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THE MAGAZINE TO INSPIRE TAKING ACTION IN YOUR LIFE FOR SELF AND HERD BECAUSE

HERD MATTERS VOLUME 1 EDITION 001 | MAY 2013 | together our hands can help

Would you cycle 4300km for a

Finding Families.

BRIGHT ER FUTURE S Education Centre in India? Mother&Son

journey to

MT EVEREST

BASE CAMP Who’s on the FMN

THINK TANK?

yoga

How

gave me the

power

to serve...

Report from Nepal

HELP WOMEN care for their

ORPHAN grandchildren IN UGANDA

PLAN

RECORD

CELEBRATE YOUR NEXT

unforgettable 92 DAYS

PLUS: SPONSOR PROFILE TRAFFICK REPORT ECO VILLAGE UPDATE LEARN THE LINGO PROJECTS SNAPSHOT TICKETS ON SALE NOW | 8th Annual Gala Charity Ball

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COVER IMAGE Alisha was one of the first six children taken into Forget Me Not’s care in Nepal in 2006. At just 5 years old, she came to us from an overcrowded orphanage. She was a sad and uncommunicative little girl starving for safety and love. Alisha has grown into an intelligent young lady with a dry sense of humour. Earlier this year, we were delighted to reunite Alisha with her family. Alisha will continue to reside at Forget Me Not and will spend festivals and holidays at home with her family.

welcome to our herd HERD MATTERS Volume 1 Edition 001

First published in 2013 by the Australian Association of Forget Me Not Children’s Home PO Box 1223 Hervey Bay Queensland Australia 4655

ONLINE

www.forgetmenot.org.au www.facebook.com/forgetmenotchildrenshome

EMAIL

herdmatters@forgetmenot.org.au

CONTRIBUTORS Greg Biggs Matt Brice Eva Capozzola Rachael Donovan Mel Faulkner Trent Harvison Michelle Hay Joanne Heath Matt Hynd Wade James Christine Jones DB Lama Pete Mackay Craig Manley Andrea Nave Emmalene Travers Kate van Doore Jason Wall

We are delighted to bring you the first edition of HERD MATTERS e-magazine. Our goal is to connect with people’s hearts and minds through technology, words and images. We chose an e-magazine for two reasons: firstly to embrace technology and make it even easier for you to feel connected to FMN and our Herd. And secondly, because we believe herd matters!

herd n. A group of like-minded people coming together for a specific purpose.

Our definition of herd promotes inspired living, intrinsic belonging, contibuting community, and giving our best individually and together, in whatever way we can, to make the world a better place for children, and each other. In this issue our Country Director in Nepal Eva Capozolla shares the good news of reuniting children with their families. Learn more about our Nanna Project in Uganda. Yogi Joanne Heath shares her remarkable clarity of vision and action to greatly assist children and families in India. You may even be motivated to plan a visit to Mt Everest Base Camp after reading about Rachael Donovan’s journey with her son earlier this year. And much more... We invite you to submit articles, photographs, stories and ideas for upcoming editions and encourage you to share HERD MATTERS with people you care about. Until August,

emmalenetravers@forgetmenot.org.au


CONTENTS

2 3 7 8 10 15 18 19 20 23 24 25 26

Projects Snapshot Andrea Nave The Nanna Project Mel Faulkner Learn the Lingo - Swahili

Think Tank 2013 How yoga gave me the power to serve... Joanne Heath Finding Families Eva Capozzola & DB Lama Talking Tea Matt Hynd Traffick Report Kate van Doore A journey to Mount Everest Base Camp Rachael Donovan

Learn the Lingo - Nepalese Brighter Futures Matt Brice Child Sponsor Profile Jason Wall

My Next Unforgettable 92 Days


PROJECTSSNAPSHOT

UGANDA Our work in Uganda is to provide quality care and education with a strong connection to family. The children in our care attend boarding schools during school term and are reconnected to their families during school holidays. This reconnection to family creates strong bonds that will add strength and resilience to the children in their best interests and long term futures. For the children in our care who we have been unable to reconnect to their family, we have found great places for them with reputable organisations in Uganda. We visit with all of the children regularly and work with counsellors to monitor their wellbeing. We also provide families with small startup loans to begin the process of becoming self-reliant. The loans to start small business initiatives benefit families by generating income. As this income grows there is less dependence on Forget Me Not to support the children. Forget Me Not Family loans are a hand up not a hand out and can make a real difference to children to be able to stay with their family. The Nanna Project The Nanna Project in Uganda eases the burden that orphaned children place on elderly grandparents. In many cases there is barely enough money for the basics of life: food, shelter and clothing, as result, children are kept from school to help with daily chores. Sponsorship through the Nanna Project allows children to continue living with their grandmothers who love and care for them and they remain a part of their wider family. The Forget Me Not Nanna project provides quality primary and secondary education options for the children also the opportunity to go on to further studies or vocational training. Through sponsorship the children are given an opportunity to take charge of their lives with the power of education.

Forget Me Not believes in the strength of family. Across 3 nations we work tirelessly to nurture this fragile link that has been fractured for our children through no fault of their own.

INDIA Project H.E.L.P is Health Education Livelihood and Possibilities. Project HELP is an empowering community based project that will change the lives of 23 extremely vulnerable children and their families. These families are living in appalling conditions on the fringe of Kalyanpuri Slum in Delhi. HELP provides emergency needs with basic necessities and a long term, sustainable solution with the provision of education, vocational training, employment opportunities and access to safe, secure housing. We are working to open the Brighter Futures Education Centre where children can come to learn pre schooling education. Whilst preparing the children with basics literacy skills, hygiene and health care we will work to obtain the children’s birth certificates to enable then to enter formal schooling once ready. We believe that education is the answer to changing lives into brighter futures. Forget Me Not Fact: Our child sponsorship programs in Nepal, Uganda and India currently provides better lives for 96 children and their families – Forget Me Not style. 100% of child sponsorship funds reach its intended recipient. A fact of which we are very proud.

NEPAL Our project in Nepal currently provides for 20 girls. The children are provided with a safe secure home, nutrition, education, medical care and most importantly love. The children range in age from 10 to 17 years of age. Our current work in Nepal is in the area of retracing family for the children in our care. We work with dedication to rebuild the backgrounds of the children so that they may know their existing families. To date we have been able to find family connections for 11 of the children. We work to rekindle these relationships in the best interest of the children and their long term future. Forget Me Not has been inducted into the Alternative Care Working Group in Nepal. The group was formed by the Central Child Welfare Board, Unicef and Terres Des Hommes to create, develop and implement alternative care strategies for child protection in Nepal. The induction into this Alternative Care Working Group gives Forget Me Not an opportunity to make a positive impact regarding the rights of children in Nepal.

A fact of which we are very proud.

Our child sponsorship programs in Nepal, Uganda and India currently provides for better lives for 96 children and their families – Forget Me Not style. 100% of child sponsorship funds reach its intended recipient.

