The Australian Association of the
Annual Report 2014-2015
Charity Number CH1521 Incorporation Number IA34163 FMN ABN 55 469 493 449 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
President’s Report Craig Manley
Initiatives 6 Uganda Melissa Faulkner & TCCC 9 India Joanne Heath & LAF 12 Nepal Anju Pun & THIS
16 20 23 25 30
Nepal Earthquake Response Highlights
Mangement Committee & Think Tank
Financial Report Thank You Dreaming
I write this year’s President’s Report for the Australian Association of Forget Me Not Inc from a plane high above the outback on the way to Indonesia with my family for a few days. As I sit here, I am reminded once again how lucky we are in this great country of ours. Everyone today on this flight can afford to travel. They can jump freely on an international flight to an exotic location. They can pass through international borders with ease. I am lucky enough have my family with me. We take it all for granted don’t we? For many people in countries less fortunate than we in Australia, including Nepal of course, some or all of these things we take for granted as Aussies, must seem like a mirage. Something they see or have heard of but cannot believe is true. We are indeed the lucky country. It’s always good to give ourselves a jolt every so often to remember that.
Annual Report 2014/15
My last report was written in October 2014. We started this year with our first Tangled Up In Green event in Eumundi in November, attended by 100 supporters. It was a hugely successful night in many ways. We raised some $40,000 and introduced Forget Me Not to 50 people who had little or no contact with us previously. And it was cracking good fun. For the event, we flew across Diptesh Singh, Director of Lakshya Aakriti Foundation in India. Dippy gave a passionate presentation on LAFs amazing live changing work in the Kalyanpuri Slum in New Delhi. We also heard from Mel Peace our dedicated volunteer on her work in Uganda and our recent visitors to Nepal Trent Harvison and Ange Takats. Nice to hit 2015 with some momentum! Our first trip to Nepal in April this year, saw a small group head over for a monitoring visit and be involved in the FMN girls second reunion. Thanks to Greg and Robyn Biggs, Margaret and Doug Manning, and Lars Olsen, for joining CEO Andrea, Kate, little Anouk and Mel, and myself for the week. We enjoyed presentations from our implementing partner, The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS) on the progress of the 13 reunified girls and the five girls still remaining at Shakti Ghar, our transit home in Kathmandu. Once again, we came away with the feeling we are teamed up with a truly professional organisation that cares as much for our girls as we do. They are inspirational. We also enjoyed being involved in the three-day reunion program put together by the girls at Shakti Ghar. They had worked hard to decorate their home they performed cultural dance routines to entertain and educate us. They each spoke with great feeling on their own personal journeys from children cared for by us in a home to children cared for by us in their own homes with their families. The majority of the girls have been back with family now for over a year. They continue to be supported by you in their family’s care and monitored by THIS. It’s the model that has the most chance of success in reducing child trafficking into Kathmandu and closing down the hundreds of homes and orphanages still being run illegally or well below government standards with the aid of foreign donor support. It’s the model that can see the nearly 8000 kids in these homes that have direct or indirect family returned with financial support, professional monitoring and guidance, to their families. It’s the model UNICEF supports. It’s our model. April 28 2015: The day Nepal will never forget. A day the world sat up and watched, as one of Asia’s poorest countries was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated Kathmandu and surrounding villages. After shocks lasted for days and world media was filled with pictures and reports of massive damage to property and of death, injury and personal suffering being heaped on a country least able to absorb it. We all saw the pictures. We all saw the news. It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like to be there. In Kathmandu, families huddled together in tent villages for fear of aftershock damage for weeks. All of this at the start of monsoon season and in stifling humidity. Hospitals couldn’t possibly have coped. In many of the remote regions of the Himalayas tiny villages were simply wiped away. If the village did survive, livelihoods were lost as stock and pastures were destroyed. The entire country felt some effect and those effects are ongoing and long term. Tourism is Nepal’s second biggest contributor to national income. You can imagine what this event has done to Nepalese tourism. Full recovery will take many years. When the quake hit, your committee, led by Andrea Nave our CEO, immediately started to work to ensure the safety of our children and their families and that of our team on the ground. I have to mention here the incredible Anju Pun, our country director in Nepal. Anju and her husband Manjit run a family guesthouse in Kathmandu where we have stayed for the past 8 years. This guesthouse is a home to Anju’s immediate and extended family. And of course it’s their business, a business based entirely on trekking
and travellers income. When the quake hit, the guesthouse building only two doors away collapsed, totally destroyed. Most of the buildings in the surrounds suffered total or partial damage. Many were uninhabitable and still are. Through all this, Anju kept working with Andrea, together trying to do all they could for our girls. That Anju could keep going, knowing that her own life was rocked and was now going to be more difficult in any number of ways is a testament to her. I, on the behalf of your committee, offer my profound admiration and thanks to Anju and to Manjit. Those thanks go just as greatly to Andrea who worked tirelessly and burned the midnight oil for weeks, constantly communicating to Anju and our THIS team to ensure FMN was providing the right assistance from Australia. It was obvious that fundraising would need to start in earnest. Over the next two weeks your committee conducted 2 dozen radio and newspaper interviews as Queensland clambered to hear what was happening on the ground and how they could help. Fundraising programs were started by local media. TV ads were produced and run. A Night in Nepal was organised within 10 days of the quake, supported by 150 local Eumundi residents. Twenty-five McDonald’s restaurants throughout Qld, ACT and NSW raised funds during the month of May. In the end we raised in excess of $150,000 in 6 weeks. The Namaste Nepal Dinner at FLOCK Lismore amongst many others. There was no marquee donation. No one wrote a $50k cheque. It was the combined generosity of thousands of like-minded people all pitching in and giving what they could. These funds have been essential in our post-quake assistance to the people of Kathmandu. Andrea, Anju and THIS worked in collaboration with the other major international aid agencies to ensure aid efforts were constructive. Our specialty is child welfare so our first job was to assist with locating lost children and reuniting with families. We have since rescued 25 children from atrocious conditions in illegal orphanages as a flood of earthquake “orphans” began. These children are now being assessed counselled and reunited with family, once again under the guidance of FMN and THIS. Many are traumatised by what they have seen, the conditions thrust upon them, and how they were treated. It’s unfortunate that traffickers would see this disaster as an opportunity to profit, but we knew they would. We also have sent supplies of tents, bedding emergency shelters and water for emergency care. I said at the time the funds were raised, I can confidently say that the money so generously donated by you all will be used effectively, efficiently and honestly. It will make a difference to thousands of people. The Nepalese are stoic people. Beautiful of spirit and kind of heart. I know that if the shoe were on the other foot, they would be the first to help in any way they could. They will overcome this. Your donations help ease the pain a little and assist in the journey to recovery. In amongst all this, in early June, we celebrated our 10th birthday back in the town that started it all - the birthplace of FMN, Hervey Bay. What a treat to hear the speeches of the three co-founders Lars Olsen, Mietta Olsen-Wilkins and Kate van Doore as we came together as one. It’s good every so often on a long journey to hear once again why it was started at all. The inspiration of these three young Queenslanders will never be
Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
forgotten. Evenings like this take a huge amount of time to prepare and our thanks go out to many but a special mention to Jan Owen, who despite an already over taxed schedule found the time to help us out and did such a wonderful job as MC. In November, a small group will travel back to Kathmandu for our first trip post the earthquake. We will once again bring the girls together for a chance to share some time, laugh, gossip and dance with the sisters they lived with for so long until 18 months ago. We will meet with THIS and check in on the progress of our reunification program. We will also assist the serious business of rebuilding one of our original forget Me Not children Alisha’s village in Rasuwa, eight hours from Kathmandu. I know all are excited to be able to see first hand how FMNs work has benefitted those in need in Nepal and report back to you our supporters on the value the people on the ground are receiving for funds donated by you to us on behalf of Nepal. Fundraising continues to be one of our major challenges as it is with most small charities. This task has been made a little easier by a major mid year win. Congratulations and a huge thankyou to Kate van Doore on successfully achieving Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status for our charity after many years of negotiations and paperwork warfare. DGR means you can now donate to FMN and receive a tax deduction, which you can imagine, is a huge deal for you and for us. Well done Katy. In our ongoing efforts to raise cash, we have tried many new ideas in 2015. Christmas appeals, Text REUNITE to donate, Feel Good Flicks, Home for Life and more. Thanks to David Hay and the team at Kingfisher Bay Resort hosting the FBRC Chamber of Commerce long lunch, with the beneficiary being FMN. This event held last year raised over $6,000. I’d like to once again, congratulate Andrea on her management of our charity again in 2015. Andrea has put in an extra dose of sleep deprived nights this year as she has led the charge in Nepal post quake. Her management and support of Anju and the THIS team allows these guys to do their jobs on the ground effectively and without that conduit between Australia and Nepal, nothing of worth could happen. As always thanks to Emmalene Travers, Andrea’s valued colleague who is always there when called upon and has a huge heart to help those around her. To the 2015 committee Pete Mackay, Michelle Hay and Kate van Doore – thank you for your support and hard work again this year. No committee.. no charity.. no charity.. no assistance.. then what’s next? And thanks also to the Think Tank members Greg and Robyn Biggs, Wade James, Trent Harvison, Christine Jones and my wife Mel - a group we call on for input and support regularly. They are always there to help.
