We love our mighty gold-giving Herd

On 12 August our mighty Herd expanded and WOWSERS we are grateful 💛

Thank you to everybody who joined us for a very special night hosted by The Funding Network Australia in partnership with Australian International Development Network.
 
More children are GOING HOME because of your kindness and generosity. When we returned Alisha home, after years of ‘orphan hood’ and family separation, her grandmother said it was as if gold has been laid at their feet. We LOVE our mighty gold-giving Herd.
 
💛 thank you 🙏 thank you 🐘 thank you 🌏
 

In case you missed it – here’s the rapid round up!
 
 

If you want to watch Andrea’s pitch in full, here it is!
 

You can read the transcript below.

Your donations really make a huge difference in people’s lives. Thank you. 

  

Transcript – enjoy!

 

JP: Our third organisation tonight is Forget Me Not. It’s a Nepal-based organisation that exists to prevent children and young people around the world from being displaced by investing in programs that keep children within their families and out of institutions. We’re going to hear from Andrea Nave, CEO of Forget Me Not. She’s coming through the vortex. I can fee her ready to arrive. There she is. Hello.

AN: Hi Jacinta, how are you?

JP: Good.

AN: Thank you very much for letting me speak tonight. It’s a real honour. I’d like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which I stand tonight the Turrbal and Yuggera people and I’d like to acknowledge their leaders past, present and emerging. I understand that this was and always will be aboriginal land that we stand on tonight.

Hi everyone my name is Andrea Nave and I’m the CEO of Forget Me Not Australia.

I want to tell you a story tonight about a little girl called Alisha. Alisha was just four years old when she came to live with us in our orphanage in 2006. That’s Alisha there.

We had supported Alisha over the years with love, health care, nutrition, education and a whole range of things to help her thrive. We thought we were doing the absolute right thing in providing care and a home for orphans – I mean, who wouldn’t?

One rainy monsoonal August I was in Kathmandu Nepal visiting the children, checking up on their welfare and their progress and so on.

And Alisha came to me with her beautiful brown eyes welling full of tears and she said to me, “Aunty please I want to go home – I want to see my mother and my father. Please Aunty.”

Man I was completely shocked. I was rocked to the core. You know this little girl was supposed to be an orphan without a mother and father. We had documentation, death certificates and birth certificates, all the necessary paperwork to show that she was an orphan. Somehow we had to find her family.

After a lot of heartache and with Alisha’s plea fresh in my mind, now we knew it was time to do better. We had to. We decided to turn our organisation around. We quickly discovered that all twenty girls in our care, not just Alisha but all of them, had families who could care for them. It was time to do better for sure.

We thought we were making a positive difference. We really genuinely did. But sixty years of research shows us that institutions harm children and that harm lasts well into adulthood. Often with irreversible developmental delays, attachment disorders, lack of belonging, poor relationships, when compared to their peers they’re most likely to fall into substance abuse, homelessness or even suicide. Now how is that fair? Research shows that 80% of children in orphanages have parents who could care for them if they were supported themselves. It was really time to bust this orphanage myth.

With these crucial pieces of information we set about to turn our organisation around. It took some time, some hard work but today we’ve changed our organisation from offering orphanage care to now offering support for families to care for their own children. Changing out dated and harmful systems. We’re leading the way with legal research, our best practice in our work is recognised globally. It’s evidence based and most importantly children are at the forefront. It is their rights and needs that drive our work forward.

We work with the Nepal government to assess and rescue children, to formally identify them and with careful planning and skilled case management, we bring them home. Back to family where they belong, and then with continued monitoring we make sure that they are safe and able to stay reintegrated permanently with their family. That’s where they belong.

You know our team of reintegration officers they trek across the country far and wide tracing family. These are three of our reintegration officers here.

They are armed with photographs and little snippets of information and they very, very often face very difficult terrain. Sometimes walking for days through all kinds of weather, even landslides, across mountainsides to the most remote places in Nepal.

It was in the remote Himalayan mountains of Humla, in a tiny little village called Rasuwa that we found Alisha’s family. We found them intact, mum and dad, siblings, all grieving for the loss of their child. You know they thought Alisha was dead until we came knocking.

This work is complex, it is difficult and it is very raw but it’s vitally essential.

There’s just 450 orphanages remaining in the country today with 11,350 children registered living in them. All of those children, we believe, can go home.

That figure of 80% of research shows that children have family – our work over the last eleven years working with over 717 children shows that number to be closer to 97%. That’s 97% of children in those orphanages can be at home. We also have solutions for the remaining 3% children.