2 HERDMATTERS May 2013


THE

NannaPROJECT My name is Mel Faulkner...

I am 33 years old and live on the Gold Coast. When I was 27 I travelled to Kenya on a volunteer trip. Due to a political crisis at the time I ended up spending most of this trip in neighbouring Uganda. I started a project which today is part of Forget Me Not and is known as the Nanna Project. I often describe myself as a humanitarian peace freak, my friends would agree. I am an advocate for children and a better world. I am passionate about change and the rights and education of children. I am currently in the third year of a four year Bachelor of Primary Education. When I finish my degree I hope to work within vulnerable communities in Australia and overseas.

What is the Nanna Project?

The Nanna Project is an educational sponsorship program that provides access to education for orphans who live with their grandmothers and other special needs and vulnerable children in Uganda. Through sponsorship the children receive access to quality education, their school and personal hygiene requirements and access to preventative medical measures. The project aims to support the education of these children from primary studies through to vocational training, university and employment.

>

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How did the Nanna Project come about? Why are children living with their Nanna’s?

In 2008 I found myself volunteering and travelling in Kenya and Uganda. In Uganda particularly I was shocked to see how many elderly grandparents where responsible for the care of orphaned children. I was warned before I went to Africa that there was a generational gap due to HIV/AIDS but it wasn’t until I saw it firsthand that I really understood what this meant for people in these countries. In many cases elderly grandmothers had multiple children sometimes ten or more living in their homes. The children have become orphaned through HIV/AIDS or fatal accidents and others have been abandoned.

4 HERDMATTERS May 2013


Why is it important for YOU to help Nanna’s in Uganda?

The Nanna’s manage small gardens to provide food for the children in their care but do not have the financial resources to pay school fees or provide compulsory school requirements. I could see that if these children did not attend school then this cycle of poverty would continue. Before leaving Uganda in January 2008 three children who lived with their grandmother were sponsored and the Nanna Project was born. I knew that I would be back in Uganda in the near future and vowed to sustain the sponsorship of these three and to find a way to help others. I have seen the hearts of these amazing women who work hard to provide little for the children in their care. I have seen love that reminds me of my own grandparents when I was growing up. I know this is the best place for these children but we must do something to ensure their futures. Later in the same year I returned to live in Uganda for a year and my resolve that this was my ‘battle’ was strengthened. More children were sponsored and given the chance for a hopeful future.

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Who is your greatest inspiration?

It’s hard to say one in particular, but the thought that keeps coming to mind is Nelson Mandela and his quote ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can choose to change the world’. I feel this is the truth with all my heart, and always keep it in mind when thinking of what else we can do to promote self sustainable change with the Nanna Project. The focus is definitely education and we have introduced preventative medical measures like mosquito nets, footwear, worming to ensure that the children are in good health and limit disruptions to their education due to illness.

What happens when Nanna’s get too old to care for their grandchildren?

The fact that the Nanna’s are elderly and will one day be too old or unwell to care for the children weighs on my mind. Our commitment to these children is unwavering. We will do everything to ensure that they can continue their education, are safe, happy and well cared for. Where possible we would encourage other family members, aunts and uncles to take on the care of the children. We would continue to support their education and other needs through the project and their sponsors. Where necessary we would support the children into boarding schools to lessen the obligation of family members who would then only care for the children during the holidays. In cases where there are no other family members we would identify a children’s home that they could become a part of. HM

Can you help? We currently have a couple of sponsorship opportunities and are always looking for donations or people/groups to fundraise for the project. Funding outside of the individual sponsorship helps us to provide for more than the children’s education. Plans for future on the ground developments include: Tutoring for children who require additional academic support. Providing mattresses and bedding for all of the sponsored children and their Nanna’s as most sleep on mats on the floor. Fumigation of the homes as part of the medical prevention initiative. Where possible support the guardians of the children into income generating ventures. Providing knitted teddy bears for all of the children, most of whom have never had dolls or toys. We are arranging these bears through a vocational training scheme for adults with special needs so not only will the children receive a bear to love we are providing income and experience for other vulnerable Ugandans.

Interested and able to help? Contact Mel Faulkner >>> melfaulkner@forgetmenot.org.au

6 HERDMATTERS May 2013


Learn the lingo i l i h a Sw one moja two mbili three tatu four nne five tano six sita seven saba eight nane nine tisa ten kumi

Numbers above ten are said together 10 + 1 for 11 kumi na moja

10 + 2 for 12 kumi na mbili

eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty

kumi na kumi na kumi na kumi na kumi na kumi na kumi na kumi na kumi na ishirini

moja mbili tatu nne tano sita saba nane tisa

and so on...

What number is ishirini na saba?

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7


S E N O J E N I T S CHRI

CRAIG M

ANLEY

My wife M el committe & I joined FMN in e already 2008 insp in place, ired by th of childre hoping to e n less for make som passionate work o tunate th years exp f the a e differen n those in erience a ce in the our lucky s licensee in the Wid li v es c s o of McDo u e Ba nald’s rest ntry. We bring 20 Forget M y. I have thoroug a u ra n hly enjoy e Not, th ed my inv ts, the last 15 e diff & the ch olvemen ance to d erent challenges t with o someth it of the pro ing worth brings, the trave gress in l w hile. I am the live various p proud rojects w s of all the kids in the e have h elped m ake.

S E M A DE J

to be able ate enough un rt e fo r ye w la ork to provid hine Coast unfaltering w e r Th ei th t. I am a Suns en in nm ot safe enviro rget Me N a Fo d t or an th pp ve su to educating e hope, lo ring for and ildren with ca ch to le ith ab ve er ha ln ot vu eN unite them w that Forget M ination to re rm be te to de r ed ei commitment ur th I was hono eir care, and ith w d inspiring. ed an lv g children in th vo in in bl m joy to be is both hu Tank, it is a change. their families to the Think e ive for social ut dr rib d nt an co n io ss pa m asked to co ted by such people motiva

t enden indep rtunity t s e g r o n opp lia’s la am Austra now have a Tank and ve f o e k n I I li in o t . h a T ld m N so tea d th ed in cently am excite ls to the FM nthusiastic e lv r o v g lso in l 500km Havin f chains, I e and skil such an e a e r a e na sur my tim ngside perso Patients ere w retail ore of orking alo Minna wh cluding a a m m e o w iv n ts in FMN ela be ner to g ud to h my part raising even ustralia, M f what the me o r p y wit eo ver ’s A fund he sa . in aw rumbin kinson s and ging t in Cur ng charitie ds for Par Hospital. I’m rd to brin er pursuits a th rti e un suppo to raise f bin Wildlif I look forw ave in my o h m I d u s n le r padd a and Cur d so far a FMN a li e on to Austra ave achiev nd dedicati h a team t of energy n u o am

WA

THINK TANK 2013

PETE MACKAY

ANDREA NAVE

I first became inv olved with Forget Me Not Children hearing about a gr ’s Home after and plan to set up a home to care for in Nepal. The idea some little girls resonated with me. After attending in my family began itial meetings, to sponsor one of the first arrivals. be the beginning This was to of a beautiful conn ection to a face, a passion. I am the place and a Projects Manager of Forget Me Not Home overseeing Children’s projects in Nepal, Uganda and India. faces later, my pa Many ssion continues to motivate me to m a difference to ake the lives of vulne rable children.