Craig Manley - Namaste
Annual Report 2014/15
Welcome Forget Me Not’s Annual Report for 2014/2015. This year we celebrated our 10th anniversary with a gala birthday party event in our founding hometown of Hervey Bay in Queensland. With 120 special guests gathered to celebrate, we looked back with pride at our history and our change. We took time to honor our 3 founders Lars Olsen, Kate van Doore and Mietta Olsen-Wilkins and their courage to begin something great. From the tiny seed of an idea has grown a vibrant effective charity that is making huge changes to children’s lives across 3 nations. It is truly remarkable and I am proud to be part of a greater good! In February this year we were also able to achieve tax deductibility for donations over $2. This will assist us in encouraging others to make Forget Me Not their charity of choice now and into the future. As you read through the details of each program that we offer in Nepal, India and Uganda, it is important to me that you understand that it is only with your commitment of time, effort and finances that we able to deliver such fine quality innovative and enduring standards of care to the children we support. You are the hero here. It is you, our supporters, donors, ambassadors and well wishers that keep our mighty Forget Me Not fighting the good fight that brings brighter futures to children’s lives where before things were uncertain and hopeless.
Our partnership with Toro Child Care Centre (TCCC) has grown in strength during the year with the appointment of new Project Manager Mr Patrick Ruhweza. Patrick comes to us with a wealth of community development experience. He holds a Bachelor of Development Studies and Masters Degree in Environmental Education (Environmental and Social Education). Patrick has worked tirelessly since his appointment to closely evaluate and assess each child’s situation. He is working carefully with families of the children to help strengthen bonds and build further parental responsibility with their guardians. Patrick has been instrumental in bringing together local rural village communities to work in partnership with identified vulnerable child headed households to create the ‘Home for Life’ Project which Forget Me Not proudly supports each year. You can read about the Home for Life project in the Uganda report. Melissa Faulkner continues to be a champion for children whist holding her full time teaching appointment in Uganda. Melissa works with Patrick to monitor the children and their grandmothers as they deliver the beautiful and compassionate Nanna Project so that children are able to remain at home and continue their schooling in the love of their family. This year our senior girl Lydia completed her education and vocational training with Forget Me Not. Lydia has chosen tailoring and design and is making her way in the world after many years under the financial support of her sponsors. We wish Lydia the very best of success as we watch her work her way toward the pride of self-reliance.
Fiona, Faith, H el
My sincere appreciation goes to each of you for choosing Forge Me Not to deliver your compassion for children. Your trust and belief in this work is humbling. As we look toward the new financial year I again seek your commitment as we stand together to raise our big voices for little ones!
d Abu know t h a t
are not alone
Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
India Our partnership in India with Lakshya Aakriti Foundation (LAF) is truly ground breaking. Under the directorship Mr Diptesh Singh projectHELP continues to produce incredible change to some of India’s most impoverished children and their families. Working with the residents of Kalyanpuri Slum in New Delhi, projectHELP delivers the Brighter Futures Study Centre as well as income generating initiatives for youth and parents. LAF has created a community where many are now living with opportunities for health, nutrition and hygiene where previously these things were not even dreamed about. To quote Diptesh, ‘Living a life in the slum Ande, there are no dreams only struggles for survival’ – Diptesh and his team are helping to create daily dreams and with growing interest and support we are witnessing real change for real lives. In early June however we found ourselves fighting for the life of a young girl who was one of our students at the Brighter Futures Study Centre in India. Her name was Sanjana. Sanjana contracted Meningeal Tuberculosis and required brain surgery to have a shunt implanted in her brain to reduce the swelling. Our call went out to you our mighty Herd and you responded generously. Raising over $3000 we were able to have Sanjana’s surgery and provide her with round the clock care and physiotherapy in New Delhi’s best hospital. Sadly after a long battle and many hopeful moments Sanjana lost her fight for life. The Forget Me Not family worldwide had held her in their thoughts and prayers proving that every child matters and each one is precious. In memory of Sanjana we are working to provide vaccination for the children of the Brighter Futures Study Centre so that this illness will not claim another. Forget Me Not volunteer Joanne Heath rallied supporters for our Saving Sanjana campaign and we thank her for her huge heart and being a shining light in the darkness for one young girl so far away.
Our children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity in...
Annual Report 2014/15
Nepal Our INGO Forget Me Not in Nepal under the directorship of Mrs Anju Pun has become more that ever a voice for children’s rights in Nepal. Working with the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) in Nepal our team has participated in the rescue and rehabilitation of 37 children from illegal orphanages and has successfully reconnected and in many cases reintegrated the children back into family life. 15 of our original 20 girls of Forget Me Not are safe and well at home with their families and with your support they continue to work hard at school and make their way in their new lives. Our in-country partner The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS) is a leader in the field of child rights, rescue and rehabilitation. The FMN/THIS partnership treats each child as an individual and ensures that each one in our care is offered individual support so that they find their way and have the opportunity to thrive. On April 25th a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. As their world shook so did ours. We lost all contact with our team and transit home and had no way of knowing what was happening. The hours dragged by and turned into days. Eventually we were able to make contact with Anju who shared with us the devastation first hand. Anju and her family had to run for their lives and had become residents in one of Kathmandu’s many tent cities. Our Transit Home Shakti Ghar had been damaged beyond repair and the children were in a field under a tarpaulin as the earth continued to shake beneath them. Our team rallied – even in the face of their own family strife and hardship. Each one went searching and making contact with the children and families of Forget Me Not. Each mission into the field bought news of another one safe, and another, and another. How could it be that Nepal had lost over 9000 lives with 23000 reported injuries and yet our Forget Me Not family had emerged intact and physically unharmed? It was a miracle!
As the days passed the public turned to Forget Me Not to offer their financial support and disaster relief. We were quick to structure our aid delivery toward women and children – unaccompanied children and temporary shelters for those who had lost their homes. You can read our Earthquake Relief Report included for an overview of what your financial emergency funds provided. Thankyou for standing with us as we stand with Nepal and help rebuild lives for children. Forget Me Not was there long before the ground started to shake and we will continue in our work long into the future. As ever my work as CEO with Forget Me Not continues to be a privilege and one that provides me with many challenges. I am continually in awe of the people that I work with. For their forward thinking and courageous hearts. It takes guts to do what we do in places that seem irrelevant to most. In the end I know that even if one young life can be helped, if one lost child can be reconnected to their family or if one child can build a dream that takes flight then Forget Me Not is working wonders! Yours in service, Namaste
Mel Faulkner, FMN Volunteer & Patrick Ruhweza, Toro Child Care Centre
All our children are in good health and are in school. Our children are performing very well in class as we make all the effort to improve the teacher-student-parent relationship. We are proud that we know our children and follow them closely to monitor their wellbeing and how they are progressing in school. In order to encourage independence and empowerment our boys and girls who are above 15 years have been encouraged to do their own shopping as they return to school or to do so with our help. Some parents/guardians of our children have been part of their shopping as well as visiting them at school. For example, the mother of Kevin, Jamima, Ian and Samuel as well as the grandmother of Mercy have always been invited to do shopping at the beginning of the term….they educate their children and we are supporting them. We are about to completely achieve a total ownership of the project by the beneficiaries we can now hear children being referred to as “our children” and not “FMN or Nanna children”. All the children are encouraged to share with us their dreams and we help them to achieve these through guidance, mentoring and discussing with their teachers. For example, Hannah whose dream is to become a fashion designer, after sharing with her teacher and the three of us discussing her dream many times, the teacher has already made recommendations of some colleges which she can join after completing her high school.
6 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
b e c f o o m s i ng a m ae
Prevention We operate under a policy of educating children within an area that is not far from where they are born unless the schools in that community are not good. We have managed to encourage guardians to visit their children at school so that they can monitor their education as well as creating and strengthening the bond between them. Parents/guardians are in close contact with their children and for those who are living in Homes and without a known parent/ guardian, we play the role of a parent.
We support the children with school fees and scholastic materials, our children are loved at their homes and this can partly be attributed to the fact that “they are not a financial burden”. We employ the services of a counsellor to support our children from time to time, we interact with our children and show them love. Today our children have changed from a state of “tears” to a state of “young boys and girls who are proud of their lives”. We have provided a home to homeless children under the Child Headed Household project in Uganda. We have protected the child, we have given them hope. “I didn’t know that I will have a roof for my children, I knew my life was finished when their father died” – mother to Beatrice.