Our work has impacted government, it’s changed laws and influenced laws here in Australia and overseas. Orphanage trafficking is now recognised as a form of child trafficking under international law. All of these massive changes and impacts, all because we listened to one little girl’s plea. Thanks Alisha.

You know when Alisha was returned to her home to her Grandmother she said it was as if gold had been laid at her feet. Can you imagine?

It costs just $2500 to rescue and reintegrate a child – to give them back their childhood and to rebuild a family. It’s a small price for such a massive impact!

You know $10K means profoundly changing the lives of four children, their family and their community.

$20K will deliver this chance for 8 children, and so on.

You know our team will not stop. They continue to find families under the most extreme and now unprecedented circumstances.

Tonight I’m asking you if you will help us change a child’s trajectory from unnecessarily having to live out their childhoods in an orphanage and to help us bring them home. With your help tonight we know it’s time to deliver more gold. Thanks for listening.

JP: … thousand. Are you there?

AN: Boom! Wow! That is incredible, incredible, incredible! We are mind blown. I am so very very grateful to everybody in this room tonight for bringing these funds together. It will impact children directly. I mean, I tried to get a Venn diagram together and you know our commonality is that we were all children once. We all know those childhood heartaches, and imagine if you weren’t with your family. This money is a game changer. It will accelerate our work so fast. We can now say YES to more and more children coming through our processes. It’s mind blowing, truly mind blowing. I can’t wait to get off the phone. I actually can’t wait to send a WhatsApp message to Alisha. I want to tell her that her story has moved mountains.

JP: Can you please send all of our love to her?

AN: I will. I’ll be passing that through, and I know my team have been sending messages through well-wishing for tonight, and I also want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. You guys are the heroes. Our local team on the ground have done incredible work. With all of your engine, with all of those funds pushing us forward we can see an end to orphanages in Nepal. Thank you so much. Thank you so very much.

JP: That’s a beautiful way to put it Andrea. Thank you so much for the opportunity that we’ve all had this evening and we wish you luck. We cannot wait to see some of the great stories that this funding will have and we, we give energy to your team to continue that work.

AN: Thank you, thank you so much and I will pass it all on. Our heartfelt thanks and Namaste from everyone Nepal-side. Thank you.

JP: Yes, thank you.

ENDS

 

 

 

 

 

Home for Life handover complete

We love good news!! FMNs Patrick Ruhweza reports from Uganda:

“Today I and Nambi officially handed over a brand new house to Miss T and her family. It was a joyful evening as we shared their joy. We were treated to tea and buns which we took in the new house. The family is so so thankful to the donors. It is as if a dream has come true. 

I am so thankful to the builder who managed to purchase all the materials and complete the house as we agreed. Including purchase and delivery of household goods. He is an honest man. Given that because of lockdowns, it has been extremely hard to supervise the build in person.

We signed an agreement with the family acknowledging Miss Ts stake in the house and the local leader wrote and witnessed the agreement.”

Click to learn more about our Home for Life projects. 

HUGE THANKS to Zonta Club of Caloundra City and everyone who supported FMNs Rally for a Reason and all of our Home for Life donors! Your contribution is life changing 🤩

Love makes a house a home!

Make a tax deductible donation today!

 

RISE: COVID-19 response & recovery VI

On Monday 26 July 2021 Forget Me Not hosted our sixth LIVE Zoom for donors and supporters to learn more about how donations are providing emergency relief to children and their families. We have uploaded the conversation here for those of you who couldn’t join us LIVE. 

Andrea Nave (Australia), Anju Pun (Nepal) [at 3:46], Diptesh Singh (India) [at 17:25] and Patrick Ruhweza (Uganda) [at 37:00] gave updates about FMNs ongoing response, predicted priorities and plans for recovery. 

There’s a great deal of pride and thanks for the incredibly hard work happening on the ground to make the world safer and kinder for children and their families. Thanks Herd. We love you!

Please keep asking questions. We love that you’re part of the ongoing conversation about how we can together raise children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity.

 

Your donations really make a huge difference in people’s lives. Thank you. 

 

Join us for RISE VI

You can hear first hand how things are going on the ground, on Monday 26 July 2021 when we host our sixth LIVE Zoom for donors and supporters to learn more about how your donations are providing emergency relief to children and their families.

Please join FMN CEO Andrea Nave in conversation with Forget Me Not’s global leadership team: Anju Pun (Nepal); Diptesh Singh (India); and, Patrick Rhuweza (Uganda).

6.30pm Monday 26 July 2021
via Zoom

Register now to hear updates about FMNs ongoing response, predicted priorities and plans for recovery.
 
Limited registrations are available to ensure productive Q&A.
 