8 HERDMATTERS May 2013

My passion first r over six years. fo the N FM ith w lved closer work with I have been invo sed d then ignited by es an itn r, w so ve on ha sp I l . nera w years back fe a of kindled as a ge we sit at vi th al n satisfactio ing in my Nep arded with the er w cause, culminat ev re ve en ha be d d ul an es saved able that I co ic sp de e s or er m many young liv ap war d newsp any battles in a nal TV, radio an tio na e et im rg are winning m et Fo im ok pr the bo ing written for ills into writing imagined. Hav ntly put those sk ce rectly to FMN. re di ve ds ha ee I , oc ia pr l al of % 80 te across Austral na I am proud to do Me Not which


N O S I V R ENT HA

EMMALENE TRAVERS

mundi. wn of Eu to d n a rl hinte Sunshine ine Coast ger at a large sh n u nd S s a u Man rketing a glorio from the d as a Program ns in Ma o re il a ti a a h c sp I fi ! y li o Hell loye y qua t. In m ntly emp and have tertiar rd elopmen re a v r e e u h D c g y in it m I’ av fit, Commun t-for-pro l e coast. H Coast no and a Masters in up and down th es Craig and Me , s it n iie o v d l ti o n e a u c m fe u Ed . I Eum oor involved reen outd f FMN by fellow to being time I sc o MN, F n rk h w o it ra w w d t g a of the gre was immediately ited about workin when I c I first hand d and ex Manley, privilege reat work year old son. ly g ib is d th re c e in wait to se h my 12 and can’t al in October wit p e visit N

TR

I have an innate desire to do everythin g in my power to ensure children (especially those not living with their families through no fault of their own) feel loved and cared for, that they belong, and that they entitled to make their dreams big and go after them. I care deeply because I was in foster care as a teenager. I care deep ly because many of my friends grew up without their families. I care deeply because I am a mother. I care deeply because I am. And I do. I am thrilled to bring my skills, experience and expertise to the FMN Think Tank.

The newly formed

Forget Me Not Think Tank meets regularly to:

KATE V

AN DO

oversee FMN projects, guide further innovation,

My pa ssio my inv n for childr en’s rig olv hts com every c ement in th bined e estab hild ha with li s sh th and the ir histo e right to fee ment of Forg my legal tra ining le ry ; and l wante et Me life. In d to Not. d an to b 20 nations 06, we opene e active in th d loved; to kn I believe tha e d our h t o and 75 decisio ear n makin w their famil kid Me No y g in th t is ac s later, I am s ts to 6 small eir own hieving gir o for the proud of wha ls in Nepal. Th t the te preciou am of F ree s child orget ren of our wo rld.

brainstorm ideas, develop strategic goals and support FMN operations in Australia & overseas.

Meet the team...

Y

A H E L L ICHE

ke a nd ma Tank a rget Me k n i Th of the ported by Fo utiful e part p b u s o t o b ea n d ilege hildre e and our tw gan five c iv r e p h t d f n lives o usband Dav ith Nepal be ting cited a ery ex ence in the yh m marke h tion w I am v r it e associa in tourism Bay w e diff y y n i e u M v Coast r . n e e r g in H raser ckson m a caree F e a J v , li d Q I n S . U fro ia a nally Not n, Oliv en I moved nal Officer, ts was perso e r ld i h o n c e i h ago w of Internat udest mome puters to th years m ro le o p o c r y ’s p e n m o e h t f ldr eo lap to t ot Chi nated us. On Camp nting 10 do orget Me N epal. F N prese andu, ving in girls li me in Kathm Ho

M

GREG BIGGS

ORE

I was born and raised in Nambour on the Sunshine Coast where I finished High School, and then was involved in the Ret ail Travel Business for 20 years. For the past 15 years I have been a McDo nald’s Franchisee, still lucky enough to be located on the Sunshine Coast. My wife Robyn and I have 2 adu lt sons who both are cur rently living in Toronto, Canada. I have been fortunate to be abl e to travel to Nepal twice to see the girls, and that has reinfor ced my commitment to be involved with this wonderful charity called Forget Me Not.


How yoga

powerto serve...

gave me the

Photograph by Peter Meyer

10 HERDMATTERS May 2013

By Joanne Heath


It’s 10 years since I wrote “Nine Months in a Yoga Bubble” for Australian Yoga Life – the story of my transition from corporate life in Sydney to the beaches of Byron Bay to study yoga. Back then, I had no idea how rewarding and challenging that decision would prove to be. Maybe ignorance serves a greater purpose sometimes. The more time I spent on my mat over the years, the more compelled I felt to serve others, and doors leading to a life filled with purpose and passion started to open. I was a woman on a quest for a life more meaningful. I still am. This is my story. More than 1,200 hours of study and practice during my 2002 yoga course transformed me physically and emotionally. After graduating, I returned to Sydney, moved into a small apartment and set about completing a small business course and starting my own yoga teaching and personal training business. However, nine months of intensive yoga had made my body and mind extremely sensitive. I tried to adapt to the working week without a 9-to-5 structure or regular pay cheque, but soon felt overwhelmed by the job ahead. My life was out of balance, and within six months, my regular yoga and meditation practice had slipped away. The friends with whom I had forged a deep connection during the teaching course had returned overseas and I missed them dearly. Within eight months I felt completely lost, and fatigue began to haunt my days. By Christmas 2003, I left Sydney for the Sunshine Coast to rest and be closer to my family. One morning I woke up with the urge to go to Ireland – for no other reason than a love of the Irish sense of humour. With Europe in the throes of winter, this clearly wasn’t a rational move – but logic rarely comes into the equation when you’re feeling so low. I spent my first few nights in a backpacker hostel searching for better accommodation, the right studio to reignite my practice and somebody to make me laugh. I was looking for work online when a teaching position on a yoga retreat in Italy caught my attention. At that time the warmth of Italy seemed far more appealing than the long Irish winter ahead of me, so I applied for the job. Two months later, I found myself in the medieval village of Casperia, nestled in the Sabine hills 50 km north-east of Rome. Only a thousand souls slept in this incredible place – and suddenly I was one of them. I remember my first night vividly, sitting on the balcony of what was to be my home for the next five months. Migrating swallows bound for Africa filled the skies, and for hours I would lie on my balcony watching the clouds create masterpieces on a pale blue canvas. As night fell, the sound of distant cow bells ringing, dogs barking or the village choir singing would send me to sleep. I was practicing and teaching