Annual Report 2014/15
h t e m p l e devel h to o
We strive to p
s t o h f g i o ur c h r e h t il et ct
e in th
n designer fashio
or our children ng f
o v r e d p m h i ousi e va
Our girl Hellen was able to meet her biological 10yo brother whom she had never seen in her life. We managed to connect the two after we carried out an assessment last year which gave us links to her relatives. Hellen didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know that she had any relative on earth. We are proud that our girl is not alone. We strive to find relatives of our children and work to reunite them because we know that a lonely human being will live with frustrations and unanswered questions. FMN in partnership with TCCC Uganda conducted an assessment exercise of all the children under our support which up to now is being used as a basis for reuniting our children with their relatives. The contacts that we gather and a brief background of each child has remained an important guide.
o r t i s e s r i e h t to
it the h o m
In 2015, we were able to visit Nanna Project families and gather further information about each childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s situation and begin to develop action plans should something happen to their elderly carers. Understanding the background and future of these children helps us to support their needs and continue to encourage further independence among the families.
l i d h r c e n& r u o fo li
In August 2014, we carried out a fact finding exercise about our children mainly focussing on their biological/family background and origin. This research has helped us to engage the relatives of our children in nurturing them as well as connecting our children to their relatives. The research enabled us to connect Hellen to her family as well as Abu Mukisa whom the family thought had died. Some children did not know any information linking them to anybody that they could be related to. We are proud that we have some answers for some very difficult questions that would come with adolescence.
Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
Joanne Heath, FMN Volunteer & Diptesh Singh, Lakshya Aakriti Foundation
2014/15 has been a bitter sweet year for the children of Kalyanpuri Slum and all those connected to this very special project in India. While 100 children continue to relish the chance to learn and just be kids at the Brighter Futures Study Centre and great progress has been on the ground over the last twelve months, we tragically lost 13 year old Sanjana on the 8th of August to Meningeal Tuberculosis. Sanjana was an abandoned child and at 9 years of age, one of the first children registered as a beneficiary of projectHELP four years ago. Contracting TB in June of this year, Sanjana was admitted to hospital in a coma a few weeks later due to bacteria from the disease entering the membranes and fluid surrounding her brain and spinal cord. An infection resulting from brain shunt surgery a few weeks later resulted in Sanjana being urgently transferred to the intensive care unit at one of Delhi’s best hospitals for a second emergency operation. Given only a 5% chance of making it through the high risk surgery, Sanjana remarkably came out the other side of the ordeal and within days was conscious and communicating. She showed no signs of permanent brain damage had been given the all clear by her doctors to be transferred to a hospital closer to Kalyanpuri Slum for observation. A week later she suffered a brain hemorrhage that proved too much for her frail body and mind to bear. After such a long and brave fight, Sanjana passed away in the early hours of Sunday August the 9th. She was laid to rest a few days later in a beautiful Hindu ceremony surrounded by flowers, candles, her loving grandmother, Aunt, Uncle, cousins, the children of Kalyanpuri Slum and the LAF volunteers who had stood vigil by her bedside for over two months. Sanjana’s death was felt deeply by those who knew her and those who didn’t including Forget Me Not staff and volunteers back in Australia who raised awareness about her plight and donors around the world who contributed emergency funds to ensure she was able to remain in intensive care. Annual Report 2014/15
As a legacy to Sanjana, 100 children have been inoculated against TB and other life threatening diseases as part of an ongoing vaccine program. Since Sanjana’s passing, our Indian partner Lakshya Aakriti Foundation (LAF) have also developed a good relationship with a nearby hospital, ensuring that the children be admitted and treated immediately for any signs of serious illness in the future. We have also established Sanjana’s Brighter Futures Fund.
We had a very different feeling during those 59 days. We literally experienced the harsh reality of life and closely observed the thin line between life and death. Sanjana was brave, she fought like a warrior. She had incredible willpower; even the doctors and hospital staff were surprised to see her courage. But at last she has chosen to leave this world, leave her people, leave us and everyone else who has been supporting her. Excerpt from an email from Diptesh Singh Chairman, Lakshya Aakriti Foundation 12 August 2015
As I sit here on my balcony overlooking large houses, manicured gardens and spotless streets, the Russian roulette of good luck and the gift of good fortune become more apparent to me than ever. With Sanjana’s passing let us reflect on the fragility of life and how truly lucky we all are; and may the girl from Kalyanpuri Slum’s legacy of courage prevail long after her ashes have washed away. Excerpt from ‘The Girl from Kalyanpuri Slum’ written by Joanne Heath, FMN Volunteer
10 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
projectHELP – Kalyanpuri Slum, New Delhi projectHELP is an innovative trade, social security and environmental initiative born from a partnership instigated four years ago between Forget Me Not, Australia and Lakshya Aakriti Foundation, India. A community outreach program in aid of children and their families living in appalling slum conditions, projectHELP focuses on Health, Education, Livelihoods and Possibilities as part of a long term plan to employ parents, educate children and transform Kalyanpuri Slum into a humming economic market place and highly productive Self Help Group. Developed in line with the Indian government’s vision of a slum free India by 2022, projectHELP is a two year pilot project that would involve partnerships with handicraft companies based in East Delhi and Members of Parliament to change the destiny of slum dwellers in their constituency by way of quality education and employment opportunities. Despite the daily challenges facing the children of Kalyanpuri Slum they are in good spirits and class attendance has never been higher. Forget Me Not Australia continue work closely with Lakshya Aakriti Foundation to provide medical care, food, safe drinking water, clothing, adequate shelter, learning materials and informal education to 100 children as part of Stage 1 and 2 of projectHELP. Through the Brighter Futures Study Centre we also continue to provide a place for the children of Kalyanpuri Slum to learn and a safe haven for vulnerable women, the elderly and disabled to sleep at night.
Exciting developments have indeed taken place over the twelve months in India. Firstly, we are thrilled to report that projectHELP won the Social Entrepreneurship category in the Viridian Ventures BigB Business Plan Contest as presented by LAF Chairman, Diptesh Singh at the 2014 Vibrant Gujarat Financial Summit held in January. US$3000 prize money was awarded to LAF at a high profile media conference in July providing LAF with a stable platform and much greater scope to provide real opportunities and a livelihood for the parents of the children as part of Stage 3 of projetHELP. By attaining first position in the Social Entrepreneurship Category, LAF have also secured a place in the upcoming Viridian Entrepreneurial Spark program. Due to be launched in Delhi by the end of the year, this exciting initiative provides a platform for aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs to access entrepreneurship support systems through a world class business accelerator program. Empowering the parent’s of the children through skills training and employment so they are in a position to provide basic needs and a quality education for their children is the clear focus the India project moving forward. LAF are currently seeking to obtain government recognised skills training certification to help successful graduates of the Brighter Futures Training Program secure permanent jobs as part of Corporate Social Responsibility Programs in reputable handicraft companies in the future. Partnering with one or two other NGOs in the area who already offer vocational training programs outside of the handicrafts sector is a strategy also being considered in a bid to cater for a wider range of skills and interests, reduce training costs and build a larger support network on the ground to successfully implement Stage 3 of projectHELP as soon as possible. In other news, LAF successfully traced the family of a five year old girl in July at the request of Lal Bahadur Hospital whose mother had passed away suddenly whilst admitted. LAF have also been implementing a child trafficking awareness campaign and advising the children and their families of precautionary measures to be taken to minimize the possibility of any of the children from Kalyanpuri Slum being taken following a series of abductions recently reported in the East Delhi area. Prior to Sanjana’s admission into hospital in early June her Uncle, Devari had been caring for her around the clock for several months. During this time his small general store suffered and with 6 children of his own to feed, he began showing signs of acute stress and depression. Since this time, LAF volunteers on the ground have mobilized a micro finance style loan as seed capital and assisted Devari in re-establishing and improving his small business inside Kalyanpuri Slum so he is able to once again support his family.
Annual Report 2014/15
Our children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity in
Anju Pun, FMN Nepal
Visiting the children of Kalyanpuri Slum for the first time changed the way I perceive my world forever.
The convention on the rights of the child (1989) outlines the fundamental rights of children, including the right to be protected from economic exploitation and harmful work, from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, and from physical or mental violence, as well as ensuring that children will not be separated from their family against their will. Two Optional Protocols further refine these rights, one on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and the other on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
Witnessing the conditions & hardships these children and their families endure on a daily basis fuelled feelings of intense discomfort & anger at the injustice of it all while at the same time I felt inspired beyond measure by their resilience, strength of character and open heartedness.
Forget Me Not’s work in Nepal is guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its translation in Nepal’s Children’s Act 1992, Children Policy 2012, and a 10-year National Plan of Action for Children, Nepal 2004 – 15. New lives unfolding new dreams began from April 2014 onwards until our girls moved to their families and homes by the end of June 2014. July 2014 saw a new beginning in the lives of innocent souls separated for years from their families and communities. Time flies! It’s been more than a year that FMN traced and found the families of 18 girls among 20. We were fortunate enough to reunite them with their families after eight years of unnecessary separation. A new phase of work started in FMNs journey in Nepal – follow-up and monitoring of our reunified girls to ensure that they are happy, safe, resilient and going to schools. Our Program and Reintegration Team travelled miles in 10 districts stretched from central to the far-western region of Nepal to observe and support the new beginnings of 16 FMN girls. We spent almost one year monitoring health, education and wellbeing especially for those children who were rescued in November 2012 from MNBG.
