my dream is coming true.

Mel Faulkner

Project Manager, The Nanna Project | CS | SG I have a dream, it’s about children, it’s about families and it’s about education and opportunities. I see a world where all children regardless of their situation are free to be connected with their families, community and culture and where they can enjoy quality education. A world where education is not a privilege, it’s a right. A world where children are happy, thriving and equipped. One where you can rest easy knowing that the future is in strong and capable hands.

Mel Manley CS | FF | FM | SG

I’m dreaming… I’m looking down on a remote region in Nepal. There are families dropping off children to a large building. The children are racing towards this building - excited and inspired. The parents wave goodbye content in the knowledge they will be back to pick up their children and take them home in time for the next festival. There are several of these boarding schools set in the outer regions. No longer are these parents contemplating risking their children’s lives with traffickers in the hope that they won’t be sold off - or used as commodity to raise funds - but maybe receive an education at the expense of losing their family. These children are thriving! Safe in the knowledge that they have a future and that their family is supporting them. There is no longer any reason for parents to allow their children to go off with strangers as they now have safe options for a brighter future.

TT = Think Tank CS = Child Sponsor FF = Friend of Forget Me Not FM = Financial Member SG = Strategy Group


Eva Capozzola

Country Director (to 30 June) | SG The woman who most inspires me the most is the woman who has stumbled and has stood back up. The woman who has known suffering. Who has known struggle and knows that her past contributes to her beauty and strength. The woman who is not necessarily indefatiqable, but is honest and authentic. I know many of these women. Many of these girls. These are my heroes. These are my inspiration.




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