every morning in a beautifully converted horse stable, bathed in light from the reflection of intricately stained glass windows. It felt more like a sacred ceremony than a yoga practice. I cherished the time spent with my students and began to understand the power of yoga and what a privilege it is to teach. What’s more, I had no access to English media and loved the simplicity of life in Italy. A gift given to me when I needed it the most, Casperia healed my soul and opened my heart. My confidence was back and I had a fresh perspective on life. I could easily have stayed in Italy, but my contract was up and I was ready to return to Australia to pursue my dream of opening a yoga spa. I moved to the Sunshine Coast, and after eight months of yoga teaching, I sat my first Vipassana meditation course. I had always been fascinated by the mechanics of the mind, so learning through direct experience about the causes of human suffering and the path to contentment was a real awakening. I relished the silence, and learned more about myself in those 10 days than I had in my whole life by simply observing my breath and maintaining a sense of equilibrium as I experienced different physical sensations. Alongside intense physical pain, I felt moments of absolute peace and contentment. I began to appreciate the vast potential of my mind and what it’s like to feel pure joy. Nightly discourses based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha resonated with me on every level, and by the end of the course I felt like I could tackle anything life threw at me. I decided to travel to India. I arrived in Bangalore and boarded a local bus bound for the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore. It was during our first toilet stop that I became acutely aware of how tough low-budget travel in India was going to be. However, I was determined to enjoy every minute, and chose to put things that would normally repulse, frustrate or upset me down to being part of the ‘India experience’. I immersed myself in practicing and studying yoga, feeling privileged to experience the teachings of yoga masters who had so profoundly influenced my journey thus far. After a month at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, I nervously flew to the holy city of Varanasi amidst recent reports of terrorist bombings. A chain of serendipitous events just before leaving Varanasi led to my enrolment in a Postgraduate Diploma in Indian Philosophy and Religion, and a Diploma in Yoga, at the world renowned Banaras Hindu University. I loved my life as a student in India. The only Westerner in a class of Buddhist monks, I practiced for hours on my rooftop as the sun rose, lost myself in countless books and became fascinated by seeing what I had learned in class play out in daily life. I was welcomed into the home

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>>>

11


of an Indian family. A Brahmin priest and a Sannyasin became my friends. I completed my exams and, with an almost-expired visa, it was time to leave my beloved India. I sat on the balcony of my favourite café overlooking the mighty Ganges, reflecting on my life over the last 18 magical months. I loved the simplicity and spirituality of my life in India and knew this is what I would miss the most. Trying to fit back into the Australian way of life after all my experiences in India seemed futile. Living amongst poverty for so long had fundamentally changed the way I saw the world and I found myself in constant conflict. I needed a new challenge. A few months later I received the opportunity to volunteer at a Ugandan orphanage. What transpired over the next five months changed the course of my life. I arrived in the Ugandan city of Kampala to find a room full of children sleeping on the floor, with no mosquito nets, in a half-built house next to a swamp. Some of the children had endured more pain and hardship than I could even begin to imagine. The youngest child, only six months old, had been dumped in a rubbish bin by his mentally ill mother. Twin boys were found roaming the streets; their father an alcoholic and their mother nowhere to be seen. A three year-old boy had been left on the couch by his father, who was never seen again. What’s more, it didn’t take

{

12 HERDMATTERS May 2013

me long to work out that the orphanage had never been registered and donations intended for the children were being misappropriated. Seeing vulnerable children being mistreated and used as a source of income was beyond disturbing. I vowed to do whatever I could to help remove them from the situation. After five months, I ran out of money and returned to Australia. In exposing those responsible for the misappropriation of funds, and with no board of directors in place, I soon found myself caring for 39 Ugandan children. Family and friends donated emergency funds for food, medical care and mosquito nets, but six months later I was running out of favours fast. The orphanage faced urgent issues including constant malaria infections and likely eviction because of unpaid rent. I took regular phone calls in the early hours of the morning informing me that “there’s no food for breakfast”. All in all, the responsibility of caring for so many children 12,000 km away was taking its toll on me. I wrote letters to children’s charities around the world; each letter a little more desperate than the last. I approached over 40 charities, but to no avail. A week before food donated by the World Food Program was due to run out, a friend recommended that I contact the Forget Me Not Children’s Home – a small Queensland-based children’s charity, committed to giving vulnerable children a future. At that time Forget Me Not already had its

Some of the children had endured more pain and hardship than I could even begin to imagine.

}

>>>


hands full supporting 21 vulnerable girls in Nepal, but offered to help by securing sponsors to cover basic needs and education for my Ugandan orphans. Amidst all this, I hadn’t worked for 18 months; I was broke and stressed. I took a job in Byron Bay as an English language teacher and set about staging the “Orphans in Crisis African Gala Dinner” to raise funds for long-term solutions to the children’s situation. With the help of the big-hearted Byron Shire community and a small but passionate team of volunteers, I raised over $24,000 in one night. For the first time in over two years I felt like everything would be okay. It was six months before I could return to Uganda to check on the children and lay the foundations for a relocation project. Soon after my arrival I met with one of the older children who was in boarding school at the time. I listened in disbelief as she revealed stories of abuse and deprivation of food as punishment by the very people who were meant to be protecting them. I spent the next 10 weeks speaking to witnesses, gathering evidence for Ugandan authorities and compiling my statement containing over 30 supporting exhibits. With just over a week to go, I was utterly exhausted. A few days later Kate van Doore from Forget Me Not arrived to help with the rescue and finalise paperwork to establish the way forward. From this the “Forget Me Not Families” project was born, designed to reunite the children with their families where possible and establish partnerships with two respected children’s villages to care for children with no traceable family.

I listened in disbelief as she revealed stories of abuse and deprivation of food as punishment by the very people who were meant to be protecting them.

Tears of relief fell as I flew over Kampala bound for India. My plan was to rest and stay with the family whom I had come to know well during my time at university. In typical Indian style I was welcomed with open arms, offered bottomless glasses of chai and fed copious amounts of chapatti. We spent hours talking in broken English about my time in Uganda, practiced yoga in the mornings and watched children fly kites against incredible sunsets from their rooftop in the evenings. The following day I returned to the beautiful Krishnamurti Centre in Rajghat, an oasis in Varanasi where I had spent many hours in silence during my student days. As I lay on my favourite bench by the river watching two eagles flying above, I reflected on how much my decision to study yoga had changed my life. On an overnight train to Delhi two days later my friend Diptesh (the son of the couple I stayed with in Varanasi) and I discussed starting a project to help some of northern India’s most vulnerable children. I flew back to Australia armed with a new proposal for Forget Me Not. We formed a partnership, and four months later, Diptesh registered a local non-government organisation called Lakshya Aakriti Children’s Home. In May 2012, twenty yoga studios around the world came together for the “Yogis Unite” appeal and “Project H.E.L.P.” was born - a community outreach program to help 23 children living in appalling conditions in a New Delhi slum. Project H.E.L.P has four stages – Health, Education, Livelihood and Possibilities. Empowering