Despite the language barrier and vast cultural difference that stands between us I somehow feel an immediate connection to everyone I interact with every time I visit.
Monitoring is an integral part of reunification process. Our youngest girl is in grade 5 and our two eldest have completed their grade 12 in Management – we are eagerly awaiting results in Oct-Nov 2015. One of our girls successfully completed Early Childhood Education and received her certificate. Another received Secretarial and Administration training and another passed her SLC in June 2015 with first division.
The children’s joy is infectious as we dance, joke around & laugh while their gratitude for the relatively small yet profoundly significant difference that together we are making in their lives, fills me today with an ever present appreciation for all that I used to take for granted in my life.
Five of our reunified girls were awarded distinctions in the Annual Results in 2015 and have made us all proud by doing so well in their education and indicating their adjustment in their new lives. Our highest achieving girls scored: 91.71%, 90.70%, 83.78% and 80%. During this one year of post reunification, our children have gone through a roller-coaster rides of emotions, tensions, fear, happiness, smiles but above all we have watched our children grow individually and socially, which makes us so proud that words fall short to express the contentment in our hearts. All children in FMNs care have showed progress in their health – both physical and mental wellbeing and the key reason being their connectedness with their siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, communities, friends, teachers and us for sure.
12 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
Prevention Our team works tirelessly to safeguard both children and families in the communities especially of rural Nepal who are more vulnerable and easy prey to child traffickers luring them to provide better education in Kathmandu and selling dreams. Our important tools are: 1. Educate children, families and communities through ‘Going Home’ and messages on post trafficking harms to children, leaving suffering families and victimised children. 2. Educate children and develop their skills that will help them avoid being trafficked (e.g., life skills). 3. Inform children not to drop out of school before completing their compulsory schooling, not to leave home prematurely. 4. Make our children and communities RESILIENT to take charge of their lives – connect them to social protection schemes, free education schemes in government schools, emergency toll-free child helpline numbers, community police, child protection officers, women development offices in the districts and villages. 5. Provide interactive sessions at the schools where our reunified children go to study including: child trafficking into institutions, sexual abuse, and corporal punishment. 6. Engage families in vocational training and give support to start a local business as a sustainable approach to supporting their family so they may take care of their children on their own. Our prevention strategy is to help build empowered lives and resilient families and communities to protect children. During the reporting period, FMN financed the education and family support for 23 children including 4 FMN girls living in Shakti Ghar. FMN invested in 6-months tailoring training for one mother of three sisters. She proudly started her small business in Balaju, Kathmandu in February 2015 and is earning NPR 9,000 per month - she is able to save money for her children. Our continuous monitoring is to ensure safer reunification and prevent children from being displaced, trafficked or removed from their families and communities. During the transfer of legal responsibility of trafficked children with their families, we engage the Child Rights Officers as witness in the document. This helps in creating a link between the family and the CRO. The CRO counsels the family and children about the harm of living in orphanages, child trafficking, child marriages, exploitation and abuses. We have a child care plan to support them financially by providing educational fees including books and uniform and monthly stipend of NPR 4,000 per child to keep family and children together. To reduce financial burden, we encourage family to participate in some IGA program. For this, we try to connect family in some schemes provided by the government. We also encourage and support family to take some vocational training or livestock farming. This is how we encourage family to be financially independent. FMN provides opportunities to build capacities of its human resources to enhance their skills and knowledge. Two THIS staff received ‘Effective Communication and Presentation Skill’ training in February 2015. Four staff from FMN and THIS staff participated in a study tour to learn from Bachpan Bachao Andolan and FMN’s partner organisation in Delhi, India.
Annual Report 2014/15
A clear bright happiness was seen in Santoshi’s face as I left her with her father, her brothers and sister. FMN Reintegration Officer
Rescue Two powerful 7.8 and 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on 25 April and 12 May 2015 killing more than 8,000 people, affecting two million children and displacing 2.8 million people (according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs). The earthquakes severely affected 14 districts in Central Nepal. The country continued to experience aftershocks recorded over 333 until 28 June 2015 (National Seismological Centre). The earthquakes left thousands of children vulnerable and easy prey to the traffickers luring the families with better education and selling dreams. The Nepal Government, CCWB and DCWB started aggressive monitoring of children’s homes and orphanages. District Child Welfare Board (DCWB) in Lamjung rescued 10 children from an illegal and abusive orphanage in Lamjung and FMN received them on 21 May 2015 with open arms and loving care. Another rescue operation was conducted by CCWB Kathmandu in Kathmandu and rescued 8 children from an illegal orphanage on 18 June 2015.
We interviewed the traced families, children, DCWB and Child Helpline in Lamjung to know the reasons of unnecessary displacements. The findings and results were eye opening and evident enough to add on to our mission to reintegrate vulnerable and displaced children to their families and communities and continue to be strong advocates for deinstituionalisation of institution-based care and promote family preservation.
FMN conducted the inaugural Reunion Program for the girls who grew up as sisters under FMNs care before being reunified with their families at all ends of Nepal. The first celebration was held in Kathmandu in October 2014. The second in April 2015 just before the earthquake hit us on 25 April 2015. The Reunion Program is a great opportunity for sharing their happiness and tears, hopes and dreams with each other.
Each child and their family painted a story with a mix of agony, ignorance, illiteracy, poverty, lack of parenting skills, zero knowledge on long-term harms of keeping children in an orphanage or child care homes, dreams of better education in cities, single mothers, and drug and alcohol addiction. The Lamjung Rescue of 10 children on 21 May 2015 revealed the case of operating an illegal childcare home and displacing the children to another quake-hit district called Lamjung. The owner attempted to use the children to get aid from the district government. He was caught with enough evidence to be charged and jailed under the Human Trafficking and Transportation Act. The Kathmandu Rescue of 8 children on 18 June 2015 painted a different aspect of how ignorance turned into a profitable business of running a children’s home. No matter how hard the operator defended that she was doing a social deed, the impact was observed in torn little hearts separated for years and denied of their birthrights to be raised by their families. After each rescue, FMN/THIS provided nutritional food, clothing, health checkups and psychosocial support. Yoga and meditation sessions, therapies using dance, music and art were used to release their negative energy and stress and build trust among staff. Individual counseling and group therapeutic sessions were provided to children to assist them to recover from trauma. This helps in next steps to start tracing the families of children, reconnection and reunification.
Reunion Program - October 2014 and April 2015
Reunification of 9 out of 18 children of May and June 2015 rescues Our Reintegration Team conducted vigorous family tracing, family assessment, counseling, support level determination based on family assessment, and then finally permanent legal responsibility transfer of each child to their parents/guardians with the respective Child Rights Officer of DCWB as a witness. Through tireless days and efficient team coordination, FMN reunified 9 out of 18 children from May and June 2015 rescues, who were displaced from Kathmandu, Humla, Kapilbastu, Baglung, Dolakha, Gorkha and Rukkum. FMN reunified 7 Children with biological family and 2 children into family-based foster care. Foster Care Practice is something new for FMN and was done based on the previous living relationship and arrangement of two girls with foster families keeping the best interest of both girls paramount to all decisions which affect their lives. 11yo Gita was among the rescued children from Lamjung district and was happy to join her foster family and join her previous community school in her village. We were astonished to see how eager she was to go back where she belonged. She helped us in tracing her foster family in Kapilbastu – 9 hours road travel from Kathmandu.
I’m a free-bird now!
One of our girls was all smiles at her farewell celebration on 12 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant Connected Family, Community June&2015 and said,To“I’m a free-bird now!” & Opportunity
Mid-term Evaluation of FMN commenced in 25 June 2015. We shared FMN’s journey of two and half years since December 2012 to mid of 2015 with key outcomes achieved with our implementing partner organisation – The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS). We proudly shared our mission in Nepal and were able to share the important and necessary work we have been doing which provided clarity for the perception of government officials towards FMN’s work in Nepal.
FMN contributed to NGNs much awaited report, “The Paradox of Orphanage Volunteering: Combating Child Trafficking through Ethical Voluntourism”. FMN is portrayed as a strong case study to show the reality of paper-orphans in Nepal. The report was launched on 11 December 2014. One chapter shines a light on how Forget Me Not shifted its mission from institutionalisation to family-based care. The report has shared FMNs struggle and battle to help rescue the 20 girls under its care and reunite them with their families.