This event will be in English and guests will be provided with a link to join the Zoom meeting prior to the event start time of 6.30pm Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Please check your local corresponding time before registering. Please also let us know if you can no longer attend, that way we can extend the invitation to another guest on the event waiting list.
 

Register Here


    FacebookEmail from FMNWord of MouthOther

     

    There are still hundreds of children in Nepal, India and Uganda we are feeding, along with their families and extended families. We can keep helping because you trust us with your donations. Thank you.

    We are so proud of our teams on the ground in India, Nepal and Uganda. They have been working around the clock to serve humanity with kindness and making the world safer and more nurturing for children.

    Thank you, Namaste, Merci, Grazie!

    The inaugural Forget Me Not Rally for a Reason car rally fundraiser was a fabulous family fun day!

    “From all reports and feedback it looks like everyone enjoyed themselves, exploring some great parts of the Sunshine Coast.  We were very impressed with the efforts people took to dress up in their whacky costumes which added to the fun.
     
    We are happy to advise that the event raised $13,651 which is simply an amazing, outstanding, fantastic result!!!
     
    The total also includes donations from people who could not attend on the day. Thank-you so much for your generosity, your support is greatly appreciated.
     
    We will be putting these funds to immediate use, assisting our families in Nepal, India and Uganda.
     
    Adding to the success were the auction items that were generously donated, and I have listed the kind donors.  So if you are able to support them in any way in the future, that would be great.
     
     
    1. Tony and Isabella Muller: Duporth Riverside Luxury Apartments
     
    2. David and Michelle Hay: Kingfisher Bay Resort
     
    3. David and Kate Price: Strategy First Financial Planning
     
    4. Kate Curry: Inchargebox
     
    5. Jason Crowther: Sunshine Coast Marathon 
     
    6. Storm de Smeth – Personal Trainer: Core Strength Fitness 
     
    7. Bernadette Travers and Pauline Southerwood: Labels by the Bay
     
     
    9. Calvin the Handyman – Sorry no website available!!!!
     
    10. Imperial Hotel Eumundi – Great venue for your next party.
     
    Also thanks to Maddison Kate for her soulful tunes over lunch.  She just launched her first song on Spotify last Friday, and here is her Facebook link if you are looking for some entertainment at your next event – https://www.facebook.com/MaddiClarkeMusic/
     
    Once again, our sincere thanks for supporting Forget Me Not.
     
    Hope to see you for our Rally for a Reason in 2022!!
     
    Kind regards,
     
    Dave & Kate, Mick & Inna, Greg & Robyn”

    RISE: COVID-19 response & recovery V

    On Monday 24 May 2021 Forget Me Not hosted our fifth LIVE Zoom for donors and supporters to learn more about how donations are providing emergency relief to children and their families. We have uploaded the conversation here for those of you who couldn’t join us LIVE. 

    Unfortunately Patrick Rhuweza was unable to connect to the internet and join us from Uganda and we didn’t capture the introduction and first few words from FMN Change Agent, Care Leaver Advocate and Social Work Intern Dikshya Thapa in Nepal. Sorry. These things happen. We always try to do our best and ‘take the lesson’.

    This was Dikshya’s first gig on RISE and she shared information about the current situation in Nepal from the heart. We have received great feedback from guests commending Dikshya’s professionalism and passion. 

    You can drop in on FMN CEO Andrea Nave’s chat with Lakshya Aakriti Foundation Director Diptesh Singh in India [at 4:49] and hear about their ongoing response, predicted priorities and plans for recovery.

    Volunteer Campaign Manager Joanne Heath [at 31:25] shares a little about her inspiration for dreaming up ‘Run For Their Life’ and taking on such a huge task in her already stretched schedule. 

    Board members, sponsors, donors and supporters are really appreciative of all the hard work happening to make the world safer and kinder for children and their families. Thanks Herd. We love you!

    Please keep asking questions. We love that you’re part of the ongoing conversation about how we can together raise children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity.

    Your donations really make a huge difference in people’s lives. Thank you. 

     

    Join us for RISE V

    Your support is making a difference. We have been able to feed families, assist with healthcare and wellbeing, and provide oxygen to loved ones in India, Nepal and Uganda.

    You can hear first hand how things are going on the ground, on Monday 24 May 2021 when we host our fifth LIVE Zoom for donors and supporters to learn more about how your donations are providing emergency relief to children and their families.

    Please join FMN CEO Andrea Nave in conversation with Forget Me Not’s global leadership team: Anju Pun (Nepal); Diptesh Singh (India); and, Patrick Rhuweza (Uganda).

    6.30pm Monday 24 May 2021
    via Zoom

    Register now to hear updates about FMNs ongoing response, predicted priorities and plans for recovery.
     
    Limited registrations are available to ensure productive Q&A.
     