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I am forever grateful...

women is an important part of the strategy in a bid to find a long-term, sustainable solution to the serious issues this community faces. My road over the last 10 years has been far from easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My yoga journey has taken me to the most magical of places, blessed me with unforgettable memories and introduced me to 39 Ugandan children who taught me what it means to be courageous. I am forever grateful to Forget Me Not for stepping up to the plate when all hope was nearly lost. Here’s to the future and all it now holds for the lucky ones under Forget Me Not’s wing in Nepal, Uganda and India. Forget these children? Never! Today, the Ugandan orphans are attending boarding school in their villages and going home for the holidays under the watchful eye of local authorities. They receive counselling, ongoing support and are visited regularly by Forget Me Not representatives and sponsors. Project H.E.L.P is in the early stages of development. Recently evacuated from their shelters due to drainage works, eight families now reside on the side of a busy road, with only a few plastic sheets between them for shelter. The children have no access to medical care and little protection from the burning sun, cold winter nights or torrential monsoon rain. They are severely malnourished and have never attended school. The families of Kalyanpuri Slum have struggled for survival over three generations; living in constant fear of starvation, disease, abuse and eviction.

14 HERDMATTERS May 2013

The children have had little hope for the future – until now. Stage One of Project H.E.L.P (Health) aims to meet their urgent medical and nutritional needs; and provide safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, shelter and basic training in health and hygiene. Stage Two (Education) focuses on establishing the Brighter Futures Study Centre from rented premises to provide a safe, clean environment for 11 infants and toddlers; along with informal education for 12 children to prepare them for enrolment in the formal school system. The Centre will also run vocational training for the children’s parents after hours. Stage Three (Livelihood) is designed to bring families confidence and independence by helping parents secure full-time employment or start a small business. Relocation to safe, secure housing in the final stage of the project (Possibilities) will give the children and their families the potential to live a quality of life they have only dreamed of. HM

Joanne Heath now lives in Melbourne and has recently completed her first book. She hopes to continue inspiring others to make meaningful changes in their lives and a positive difference in the world. Article first appeared in Australian Yoga LIFE magazine www.ayl.com.au If you would like to help the children of Kalyanpuri Slum by organising a fundraiser, making a donation or volunteering, email enquiries@forgetmenot.org.au or visit www.forgetmenot.org.au


Finding Families. Eva Capozzola & DB Lama

www.forgetmenot.org.au

15


“Where the vision is one year, cultivate flowers. Where the vision is ten years, cultivate trees. Where the vision is eternity, cultivate people” Oriental Saying

Eva Capozzola is the first country director in Nepal employed by the Australian Association of the Forget Me Not Children’s Home. Her work began in January 2012 and almost immediately ‘orphan’ children in our care confided they had memories of their families. When this was brought to the attention of our then partnering organisation they coerced the children to remain silent about their pasts in fear that if the children were to be reconnected, they would lose their funding. DB Lama is the Executive Director of The Himalayan Innovative Society, Forget Me Not parter and nongovernmental, non-profit organisation working in Humla and other districts of the Mid-Western region of Nepal established in 2003 to promote positive change in the areas of education, health, culture and heritage preservation, tourism and human rights and Child Rights. Together, we are finding families.

How did you find out that some of the girls had families? Eva: When I first started with Forget Me Not in the beginning of 2012, I visited the girls regularly to spend time and get to know them. As our relationships strengthened and I gained their trust, they began telling me details they remembered about their relatives and the places they were from. Initially it was just passing comments from a few of the girls. I didn’t press for more details right away, but over time more of them shared increasingly detailed information; some joyful, some painful. This helped us understand the situation and develop our strategy to move forward for their best interest.

16 HERDMATTERS May 2013

Why is it so important to reconnect children with their birth families? Eva: In Article 8 of the UN Convention on the Rights of

the Child, you will find it says that the right of the child to preserve his or her identity should be respected. In Article 9 it states that [all] shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will. Familial identity, and a sense of belonging are so important, especially in the cultural context of Nepal. For our girls, as they are growing older and into themselves, they have more and more questions about who they are, where they have come from, and where they belong. There is a strong child driven desire to answer those questions and to know their families. As an organization committed to child protection and children’s rights, it is our duty to respond to such desires and facilitate the process for these children and their families to know each other and move forward with their lives.

What is the difference you have seen in the girls who have been reconnected? Eva: Each reconnection has been so unique and so

special. Watching the girls meet their relatives for the first time in years is complete magic. These are the best moments of this work. I have noticed changes in many of the girls who have been reconnected. There is a palpable joy and excitement exuding from them, but there also seems to be a peace and calm. It is as if this empty space within them is starting to be filled.

>>>


How does it make you feel? Eva: With each reconnection, my heart breaks open

a little more. It is an absolute honor to be a part of a process that enables families to come together after so many years. Reuniting a family feels so basic, something at the absolute core of our humanity. It is extraordinary to be able to be a part of that and witness the impact on everyone involved

What is the hardest thing about locating families? DB: The hardest thing is the fake papers because

the actual information cannot be obtained from the documents provided. Because of this it is very difficult to locate families and parents. The second most difficult thing is the remoteness of many of the villages where the children are from. There is often little road access and we are dependent on irregular flights and trekking. From the social workers point of view, in most of the remote villages – there are not many places to buy food, which makes them dependent on the community to support them in their work. We have found that most communities are helpful. When we share stories about the children, we are welcomed and accepted by the village. In most of the villages, the parents have sent the children away from the home, and they think of us as their own family for coming to find them with news of their child.

Why do you think it is so important to do everything you can to find and reconnect parents with their children? DB: We must to everything we can to trace and reconnect children with their parents in order to respect the fundamental rights of the child, which includes the right to be brought up within their family, with their parents.

Children need love and care. The love and care they can get from others does not equal the love and care from their own family. That is why we try to find their parents and families. If that is not possible, we try kinship or other options within Alternative Care, including fostering.