FMN is part of the Alternative Care Working Group and has shared its reintegration program with alternative care for children in communities. We are also represented on the Protection Cluster for Humanitarian Response led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW). FMN joined in CCWB led ‘Tracing and Reunification’ sub-cluster under the Protection Cluster Domain to collectively address child protection issues – and to protect the children from unnecessary separation from their families, abuse, violence, exploitation and trafficking post quake period. We have shared the Lamjung Rescue case with broader Protection Cluster for Humanitarian Response led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) and UNICEF. ICRC approached FMN to learn about its reintegration work especially for children trafficked into institutions in Nepal. FMN shared its program with ICRC Focal Person. When money and donations poured in post quake especially for orphanages and child care homes in Nepal, FMN provided orientation sessions for individual foreigners and a group of social activists, journalists and professors from Hong Kong in June 2015 about orphanage trafficking and warned them on harms of orphanage volunteering. FMN/THIS Team works closely with 15 Child Rights Officers in District Child Welfare Boards and Women Development Officers of 15 districts where our children are reunified. Sunday Times of UK approached FMN Australia and FMN Nepal to investigate fake orphanage business in Nepal covering FMN’s Lamjung rescue case. The Lamjung Rescue Case was covered in local online media and FMNs mission and work in Nepal was also highlighted. News was published on how FMN/THIS are working to promote and preserve the rights of children and raise community awareness about the risk of keeping children in orphanages.
The event was attended by the Honorable Constituent Assembly Member Ms. Ranju Thakur, Mr. Krishna Prasad Poudyal, Director General of the Department of Women and Children, officials from the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), UNICEF, NGN, Nepal Tourism Board, Embassy of the United States of America, as well as representatives of the media and community. The rescues received by FMN post quake has provided us with enormous evidence to showcase the reality of children’s homes and orphanages where children serve as mere commodities – separated from their families against their will, abused, exploited, trafficked, money involved, and a lack of stringent child protection measures to punish the perpetrators. 16 out of 18 children from May and June 2015 have their biological families alive but were forced into orphanages with the promise of free education until grade 12. Greedy traffickers sold dreams to poor and ignorant families. Children were taught to call the orphanage owner ‘Baba’ (meaning Father) or ‘Aama’ (meaning mother). The children are well trained to introduce themselves as orphans. Our research shows that the majority are single mother families with enormous economic burden on her. Our study has flagged the issues of lack of birth registration of children, which affects ease of admission for children in schools and later in obtaining citizenships. Reunified children are enrolled in government schools but efforts are needed by Nepal Government to strengthen the community schools and raise the bar on the quality of education and facilities. Unfortunately many orphanage operators are safe from investigation or persecution due to political connections.
Annual Annual Report Report 2014/15 2014/15
Our Focus on Child Protection Forget Me Not has been working in its new capacity in Nepal since 2012 through its partner NGO, The Himalayan Innovative Society, to reunite and reintegrate children who have been displaced and/or trafficked into children’s homes and orphanages in Nepal. Forget Me Not strongly supports the Nepal Government in its deinstitutionalisation plan to reduce the number of children living in institutions and promote family and community based care in line with the Guidelines for Alternative Care for Children. Our Focus on Reintegration Forget Me Not’s mission is to ensure children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. Reintegration is key. Article 8.15 of Children Policy of Nepal 2012 says, ‘The Orphanage should be used only as a last resort’. 2013 State of Children in Nepal Report by Central Child welfare Board shows, about 16,000 children are living in about 600 registered Child Care Homes in Nepal. UNICEF estimates that about 85% of them have both or single living parent. Article 8.16 of Children Policy of Nepal 2012 says, ‘The state should find out the family of abandoned and orphaned children. If such families are found, it is encouraged that the children are kept within the family and the state will search a way to reintegrate children into the family through local authorities, government and non-government organizations’. Article 8.14 of Children Policy of Nepal 2069 says, ‘For Children without parents, or children with only one parent who are not able to look after their children, the Nepal Government should keep information in its database. In order to look after children, sponsorship, foster care, skill development and livelihood improvement programs should be promoted to strengthen families.’
2011 State of Children in Nepal flags that only 10% of registered children’s homes meet government’s minimal standards. Nepal signed United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on 26 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Toratified Be Thriving, & Connected JanuaryChildren 1990 and on 14Vibrant September 1990. To Family, Community & Opportunity
April-June 2015 | 1. Roll Call & Relief | 2. Rescue & Reintegration | 3. Reliability
The earthquake exposed 2 million affected vulnerable children to: higher risks of child trafficking inside and outside Nepal; unnecessary separation from their families and communities; abuse; and, exploitation.
Forget Me Not Nepal Earthquake Response
Two powerful 7.8 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes hit Nepal on 25 April and 12 May 2015 killing more than 8,000 people, affecting 2 million children and displacing 2.8 million people (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs). The earthquakes severely affected 14 districts in Central Nepal. The country is still experiencing aftershocks and has recorded over 333 up to 28 June 2015 (National Seismological Centre). This natural disaster severely impedes development of an economically poor nation like Nepal still struggling to build its Constitution.
1. Roll Call & Relief Transit Home Immediate phone calls were made to find out if the five children residing at FMN Transit Home (Shakti Ghar – ‘House of Power’) in Kathmandu were safe. The Shakti Ghar building had cracks in all rooms, which was further assessed by an engineer and found to be uninhabitable. The five children and two staff were moved to a nearby open space into a tent until a new home was secured for them. FMN moved Shakti Ghar to a new rental property at Mandikataar, Kathmandu (10 minutes walking distance from FMN office) on 15 May 2015. It was a difficult time for the children but they showed great resilience through the lows and exercised various coping mechanisms during this frightful natural disaster and crisis situation. FMN urgently required quality tents for temporary shelter. On FMN Nepal’s request, FMN Australia urgently coordinated with its partner NGO in India to deliver high quality tents. The tents arrived on 30 May 2015 and were immediately put to use providing urgent shelter.
Staff and their Families All staff including INGO Country Director Anju Pun are fortunate to be alive and unharmed. The quake flattened the homes of two FMN/ THIS staff in Kavre and Makwanpur. An immediate relief support request was made by FMN Nepal, which was approved by FMN Australia. Based on needs assessment, FMN provided NPR 25,000 to both FMN/THIS staff to help build temporary shelters in their quake-affected villages in Kavre and Makwanpur. “Everyone was under temporary shelters made out of flex banners and tarpaulins in open spaces. With every passing day, life became miserable with fewer resources and continual rains to worsen the situation. With no toilets and water, minds were gripped with fears of health epidemic.
The above image is a common shelter; I lived in for a month and I survived along with my family! I value my life and value each little thing that surrounds me.
Rural and Remote Despite personal hardships our team worked tirelessly to search for the reintegrated children in our care. They searched for and assessed the situation of six reintegrated children and their families in quakehit districts in Kathmandu, Rasuwa, Kavre, Nuwakot and Dhading. All children in FMNs care were accounted for except one child in Rasuwa district. Rasuwa was badly hit by the earthquakes with the majority of houses destroyed. We coordinated with the District Child Welfare Board to learn about Goljung village where Alisha lived with her family. The district authority informed us that Goljung village was unreachable due to continued landslides and aftershocks. Immediate action was taken to locate Alisha and her family in Rasuwa – a highly affected mountainous district, where entire village of Goljung had lost every home. No helicopters or rescue crews were able to reach the district. Mr JT Lama (experienced former FMN/ THIS Reintegration Officer) and a volunteer were engaged to conduct the search and rescue mission. After more than two weeks of trekking and perseverance they found Alisha and her family safe but their home was destroyed and livestock buried. It took more than two weeks time to understand and assess the individual situations of each reintegrated child in all the quakeaffected districts. An immediate relief support plan was developed by FMN Nepal, which was approved by FMN Australia and available as a direct result of FMNs Earthquake Appeal fundraising. FMN provided NPR 25,000 each to four of the families of FMNs reintegrated children to build temporary shelters in Kavre, Dhading, Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts. The need was great as their homes were all destroyed and monsoon season was fast approaching.
Annual Report 2014/15
The quake shattered my dream to move to our new home in May 2015. We had built our home with love and hard earned money and we were choosing wall colors for my 5-year-old daughter for her room. And the quake hit us shattering our lives and dreams. But I feel blessed that I am alive with my family to rebuild our dreams together.” Anju Pun, Country Representative, FMN Nepal
Other Emergency Relief On May 14, 2015 Rotary Club of Hervey Bay Sunrise donated 31 units of Family Life Straws water purifiers and 33 units of single Reusable Life Straws. These generous donations have been distributed to the families of reintegrated children, FMN Transit Home – Shakti Ghar, into earthquake ready GO BAGS, schools, FMNs partner NGO in India, a quake-affected girl living in care of FMN Nepal’s Country Representative and FMN/THIS staff based on need. Children living at Shakti Ghar were mobilised as volunteers to join the group serving foods to more than 500 families in a shelter in Samakhushi. They felt blessed to be alive and serving others in need. Based on CCWB’s request, FMN provided baby food for 100 infants urgently required in two affected villages of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts and mattresses for 100 families. The FMN/THIS Team headed for a mission in Kavre to deliver relief food aid to identified 20 families in Kamitole, Anaikot, Kavre and each family was provided with 30 kilos rice and 2 packets of salt.