    This event will be in English and guests will be provided with a link to join the Zoom meeting prior to the event start time of 6.30pm Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Please check your local corresponding time before registering. Please also let us know if you can no longer attend, that way we can extend the invitation to another guest on the event waiting list.
     

    Register Here


      FacebookEmail from FMNWord of MouthOther

       

      There are still hundreds of children in Nepal, India and Uganda we are feeding, along with their families and extended families. We can keep helping because you trust us with your donations. Thank you.

      We also want to give love and praise to our teams on the ground in India, Nepal and Uganda. They have been incredible, unflappable and unfaltering in their commitment to serve humanity with kindness and making the world safer and more nurturing for children.

      Rally for a Reason

      It’s time to rally your friends and family to help our brothers and sisters in India, Nepal and Uganda. 

      They need our love and support and dollars for food and healthcare now more than ever. Car rally proceeds will help families stay safe and alive during this COVID crisis. The Forget Me Not team are absolutely overwhelmed with the desperation being faced by the children and their families we support in India, Nepal and Uganda.

      Tell everyone you know and love to join us on Sunday 20 June for a spectacular family-friendly funday car rally adventure on the Sunshine Coast.

      Meet at Ken Mills Toyota on Sugar Road at Maroochydore for your briefing at 8.15am and you will be given a welcome pack with some carefully crafted clues and a map!

      Whacky costumes are highly encouraged and there will be plenty of shenanigans along the way to our lunchtime destination. Lunch & a welcome bevvie is included in your ticket price.

      • $180 per car incl. lunch & welcome bevvie for 2 people
      • $50pp for extra adults in your car & incl. lunch + a drink!
      • $15pp for children (incl. kids meal & drink)

      LIVE MUSIC / PRIZES / GIVEAWAYS / RAFFLES / AUCTIONS

       

      PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

      The situation is dire – please help.

      While most of us have been impacted by COVID in some way, our lives are well and truly blessed when compared to the devastation being experienced in Nepal and India.

      The Forget Me Not team are absolutely overwhelmed with the desperation being faced by the children and their families we support. 

      As the deaths mount in the Kalyanpuri slum in Delhi, orphaned hungry children roam, without a place to sleep, without enough to eat, even unable to access enough wood to burn the bodies of their parents.  

      In Nepal, the situation is even more dire with vaccines running short, hospitals overwhelmed and positive testing rates being reported at a horrific 47%. 

      The Forget Me Not team have themselves been impacted by death and sickness whilst they battle to save every life they can.

      Whilst it sounds like a cliche, every $1 we can raise, does absolutely make a difference.  The one coffee you sacrifice can feed a family for a day. 

      We are a registered Australian charity, with very minimal administrative costs ensuring your money gets where it’s needed fast. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

      You can help by purchasing essential items for immediate distribution throughout India and Nepal:

      • 30 litres of clean drinking water $5
      • Thin foam mattress for emergency bedding $5
      • 20 kgs of rice $15
      • 60 kgs of firewood for heating, cooking and cremation $20
      • Tent for temporary accommodation providing dignity and isolation for the sick and dying $30

      Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate a lot or a little. Everything helps. Thank you for your support.

       

      Our COVID-19 response.

      Another eight children are going home

      We’ve just opened our doors (& hearts) to 8 children (7-12yo) rescued from an orphanage operating without approval of the Nepal Government, National Child Rights Council and local authorities.

      The children have told us they were beaten by the orphanage operator and his son for small mistakes and fed just two meals a day. They were responsible for all of the cleaning and other household chores.

      Our family tracing and reintegration team have been working around the clock and discovered all of these children are from the Humla district and have both parents alive and well. The children were recruited through a local teacher and their families paid between 20-100,000 NPR in the hope that education would ensure brighter futures and liberation from poverty.

      These little ones are adjusting well and being extremely well cared for at Shakti Ghar (our transit home) while we work at getting them home to family as soon as possible. We’ve conducted health screenings and wellbeing assessments, provided clean clothes and nutritious meals, and have been conducting educational activities so they don’t fall behind.

      The children have told us they’d love to visit the zoo – so guess where we’re heading?!

      Being separated from family through no fault of your own, and all that goes with that, is traumatic and can have detrimental and ongoing consequences. Our team works so hard to provide the best quality care during this time.

      Your donations help us make the transition from orphanage to family a process that is kind and professionally supported with the child’s best interests at the very heart of every decision made. Thank you.

      We also work with families and communities so they can understand more clearly the terrible consequences of orphanage trafficking and the lifelong affects institutionalisation has on their beloved children.

      Please consider becoming a regular donor and help us get more children out of orphanages and home to their families, where they belong.