How does it make you feel to be an integral part of bringing families back together? DB: When we actually find the families and are able to

reconnect them, we feel very happy. Once they are ready to go back to their family, it is a great success for us although it is sad as well. We will miss them, as they have become a part of our family – but it is more important and so much happier to see them returning to their own families. For example, 3 children were reunified last week after staying with us for two years. While leaving the home, one of the children was in tears. That made all of us, the whole team, very emotional – but we are very happy to send them home. We will continue with monitoring and visiting them regularly. We will never forget them. HM

www.forgetmenot.org.au

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The Australian Association of Forget Me

An

Not Children’s Home & SLURP Tea present

Unforgettable

Morning Tea

with Leneen Forde AC former Governor of Qu

eensland

and

WITH MATT HYND

Grown in the rare air of the high-altitude hills in the shadows of Mount Everest are the hidden tea gardens of the Himalayas. Legend has it that the Nepalese tea industry was founded over 150 years ago, following a gift of rare Chinese tea saplings by Maharaja Jung Bahadur Rana. So taken with the Rana ordered his armies to plant the saplings throughout Nepal. The first officially recognized Nepali tea factory was founded in the area of Ilam, located close to the world-famous Indian tea gardens of Darjeeling. Ever since Nepali teas hit the palates of consumers, there has been the inevitable comparison with their Darjeeling counterparts. Amongst tea sommeliers, Nepali teas are renowned for their complex, yet subtle flavour profiles upon brewing. If you are lucky enough to hold a Nepali tea leaf in your hands you would notice that the leaf appearance and aroma does closely resemble a traditional Darjeeling. However, it is the majestic mountains in which Nepali teas grow that separate them from their Darjeeling cousins. Nepali teas are typically grown at altitudes between 1,300 and 2700 meters. Due to the unique topographical and geographical conditions in Nepal, tea growing enjoys a relatively long growing season that lasts from Early March to Late September. Throughout the growing season in Nepal, the harvest cycle is typically divided into four separate seasons, or flushes as they are commonly known. Each flush can be thought of as a stage of growth of the tea plant which imparts its own flavours onto the palate. The first flush is often considered the one that leads the lightest and most delicate of brews, with small tea leaves; whereas the second flush typically yields a slightly stronger brew; the third flush is colloquially known as the Monsoon Flush, where tea leaves are harvested during the summer rainy season. The Monsoon Flush usually leads to a tea that has a deep, fuller flavour. Like its younger sibling, the fourth or Autumn Flush lends itself to a more developed tea, with a musty, tart flavour once brewed. In Nepal, the production of tea can belong to one of two categories – Orthodox teas and CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl). As their names suggests, Orthodox teas, are the most traditional Nepali teas in which the leaves have been rolled by hand. In contrast, CTC teas are mechanically processed and typically end up in tea blends or tea bags. Typically teas destined for the Orthodox tea market are grown in the high elevations of Nepal near the Himalayas, while those for CTC are grown in the lower regions. At SLURP in order to bring you the best possible tea experience, we only use tea sourced from Fair Trade suppliers and have employed some of the world’s best blenders to create teas that not only look beautiful but have tastes and aromas that you will not find anywhere else. We are proud to be one of the few tea importers in Australia that use Fair Trade suppliers. Our partnership with the Forget Me Not Children’s Home allows us to assist the foundation in providing vulnerable children with a future by empowering them with education and a bright independent economic future. We have been so privileged to

Forget Me Not

Kate van Doore & Andrea Nave

Raffles :: Tea Tasting

:: Delicious Treats :: Fa

shion

Celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dia logue and Development & the official launch of the new SLURP Tea ‘Forget Me Not’ Selectio n

10am - 12noon Tuesday 21 May 2013 at The Shore Restaura nt & Bar, South Bank

Forget Me Not partne rs with organisations, in Nepal, India and Uganda, on the gro und with local knowle dge and expertise to protect & provide for children, reu niting those we can with their fam ilies and assist with kee pin together. Our work is valued, required and ma g families kes a world of difference each day to hundreds of lives across three nations. We ’d love your help.

L Purchase tickets at ww

L

TALKING TEA

founding members of

LEGAL TALENT LINK

tickets

$45

w.forgetmenot.org.au/

tealaunch

work with FMN that at SLURP we decided to create a unique tea blend to celebrate the fabulous work they are doing. This Forget Me Not blend is be based on a green tea sourced from the Himalayan region and is blended with a green tea that has fresh herbaceous qualities enhanced by the delicate sweetness of rose petals with the beautiful spectacle of flower blossoms mixed throughout.

ABOUT SLURP Since bursting onto the Australian tea scene SLURP has created a phenomenal buzz with its funky tea blends, Australian made functional art teawares and our High SocieTEA parties. Thanks to our many satisfied customers, or as we call you - our SLURPers, SLURP teas have been featured in news and magazine articles worldwide – from the blogs of local foodies in Australia, to the glossy magazines in America, and the connoisseur food reviews in Europe. At SLURP our goal is to create a range of teas to make your tea experience as exciting, unique and entirely unforgettable.

forget me not

TEA SELECTION AVAILABLE FROM 21 MAY 2013 100% PROFIT TO

forget me not

WWW.SLURPTEA.COM.AU


K C I F F TRA

T R O P RE

By Kate van Doore

Child Trafficking. What is it? How does it happen? Why does it happen? When we established Forget Me Not to care for orphans in 2005, we didn’t realise it, but we were about to come face to face with the reality of child trafficking. Child trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation according to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000). It is insidious. It turns children into commodities that are available for purchase. It ruins lives. There is much research on the nature of child trafficking, however it is difficult to ascertain exactly how many children are victims every year. The International Labor Organisation estimated the figure to be 1.2 million annually in 2002 (Every Child Counts, New Global estimate on Child Labour) however there has been no substantive research on the annual number since that time. Given the magnitude of the issue, the discovery that the children in the care of Forget Me Not in both Nepal and Uganda, had been trafficked was not surprising. We knew very little about their backgrounds and history and for the majority of them, we had paperwork that indicated that they were orphaned. We were, however, surprised to find that the majority of the documentation was falsified. This made our children what are termed “paper orphans”, that is, orphans on paper but not in reality. You might ask why people would falsify documentation to make a child appear to be an orphan when they actually have a family. The answer is child trafficking. While Uganda and Nepal are on different continents, the stories of our children are eerily the same. In Uganda, we found that traffickers had gone to remote villages and offered to educate children by bringing them back to Kampala. They had told the parents and family that they would be able to visit their child whenever they wanted; that the child would be educated in a good school and that they would be allowed to return home for holidays.

In Nepal, the same story was played out. Except, we found that in Nepal, parents had commonly paid the traffickers to take their children to “school” in Kathmandu. Once there, the children were sold into institutions or into prostitution, or child labour. Imagine, sending your child off to what you thought was a school, only to discover later that they had been trafficked – sometimes to other countries as part of an inter-country adoption. Once the discovery was made, Forget Me Not began earnestly working with new local partnering organisations to find the children’s families. Tooro Child Care Centre in Uganda and The Himalayan Innovation Society in Nepal have been steadfast in their commitment to the children’s need and desire to know who their families are. Every child deserves to know whom they belong to in the world and Forget Me Not’s new mission is to ensure that the children in our care have this right realised. There is limited research available about how child trafficking can result in institutionalisation of children. As a direct result of this experience, I am about to embark on a doctorate that examines the basis of institutionalisation as a result of child trafficking and the intersections with the law. When I began this journey with Forget Me Not in 2005, I couldn’t have imagined that it would provide me with the opportunity to work for children’s rights in such a profound and practical way. I look forward to the next few years (!) of research and will endeavour to write a “Traffick Report” for each Herd Matters and share with you some points of interest and research. Kate van Doore is the Secretary of the Management Committee of Forget Me Not and a Lecturer at Griffith Law School. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts (Asian and International Studies)/Bachelor of Laws; Grad Dip Legal Practice; and a Master of Laws. She is intending on pursuing a PhD on the intersections of child trafficking, child institutionalisation and the law.

www.forgetmenot.org.au

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A journey to

Mt Everest Base Camp By Rachael Donovan, self proclaimed Australian vagabod currently living in the spectacular Himalaya’s in India with her three delightful children, doing applied research, working with marginalised women and promoting sustainable and responsible volunteering and travel adventures.