2. Rescue & Reintegration
Emergency Reunification The FMN/THIS Team made rapid assessments at camps and hospitals in Kathmandu to identify any separated and unaccompanied children due to the earthquake. One 14 year old boy was hanging out with friends when the quake hit. He was severely injured, rescued and brought to Patan Hospital in Lalitpur. A Thai volunteer contacted the boy’s family living in mid-western Nepal. FMN told his family about the harms of child trafficking into orphanages and children’s homes. The family travelled to the hospital to take care of their son and FMN provided bedding and mattresses. The family was poor and there was a risk that the boy would be sent to an orphanage in Kathmandu. “Interestingly, the other patients and their families in the hospital room listened to the information and it cleared many of their doubts around orphanages and children’s homes.” Anju Pun, Country Representative, FMN Nepal
New Rescues On 21 May 10 children were rescued from an illegal and unregistered orphanage in Lamjung. After the quake hit 25th April the owner/operator attempted to use the children to get aid from the district Government. He was caught with enough evidence to be charged under the Human Trafficking and Transportation Act and put behind bars. On 18 June eight children were rescued from a highly profitable ‘Hostel’ in Kathmandu. Operators and children mostly use the word ‘Hostel’ as there is less or no stigma associated. No matter how hard the operator defends that she/ he is doing a social deed, the outcome is observed in torn little hearts sad and separated for years and denied of their birthrights to be raised by their families. Money, religion and the barter system of goods were used to help boom this illegal orphanage. Once families of the children were traced the FMN/THIS Team investigated the reasons for the their initial displacement. The findings were eye opening. Each child and their family painted a story with a mix of agony and ignorance, illiteracy and poverty, lack of parenting skills, zero knowledge of long-term harm of keeping children in orphanages or child care homes, irresponsibility, substance addicted parents, and struggling single mothers fueled by dreams of better education for their children in cities. To date FMN has traced the families of 15 children out of 18 rescued. All have been reintegrated with family support as per each family’s needs assessment undertaken by our Reintegration Team. FMN continues the search for the families of the remaining 3 children currently being cared for at Shakti Ghar.
Monitoring Visits The April earthquake did not stop FMN/THIS from conducting regular monitoring visits to reintegrated children in central, western and far western Nepal. These Monitoring Visits provided emotional care and hope as well as checking safety and protection. FMN is proud to report excellent educational results. Ruma achieved first division in her Grade 10 results published nationally in June 2015. Namrata, Babita and Jamuna achieved distinctions in their final exam results.
Communication and Collaboration During this time the FMN/THIS Team had meetings more frequently from fortnightly to weekly to track relief work. FMN continues to work in collaboration with coordinated efforts closely with CCWB and DCWBs, UNICEF, Next Generation Nepal, The Umbrella Foundation, Sunrise Children’s Association and other concerned stakeholders. FMN is a member of Association of INGOs (AIN) in Nepal and has been regularly updating the Mapping of AIN members’ relief work in response to post-quake efforts. FMNs role includes to assist the Government of Nepal Child Protection bodies, not to replace them. FMN joined the Protection Cluster for Humanitarian Response led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and UNICEF. FMN is an active member of the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) led ‘Tracing and Reunification’ sub-cluster under the Protection Cluster Domain. FMN works closely with the Government’s authoritative bodies (CCWB and DCWBs in Lamjung, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Dhading, Rasuwa and Nuwakot) to address child protection issues especially unnecessary and illegal institutionalisation of children. In the post quake crisis the Government of Nepal acted immediately by: a. suspending inter-country adoption; b. suspending registration of new Child Care Homes; c. ordering all new enrolments of children with existing 700 registered Child Care Homes must be approved by the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB); and, d. ordering local authorities to not place children outside their districts without the CCWBs recommendation. FMN kept the Government updated on the status of all children in its care and expressed its continued commitment to participate in necessary rescues of displaced and or trafficked, unaccompanied and separated children in the aftermath of earthquake. FMN is mentoring Swedish volunteers from Jyoti Lama Trust Foundation who have been supporting a Children’s Home for many years. FMN supported their case report to CCWB indicating that the children in their care were not orphans and had families. The oldest boy among 17 children is accused of relaying ‘inside information’ to the donors in Sweden and is not allowed back into the Home. The FMN/THIS Team has visited him and his mother to investigate and provide assistance to the boy to report to CCWB.
Education More than 100 families were educated and informed of anti-trafficking awareness messages to key affected villages in Kavre, Dhading and Nuwakot where children have been reintegrated. Our team distributed and read key messages of Nepal Government for affected communities to keep children safe with families and beware of the traffickers’ highly active post quake period. Our team coordinated with Child Rights Officers of quake-affected districts to relay information on rescued children and to also learn the updates of quake-affected districts. (image: At Kaamitole, Anaikot, Kavre district)
Fermi Wong and a team of journalists visited FMN from Hong Kong to understand more about orphanage trafficking and FMNs work to address the problem. FMN provided an orientation session on post-quake increase in cases of child trafficking into orphanages and institutions.
FMN will continue to reintegrate rescued children with their families and communities, advocate for the deinstitutionalisation of alternative care, and promote family preservation. FMN will continue to work in collaboration with CCWB, UNICEF and other INGOs and NGOs focused on child protection. FMN is researching the need to establish Child Friendly Spaces in quake-ravaged districts.
In early April we flew to Kathmandu to celebrate a special reunion with the girls who grew up together at Shakti Ghar. Then the earthquake hit Nepal, leaving hundreds of thousands of people devastated by loss. After working in Nepal for ten years, our office became a tent. We were overwhelmed by kindness and generosity from everyday people in Australia and abroad. Our number 1 priority was to find all of our precious children and their families safe. It took some time but each was eventually accounted for. Some had lost their relatives, homes, crops, animals and livelihoods. We then funded emergency medical care and helped other children, including those alone and injured in hospitals, be reunited with their families. We packed and distributed tents, bedding, food relief, water filters and cooking equipment to families living in tents. At the same time we had to find a new, structurally safe Shakti Ghar Children’s Transit Home, and we did (right). We could then provide shelter, love and care for more frightened malnourished children rescued from illegal and unregistered orphanages such as the one pictured (left). We have spent countless hours on family tracing and 15 of 18 delightfully magnificent children are being reunited with their families and going home. We could not have done any of this without the support of our donors, especially our Rescue Crew. We are creating a better world where children are thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. Our work is not done. Please keep in touch: www.forgetmenot.org.au Andrea Nave, CEO FMN Australia, July 2015
Annual Report 2014/15
Highlights Kate van Doore Secretary
What a year it has been for Forget Me Not! This year saw us celebrate ten years of helping vulnerable children. We also faced our biggest disaster in the Nepal Earthquake. The Nepal Earthquake tested our fortitude as an organisation committed to helping children. The crisis strengthened our resolve and passion to keep children out of orphanages and in their families. I have never been prouder of our FMN/THIS team in Nepal than I was in the aftermath of the earthquake. They were committed and diligent, and consistently placed the needs of Nepal’s children above their own. It was inspiring. Our projects in India and Uganda sparkled as more children and families lives were bettered through our work. Kids attended school, were vaccinated against rife disease, had enough food; parents were employed and able to care for their families; and communities were strengthened all through the work of Forget Me Not and our local partners. Each day I am part of Forget Me Not, I learn something more about myself; about people; and about the world around me. Each day, we do better together. I am proud to have been part of Forget Me Not’s beginning, and I am proud to still call Forget Me Not part of my life. This journey has given far more than it has ever taken from me. Here’s to knowing more through growing more - I can’t wait for the next ten years.
Pete Mackay Vice President
2015 challenged our hearts and our heads. Some little souls came into our care, others were lost from it. I often find it’s hard to put in words what FMN is all about. So I now show people this picture - a moment captured - where a mother is reunited to her child. This image alone conveys my feeling of why I’ve been part of this team for so long. This is what we try to do. And against many obstacles. Namaste
Patrick Ruhweza TCCC
My highlights of 2014/2015 have been: working with adolescents who are full of dreams and fantasies and carefully listening to them to help them identify their passion/ambition in life, engaging parents/guardians in the education of their children as well as creating a partnership with directors of studies in most schools where our children are attending school. I was also fascinated by the change in physical appearance of the people after a house had been built for them.
Mel Faulkner Nanna Project Coordinator
My highlights of 2014/2015 have been: moving to Uganda and being closer to the Nanna Project children and their families. Being a witness to the personal, social and academic growth within these children and their families is an incredible privilege. I’m forever proud of each achievement whether it be big or small. Working with Patrick, our Country Director to support the children has ensured we have a great team on the ground in Uganda.