20 HERDMATTERS May 2013


For the past 2 years since moving to India, I have wanted and planned to do the Mt Everest Base Camp trek but never quite made it due to other work and life commitments. So when Ethan’s 16th birthday was approaching in January 2013, I decided to gift him (and us!) the trip of a lifetime! I always love to give my kids ‘experiences’ rather than ‘gifts’ at times of celebration. I believe it is much more meaningful and memorable and doesn’t add to the consumerist lifestyle I’m trying to avoid as much as possible. And most of the time it can be shared – so it’s fun for me and an opportunity to connect and bond with them at the same time. Ethan and I both love nature. We both have a bit of an ‘Into the Wild’ personality (incidentally he read this book on the trek!) and love camping, beaching, trekking, adventuring – anything that gets us back to nature. Luckily we live in the Himalayas in India so our home is surrounded by the beauty and magic of nature also.

So I knew that a trek to Everest Base Camp is something that Ethan would LOVE and of course I was right! Reaching 5400 meters, it was an 11 day, 75km journey at minus 10 degree temps through the highest mountain range on earth. And it turned out to be the most incredible experience for both of us and is certainly one of the biggest highlights and achievements of my life so far. I am honored to have shared such a journey with him and so proud of him and US. I created the journey as a type of initiation – a passage into adulthood. I know that 16 can be a difficult age for many young people, a time of growing up, figuring out who you are and what you want in life. You are trying to find your identity, fit in within your social group and develop your long-term plans. On top of that you are becoming more independent, gaining maturity and confidence, but still need the support and guidance of your parents, despite what you may think. It’s the ultimate time of self-discovery. So I created this initiation as a way to facilitate this important transition from childhood to adulthood. I wanted this experience to be significant and memorable for both of us. >>>

www.forgetmenot.org.au

21


And it was that and so much more. Being totally free from the distractions and responsibilities of work, siblings, puppies and normal every day life, I was able to reflect and share with him on so many topics, issues and achievements of his life. We shared ideas and philosophies on happiness, emotions, life pursuits, beliefs, relationships and love. We both were reading the Dalai Lama’s “Art of Happiness” and discussed some deep spiritual insights. On the other hand we had very humorous conversations about the psychology of Yak-cows (Yaks’ bred with cows) and the plausibility of many movies and superhero’s. Ethan spent a significant amount of time trying to convince me that video games have crucial life lessons that can help you in the real world (not totally convinced about this just yet….;).

We both shared our hearts and we connected and bonded like never before. He asked me all sorts of interesting and challenging questions, which I answered with openness and honesty. And we shared so much laughter and silliness – it was a blast! The journey itself though was tough. Tougher than I thought and requiring a great deal of mental and physical strength. It often took a lot of mental determination and courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Walking up hill at altitude takes 10 times the normal amount of effort due to the thinner air and difficulty breathing. We were intensely aware of the affects of Acute Mountain Sickness and witnessed 10+ helicopter rescues per day. And on our last day, Ethan did develop some symptoms of AMS, so we also got to ride back to Kathmandu by helicopter! But overall we were an amazing team. We encouraged each other, supported each other and looked out for each other. We put our health and safety first always. Ethan was incredibly patient with his considerably slower mother and very happy to go at my pace.

And we were rewarded with the most stunning views on the planet, experienced traditional Sherpa life first hand, admired so so many yaks, saw some gorgeous mountain Buddhist monasteries and experienced a wonderful and remote life many hundreds of kilometers away from the nearest road. Watching the sunrise over Mt Everest in the most beautiful snow covered valley was one of the most indescribable moments of my life. It brought tears to my eyes, left me speechless, gave me full body goose bumps and made me so incredibly grateful for being alive. The feeling was totally overwhelming! I am so incredibly grateful for the journey, the experience and for my incredible son who made the expedition truly unforgettable. And if from the journey I can share one important lesson, it is this: Get out there – live your dreams – live your life to the fullest – have no fears – do what makes you so happy with joy it brings tears to your eyes! Connect with your kids, take them places – show them the world – climb a mountain – challenge yourselves and look at life through the eyes of another culture. Believe in yourself, believe you can and commit to YOU! Nothing is more fulfilling and nothing is more worth it. This is your life – live it fully and passionately! It will be incredible, I promise you! HM

22 HERDMATTERS May 2013

Rachael’s Blog: www.beingiz.blogspot.in


Learn the lingo

e s e l a Nep

colours se-to white kaa-lo black khai-ro brown sim-reek red pa-hello yellow goo-laa-fee pink ha-ri-yo green pyaa-jee purple soon-ta-laa orange nee-lo blue


CYCLE FOR BRIGHTER FUTURES

Estimated

400 MILLION

children in India UNICEF Approximately

62 MILLION

under 5yrs are malnourished World Bank Nearly

100 MILLION

under 16yrs are working ECPAT Absolutely

400 MILLION

children in India deserving a bright future FMNCH

S E R U T U F R E T BRIGH WITH MATT BRICE In 2012 I decided that I would cycle solo across India. It was something I had never imagined possible. I had nothing to loose and everything to gain so I gave it a go. Over a 6 month period I cycled 4000km from Delhi to Goa. It was an amazing journey full of challenges and rewarding experiences. This was my first visit to India. I was blown away by the generosity, kindness and love which the people showed toward me. Later in 2013 I will be returning to India to continue my journey to give something back. This time for a purpose where my expedition can bring benefit to the less fortunate children of India. My goal is to Cycle from Goa down to the southern tip of India then up the east coast through Kolkata and on to Varanasi. A grand total of 4300km.

The expedition will be fully funded by myself with all money raised going directly to the Australian Association of Forget Me Not Children’s Home Inc. www.forgetmenot.org.au This hard working little Aussie charity will then fund The Brighter Futures Education Centre in New Delhi, India. The Brighter Futures Education Centre is approved for and currently in the funding stage. This is where I need your help! The Brighter Futures Education Centre aims to provide for children from the slum fringe in Noida, New Delhi. The Centre’s function is to operate school readiness programs for the children where they can be taught basic classroom skills, participation, cooperation, art, music, and early literacy. All the requirements to enter formal schooling. The Centre will also work with families and local authorities to obtaining birth certificates for the children in preparation for formal school enrolment. I think this Centre is worth 4300kms of blood sweat and tears to secure a child’s educational future. I look forward to your generous support as we work together for Brighter Futures for the precious children of our world. HM

24 HERDMATTERS May 2013

Facebook: Cycle for Brighter Futures Donate: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/matthew-brice


CHILD SPONSOR PROFILE Jason Wall describes himself as a 160kg arrogant, aggressive chef who has played rugby, footy, soccer, and rowed surf boats. The children, however, see him as a wonderful Uncle. Jason sponsors two children, one in Nepal and one in Uganda.

...at the very least, give the generations to come... the power themselves to make the changes they see fit... JASON WALL

This one time, at the pool I was, for a short time, a regular down at the council pool doing laps and training for an ocean swim. At the time I was doing a Monday to Friday 9-5 job and I didn’t want to join a squad or be a part of a club. I am no major athlete and was happy just plodding along happy in my own little world, doing things just the way I pleased and when and where I pleased. Coming together for a cause I met a young Lars Olsen, who was working at the pool at the time, and he told me about a trip he had done and his idea of setting up a meeting to get a group of people involved in making a difference in the world he had just experienced. I was not just impressed, I was inspired by this young man from, as I understood, a big and very family orientated family. A very loving caring and together kind of family. I was taken by his idea that he and anyone willing to come along on this, what sounded like an adventure, could and indeed would make a difference. Going along for the ride, head first At the time I was also doing a community radio program and Lars came in for a few chats and I was just so impressed by the determination and inspired to “go along for the ride head first” and tried to get involved in almost everything I could. I found it such a genuine and sharing cause, such an inspiring cause. My heart melted When I saw the first video of the first six kids that came into our care it just melted my heart and yeah… it got emotional. And for those thinking straight away it shouldn’t be emotions that drive someone to do this, rather, it should be a sense of justice and a sense of equality and the understanding of human rights. Those things became evident and so, so important to me the day I met the girls of Old Banesawr for the first time.

I have learnt The value, the need, and the requirement to share one’s wealth, luck and the benefits of their own fortunate life. I came into this world with nothing, I’ll leave with nothing and I don’t deserve anything more than any of the kids that we have the fortune to be involved with. Helping any way I can From sausage sizzles to poster delivery, from calling numbers at a Tombola to singing at a BBQ while cooking Brushetta, from helping at Black Tie balls to child sponsorship. Funding health, education & wellbeing No child deserves to, or indeed should, miss out on a childhood. For someone who is from a society that has processes, systems, policies and procedures in place to look after such things as health, education and wellbeing of children (regardless of their proficiency, reliability or success) and is so far removed from the world that these kids come from, it’s the least I can do. Giving more I generalise, we from the developed world are happy to have cheap adventures in far flung corners of the world without giving back or considering the effect of our constant stream of money, morality and desire to seek our own comforts and gratification. So at the very least, give the generations to come in these places the ability, education, and the structure from which to make their world a better world, their world a fairer world, their world a safer world and the power themselves to make the changes they see fit to make in the future. Don’t push our standards, beliefs, desires and requirements on to their life and their world. THANK YOU JASON

www.forgetmenot.org.au

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In line with the provisions of INGO status, we hired a Country Director, Eva Capozzola. In her first few months on the ground, Eva revealed serious concerns regarding the implementing partner in Nepal and after attempting to resolve these issues, Forget Me Not made the difficult decision to sever ties with them. At the time, we made the decision to prioritise securing the custody of the children over the land ownership. This was not an easy decision to make or path to follow. In November 2012, after several gruelling months spent working towards a solution, we successfully transferred custody of the children being supported by Forget Me Not in Nepal to our new local implementing partner, The Himalayan Innovative Society. Several attempts were made to transfer the land to our new partner, however as an International NGO, Forget Me Not has very limited legal authority to demand such a transfer between Nepali organizations. The ownership of the land was in the name of the former partner and though all avenues and possible options were explored and debated to compromise with them, the land has remained with them. Unfortunately, they are unwilling to cooperate for the implementation of the project. As the land was purchased for a social purpose, it remains that any project on the land must benefit the people of Nepal. At the time of transferring the custody of the children, a type of caveat was placed over the land to keep it secure against sale or any other project being established without the consent of Forget Me Not and the Social Welfare Council (Government of Nepal). Currently, the focus of the Nepalese Government and I/NGOs working in Nepal for Child Protection is deinstitutionalisation. As such, the Eco Village project is no longer the most appropriate vision, as it would perpetuate the concept of long-term institutionalisation of children. Remaining funds for the Eco Village Project have been placed on term deposit pending identification of another worthy project that retains the spirit of the Eco Village dream – to enable vulnerable children to thrive. The Eco Village dream may be behind us, however the exciting reality of reconnection of trafficked children with their families and supporting families through the reunification process is upon us. It is already flourishing and holds great promise.

J U L

The following page can be a blueprint for your next 3 months. Print & stick it somewhere you will see more than twice a day.

CELEBRATE RECORD PLAN

The management of Forget Me Not Australia worked tirelessly to realize the project, despite the various obstacles that were presented over the years. With growing uncertainty of the abilities of the partner organization in Nepal to implement the programs effectively, we made the decision to register as an International Non Government Organisation (INGO). This would enable Forget Me Not to have consistent presence on the ground in Nepal in order to monitor programs and further the Eco Village Project.

J U N

The project was registered with Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) and Forget Me Not prepared agreements and project plans with the local implementing partner in Nepal to be approved by the Government of Nepal in order to bring the Eco Village to reality. Between 2010-2012, volunteers on FMN/RAWCS visitors programs to Nepal undertook all tasks to prepare the site for development by clearing and fencing the property and constructing stone-wall drainage.

92 DAYS

unforgettable

MY NEXT

In 2009, Forget Me Not purchased land in Nepal with the dream of building an Eco Village that would provide a permanent home for vulnerable and orphaned children.

MAY

What’s happening with the ECO VILLAGE?

To achieve happiness, we should make certain that we are never without an important goal. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The idea is to map your goals for the next 3 months so that you can celebrate your successes and have a complete snapshot to guide your focus. Plan to go places you haven’t been before or a return to some of your favourites. Plan to spend time with people you love, people you respect, people you admire. Plan things to do that stretch your imagination and inspire creativity - things that make your heart sing. 3 months is a long time - be bold in your plans. Record and keep track of people, and things, and moments you are thankful for.

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. Maya Angelou

When we celebrate our successes we increase the likelihood that we will in turn celebrate even more successes. We can celebrate other people’s successes also. And be thankful for opportunities and experiences we have had during the 3 months. This time next year we can reflect and contemplate and dream bigger!

Habit rules the unreflecting herd. William Wordsworth

Be accountable & be proud, share your goals, success stories and grattitude in HERD MATTERS

26 HERDMATTERS May 2013

email words & pictures to herdmatters@forgetmenot.org.au


92 DAYS PEOPLE TO SEE

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unforgettable

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THANK

YOU


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Bundaberg Gympie Hervey Bay Childers

Noosa Coolum


HERD MATTERS | VOLUME 1 | EDITION 001