20 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
Michelle Hay Treasurer
The devastating earthquake in Nepal on ANZAC Day was in every aspect horrific. My highlight however was being part of the Forget Me Not team that made a real difference to families in need, days, weeks and months afterwards, made possible by the assistance of Forget Me Not supporters in communities far and wide. Indeed this work continues to the present day, long after the film crews have returned home. Following the disaster we have helped many children who were facing uncertain futures at the hands of traffickers who swiftly moved into the ravaged country preying on vulnerable children. We have been able to provide aid, care, love, compassion, hope, education and most importantly reunited many children with their families.
Trent Harvison Think Tank
It was once again an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be involved with FMN in 2015. Seeing first hand how quickly management and staff mobilised to assist in the face of the devastating earthquake in April was awe inspiring. I can’t even begin to comprehend the suffering on a huge scale that the people of Nepal have endured. But with the tireless work of our valued partners on the ground in Nepal, we h a v e in some way assisted and alleviated the pain of many children and families. I continue to be inspired by FMN and its work, and am excited about the future direction of this small, but mighty organisation.
Annual Report 2014/15
Wade James Think Tank
The highlight for me was that we found all of our kids and they were okay. It was quite a stressful period for everyone but to find out they were all safe after the earthquake was a major relief. It was great to have everyone’s support helping us help the people in Nepal. The other highlight is to be celebrating ten years. It’s a big milestone and I’m pretty proud to be a part of Forget Me Not for most of those years. Little things like Pride of Australia helps you feel like you’re on the right path but achieving ten years and having the support we do along the way means we will be around for another ten years and more!
Greg Biggs Think Tank
Well, FMN continues to amaze and inspire me with the relentless work that has once again been carried out during 2014/15 in what I believe to be our busiest, most challenging, yet rewarding year! For Robyn and me here are the highlights during this period. * Diptesh’s visit to Australia in November for our Tangled In Green Function. What exceptional work he does * Receiving Andrea’s regular reports on each of the girls in Nepal as they adjust back into family life * Our Remarkable trip back to Nepal in April to be part of the coming together of the 20 girls * The total shock of the shear devastation that the Earthquake caused just a week after we left in April and the sheer relief knowing that all our girls and their families were found safe * Being part of FMNs 10 year celebrations at Hervey Bay in May * The unbelievable work that Anju and THIS continue to do on the ground given all what has happened with the Earthquake * To know we are now making a difference in children’s lives with the rescues that have been done recently * The continued passion and support that both Craig and Mel Manley continue to give * We say it every year, FMN would not be able to achieve any of this remarkable work without shear passion of Andrea our CEO (ably assisted by both Kate and Em) Who knows what 2015/16 will bring to FMN however we are sure that it will be more of the same, and we look forward to being part of this amazing journey!
Mel Manley Think Tank
Attending the Reunion in April and seeing how well the original FMN girls were assimilating into family life. The Resiliance and tenacity of Anju and team THIS under extremely difficult circumstances after the first earthquake and the second and the many tremors that followed in the months after... The work never stopped.... No roof over their heads, no power, no water , no fuel no drive able roads...children were still rescued and reunited .... Inspirational doesn’t quite cut it....
One day a woman was walking along the beach upon which hundreds of starfish had been washed up and now lay stranded on the sand. As she continued walking, she noticed a young girl in the distance, picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. She approached the girl, and asked, “What are you doing?” The girl replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. They need to be in the water, if I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “My daughter,” the woman said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference!” After listening politely, the girl bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then she looked up, smiled at the woman, and said: “I made a difference to that one.”
Annual Report 2014/15
Carter Cooper Realty | Go Girl | Ainslie House Social Club | Kingfisher Bay Resort | Win News | USQ Women’s Network | Mrs Christensen | Judy Bloom | Fraser Coast Anglican College | Olivia Hay | Mix FM | Aussie Home Loans | Janet Smith | Marnie Morris | Ellen Wilson | Tim & Candy van Doore | Fraser Coast Chronicle | Anita Baynes | Annie Mckenzie | Libby McPherson | FLOCK Espresso & Eats | Kate Rudge | Billy Healy | Ange Takats | Wandering Eye Camps Nepal | Sunni Dawson | Ebony Nave | Diptesh Singh | Anju Pun | Annapurna Guest House Kathmandu Nepal | The Himalayan innovative Society | Torro Child Care Centre | Patrick Ruhweza | DB Lama | Spill Films | Brittany Maynard | Lucy Perry | World Bazaar | Beach House Hotel | ABC Radio National | ABC Townsville | Sea FM | Southern Cross Media | Café Nourish Magnetic Island | Joanne Heath | JT Lama | Imperial Hotel Eumundi | Can you keep a secret? | (minimink) | Valerie Riches | Stephanie Ring | Christine Jones | Jane Furney | Mark Donnelly | Jo & Dale Stagg-Taylor | Claire Sanders | Kate & Andrew Curry | Vaughan Saunders | Ciara Shouldice | Rowena Jane | Ann-Marie Power | Joanne Heath | Chris Heath | Pete & Sally Mackay | Sarah Grealy | Anastasia Michailov | Stuart Redman | Maya Conway | Robyn & Greg Biggs | Rosalie & John Lewis | Cristina Davis | Kylie Bartulis | Dot Facini | Brendan Papavasiliou | Donna Baynton | Rotary Club of Hervey Bay City | Geoff & Stephanie Andrews | Sarah & Kym | Prezzies by the Bay | Candice Salkeld | Annette & Illea Cameron | Geoff & Souraya Thomas | Craig & Mel Manley | Justin & Liz Lemberg | Dina & Greg Jenkinsen | Trudy Schneider | Matt Fox | Sharyn & Graham Ambrey | Ally Schultz | Libby Raymond | Margaret Manning | Janet Venturini | Trent & Katie Harvison | Chris & Debby Cloran | Grant Vormister | Mel Cornish | Leica Burley | Tanya Stone | Stephanie Evard Williams | Dugne Family | Andrea Nave | Kate van Doore | Frederique Long | Robyn & Wayne Peach | Jason Wall | Bernard & Corinne Trafford | Summer Osmond | Aimie Fabris | Lindsay & Jenni Hart | Lynisse Ashford | Kristy Parmenter | Michael Druitt | Trent & Nikki | Ian & Caron | Gunilla Myren | Phil Wheeler | Bob James | Mel & Mat | Gavin & Jules | Renee | David & Petrina | Sacha | Deborah | Lisa & Ian | Jack & Sam | Hunter & Annabelle | David & Jan Owen-James | Genevieve de Szoeke | Matthew McCauley | Kathy Paget | Margaret Mackay | Michelle & David Hay | Joan Flynn | Stacey & Steve Van Der Wegen | Brian Jones | Vivien Downes | Robyn Graham | James Hargreaves | Gramae Pagel | Dianne Livingstone | David Reynolds | Julie Jarvis | Janardhan Prema Shanti Yoga & Meditation Centre | Bernadette Browning | Dawn Dwyer | Paula Bell | Bree & Everisto Moyls | Lesley Hunt | Claire & Sasha Saunders | Clarence Wilkins | Robin Sydney | Nicole Wood | Annabel Deuchar | Alex Pretorius | Amanda Tottle | Matt & Barb Underwood | Michele & Jeremy Harris | O’Brien Family | Heather & Garth Ussher-Giovannoni | Natasha Cross | Karina & Brad | Charlotte & Justine Blencowe | Joanna Giles | Karen Briggs | Judy Bloom | Kim Smith | Ros Vickers | Rosalie & John Lewis | Rachael Callan | Nicole Faulkner | Mel Faulkner | Joy Faulkner | Charles Frewen | Cheryl Kenny | Judy Bunn | Conni Sheen | Helen Singh | Pam Goldsmith | Cate Banks | Lucy Holland | Jeff Tan | Clare Francis | Amy Watling | Carmel Goldsmith | Brenda Cullen | Verna Walroth | Keegan Travers | Bridget Ady | Lori Boren | Justine Sharman-Selvidge | Audra Bosely | Amanda Scells | Sarah & Robert Grealy-Harkin | Lucia Tai | Joan McMahon | Sarah Jones | Maggie Hiddle | Helen Fry | Donald Peters | Katie Noonan | Lilli Forrest | Bronwyn Small | Maureen O’Mara | Marjorie Steinhardt | Laszio | Sheila | Tanya Stone | Patrick Campbell | Jan Bavaresco | Mark Ridout | Roslyn Fitzgerald | Anne Shepperson | Hannah Visser | Marg & Ken | Michelle Brice | Matt Brice | Emmalene Travers | Jett Emery | Millie Nave | Didier Nave | Ayumi Ohki | Theodore Cox | Kyna Morice | Margaret Powning | Jessica Hardy | Melissa & Shane Hunt | Liz Murnane | Suzi Bilton | Jessie Bloom | Kate Reardon | Paris de Guzman | Carmel Sauer | Lilly Bayeh | Anna Empey | Jo Evans | Therese Wilson | Alison Greenslade | Jane Muller | Jan Smolenaers | Greg Molen | Emma Cook | Anne-Maree Mahon | Amy Mazzarol | Adam & Hanne Kovarik | Dianna Dawson | Emma Smolenaers | Tracie Seagrott | Suzannah D’Juliet | Monique Bilsborough | Laurette van Doore | Paul & Lisa Nugent | Max van Doore | Riley Downie | Sue Hansen | Tim Kent | PnK Sawer | Les Hancock | Alistair Ping | Adam McKinnon | Todd Vickery | Wade James | Clive McKerr | Chris Dellit | Nicole Loeffler | Michelle Flynn | Cathy Russo | Stephan Onn | Karl Brosnan | Joseph Kirk | Paul Beck | Ellen Schuhart | Kelly Sivewright | Ray & Mary Langler | Shaun Rose | Troy Jennings | Nicole Modini | Peter Marshall | Sophie Hoffnan | Anouk | Buddie Henry | Brooke Holden | Katrina & Brian Moss | Anne Mackay | Astrid Wehling | Rhona Lawson | Abby Begeta | Tara Junghenn | Robyn McCracken | Leanne Wiseman | Georgie White | Susie Trumble | Krista Holmes | Deborah Brennan | Franki Birrell | Katie Ellis | Billie White | Alison O’Brien | David O’Neill | Elkie Hogg | Lucy Perry | Mark Wright | Sandra Kapfer | Saroth Am | Riannah Roach | Fiona Law | Deb Jeacle | Amie Fabtis | Geoff Thomas | Alexandra Economou | Rayna Morris | Timothy Axsentieff | Maxine Jones | Cherilyn Hewish | John Lewis | Alisha Cooper | Fairlie Delbridge | Anton Koutny | Matt Noonan | Anna Ferris | Wendy Steward | Susan Foster | Kathy Ferris | Hope de la Rosa | Jamie Sharkey | Jennifer McLean | Amanda Fuller | Lisa Bailie | Emma Isaacs | Gabe Sciarretta | Stephen Mazzella | Leslie Lyndon | Ray Miles | Rosie Peart | Victoria Hale | Tanya Potter | Susanna Dahl | Tony Bai | Larry Osmond | Greg Cooper | Jess Blomfield | Noel Browne | Jane Burns | Connor Browne | Jourdan Fairchild | Kim RyallManley | Noah Yavit | Mark & Kelly Roberts | Camille Watkins | Andrew Parish | Josh Green | Paul Nugent | Jason Berther | Sue Hansen | Greg Smith | Lisa Corfield | Emma Craig | Sally Turner | Susan Harrison | Robyn Peach | Ronald Simpson | Christian Bright | Joyce Turnbull | Jason Powning | P&J Carlon | Evelyn Green | Tony Spinks | Christine Potter | Kelly Rodder | David Andrews | Sharon Chant | Sarah Wettenhall | Sean Hunt | Kevin Komsthoeft | Peter Senior | Chris Biden | Margaret Butler | James Harris | Jade Smith | Tommasino Burgo | Nicholette Ambrose | Doreen Wright | Todd Vickery | Paul Rissman | Chris Baker | Gayle & Jim Allen | Tamara Piller | Denise Orr | Helen McTaggart | David Garland | Emma Robinson | Emma Cook | Robert Hazan | Tau & Nychelle Hanlon | Melea Lewis | Leah Steinberg | Jane Thorrold | Angus Grant | Janelle MacGinley | Sharelle Simpson | Peter Peterson | Judith Ronan | Cristine Davis | Gayle Bereskin | Joanne Taylor | Geradine Heath | Andrea Ehry | Nadia Young | Diptesh Singh | Peggy Druit | Dina Jenkinson | Sytara Anekamai | Laura Purnell | Jane Muller | Tino Reindl | Melissa Luton | Michelle Briggs | Linda Hellmuth | John Dowling | Shonette Bayson | Bradley Wall | Pauline Southerwood | Kyrena Ashford | Karen McBride | Bradley Murnane | Allan Adamson | Nicole Modini | Natalie Banner | Glen Thompson | Anna Webster | Melanie Cole | Helen Baker | Gary & Sue Smith | Damian Mullins | David Manley | Beate Stenner | Hunny Churcher | Mara Staffieri | Brian Reader | Lawrence Cremin | Linda Bland | Trish Costello | Lions Ladies | Amanda Price | Michele Button | Alec & Debbie Munn | Kerry McGuffie | William Laznovsky | Troy Jennings | Dermagraphic Impressions | Thanks to you all & so so many more…
Thank You 24 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
Annual Report 2014/15
26 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
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 incountry, raising community awareness and advocating for change as we learn.
Annual Report 2014/15
28 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
Dreaming Andrea Nave CEO
In my dream the children of Forget Me Not are growing not only in the physical but in confidence. Each of the children in my dream have a healthy life that is free from the ravages of constant illness, suffering and insecurity. I see children waking up from nightmares and being comforted by their families. I see each of them daring to voice their own dreams and with our support they are painting their own rainbows.
Michelle Hay Treasurer
I am dreaming of a world where children throughout the world are as worry free as my own. I dream of a world where all children enjoy safety, good health, security, unconditional love, a right to education and to freely pursue dreams. I dream of world where children are not persecuted, traded, mistreated and separated from their families against their will. I dream of a world where children are loved and nurtured as they all deserve to be.
Patrick Ruhweza TCCC
Am dreaming of children who are successful in life regardless of their background. Children who have developed self confidence and children who are treated with dignity. This is a dream that I cherish to strive for and to achieve as am serving with Forget Me Not. I dream of children who have used the sponsorship that they have received to better their lives. My pledge is to help the children aspire for the best and to make their support a meaningful gift that will not only help them today but also even in their adult life. In my dream, we are building a complete human being where support goes beyond finances.
Mel Faulkner Nanna Project Coordinator
I am dreaming of a future where parents stay alive and children are safe and content. I am dreaming of a future where all children receive quality and continuous education. I am dreaming of a future where children can dream BIG and where there is hope and where BIG dreams are attainable. I am dreaming of a future where the suffering of others is suffering of our own and we join together in humanity to care for and support each other. I am dreaming of a future where there are no earthquakes, fires, floods, droughts or disease, where human kind can flourish and nourish their own. I am dreaming of a future that is brighter, where children are connected, safe and thriving...
Wade James Think Tank
My dream would certainly be to look back and celebrate year twenty! One of the first things I heard when I got involved with Forget Me Not was that it’s a lifetime journey – there are times when you can put in more and times when you can’t… but it can’t be a part time commitment. Watching the organisation evolve and find better ways to look after these children and better ways to bring more people along with us to fund these things will help us get there. Changing as we learn more and more about our world and how we can contribute to making it better. I love watching and learning and hearing about it and helping wherever I can.
Annual Report 2014/15
Greg & Robyn Think Tank
We dream that all the children in Nepal, and around the world that have been separated from their family are re-united.
Emmalene Travers Program Officer
One of my top 3 favourite musicals of all-time is ‘Matilda’ by Tim Minchin. I first heard the song ‘When I grow up’ during preparations for FMNs 10th Birthday Party in Hervey Bay. The ever fabulous, supremely talented and incredibly generous Gunilla Myren worked with 40+ children from local schools to perform ‘When I grow up’ to open the celebrations (with special guest ARIA Award-winning Katie Noonan as Miss Honey!). The song calls for being smart, strong and brave. My dreams of a smart, strong, brave Herd working together to raise children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity IS our current reality. Thanks to the incredible and inspiring efforts of philanthropic foodies (like Grant, Mel, Matt, Sarah, Kym and Kylee), singers (like Gunilla, Katie, Mark and Andrea), dancers (like Judy and Junita), hosts (like Kate and Jane) and yogis (like Jo and Rowena) – and other outstanding fundraisers and greatest supporters. Thanks to our Herd on the ground in Uganda, India and Nepal – Mel and Patrick, Anju and DB, Dippy and Puja and their extremely capable teams working with loving kindness and advocating for child focused change. Thanks to our Herd in Australia with great leadership and mentoring from compassionate and wise women (like Andrea, Kate, Mel, Jan, Michelle and Robyn) and men (like Craig, Pete, Wade, Greg and Trent). And more than anything, thanks to people like YOU who believe every child matters! We are in good company Herd. Namaste. Onwards…
When I Grow Up Just because you find that life’s not fair It doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it If you always take it on the chin and wear it Nothing will change (When I grow up) Just because I find myself in this story It doesn’t mean that everything is written for me If I think the ending is fixed already I might as well be saying I think that it’s ok And that’s not right Music & Lyrics by Tim Minchin Matilda the Musical
30 Celebrating 10 Years Raising Children To Be Thriving, Vibrant & Connected To Family, Community & Opportunity
Online www.forgetmenot.org.au Email email@example.com Phone +61 412 739 114 Post PO Box 245 Corinda Q Australia 4075
Annual Report 2014/15