Young people bringing the Ethical Tourism Collective to life

It is with great excitement and extreme pride that we introduce to you the powerhouse that will bring the Ethical Tourism Collective (‘ETC.’) to life!

Meet our Fab 5: Dinesh, Alisha, Ruma, Toya (Team Leader), Anisha and Barma. The team will be mentored and supported by Toya Homa Rai.

Who better to dream up and trial fresh alternatives for travellers and tourists to experience Kathmandu without visiting or volunteering in orphanages than these fine folk?

ETC. has recruited the Fab 5 from our pool of awesome Change Agents: young people with lived experience of orphanage institutionalisation keen to make the world a better place. The project aims to improve their employment options through work experience in the ethical tourism sector in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Fab 5 will design and deliver tourism products that promote ethical tourism and raise awareness about the harms of orphanage tourism and voluntourism.

In Nepal, there are currently 14,864 children residing in orphanages and up to 80% could be raised by at least one of their parents. Children are most often trafficked from rural and remote villages into orphanages mostly in popular tourist hubs. Most of these orphanages are reliant on international charities and non-government organisations for funding.

The orphan trade is fuelled by ‘voluntourists’ (including schools, churches, sporting groups and other organisations) who unwittingly cause significant harm to children through a mix of money, good intentions, lack of cultural knowledge and a desire to do good for others.

The problem of orphanage tourism intersecting with the trafficking of children into orphanages is well documented in Nepal and included as trafficking in the ‘US Trafficking In Persons Report 2018’.

As founding partners of Rethink Orphanages we are charged with raising international awareness of the problem and proud to take leadership on this issue with travel industry experts, Intrepid.

We will keep you up to date with ETC. news via Facebook and our Blog. If you’d like to receive updates direct to your inbox, please sign up HERE.

You can contact the team by email.

Everyone must contribute to end orphanage tourism

UNICEF estimates 2.7 million children are living in orphanages world wide and surveys indicate most are not in fact orphans!

This week, the Berkley Forum asks: How can stakeholders link deeply held faith commitments to care for vulnerable children and encourage active contributions to children’s welfare that align with contemporary understandings of what is best for them? What can religious leaders, individuals, and institutions do to combat orphan tourism? Are there forms of voluntourism that can be helpful, rather than harmful? If so, what do those best practices look like? How can faith and secular development actors improve their cooperation to care for orphans and vulnerable children?

Child protection specialist and co-founder of ReThink Orphanages Leigh Mathews says we all must contribute to ending the orphanage era and provides some tangible ways to to so in her response.

Ms Mathews says: “There are many ways to give back—and we need to recognize that volunteering when travelling is not always the best way. Sometimes it is simply better to travel, pay for carbon offsets, stay in eco-friendly accommodation, support ethical local businesses, and make a contribution to an organization that is working to address development issues in an ethical and sustainable way. Unless you have specific, relevant, specialist skills, in most cases development work should be left to the professionals.”

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2019 Colour Stampede Success!

We ♥️ good news! Thanks for a wonderful Colour Stampede and thanks for making the world a better place for children and their families mighty Fraser Coast Herd! 🌈🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🐘

Being a community run event we rely on the generosity of local businesses and families donating time, goods, services and money.

So, thanks for sharing the love and helping make the world a kinder, more colourful place!

*DRUM ROLL*

2019 Colour Stampede proudly supported by:

And… the awesome band Harding’s House, Hervey Bay Triathlon Club for loaning their start/finish inflatable, the awesome crew at Kawungan Quality Meats, and our super-vollies including a team from Hervey Bay Baptist Church!

Special thanks and mention to the Hay & Biden families for their third year in a row supporting Thomas & Olivia’s Colour Stampede raising funds for children and families near and far.

 

New Chief annuls 850 child marriages & girls are back in school

We absolutely love sharing good news a) because it’s good, and b) because who doesn’t love hearing good news?!!

What better way to make an impact on the lives of our most vulnerable than to make your first order of business the annulment of 850 child marriages? That’s exactly what Chief Kachindamoto of Monkey Bay in Malawi has done. All of these girls will have much brighter futures now they are back in school.

More good news is imminent from such a progressive and fearless leader. We appreciate your kindness and humility.

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7 new faces at Shakti Ghar

BREAKING NEWS: Nineteen children have been rescued overnight from an illegal Child Care Centre in Golfutar, Nepal. We have agreed to find the families of seven of the children and get them home soon. Our first goal is always to help the children feel welcome and safe, conduct health and welfare checks and fill their bellies and hearts with nourishment. We can do this important work because we receive funding through an Australian Aid: Friendship Grant and thanks to our Rescue Crew of regular donors from Australia and around the world.

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We are a valued partner of the Australian Government, receiving funding through an Australian Aid: Friendship Grant.

Check out the cover of What’s On Fraser Coast

Who hasn’t seen Thomas and Olivia on the cover of May edition of What’s On Fraser Coast? Get your tickets now so you don’t miss out on this excellent fun day out on June 2!

Tickets / Donate
2019 Colour Stampede - FMN Fundraiser

 

The 2019 Colour Stampede is proudly helping kids globally (Forget Me Not) and locally (Give Me 5 for Kids). Can’t wait to see you there!

HUGE SHOUT OUT OF THANKS TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS TO DATE

2019 Colour Stampede proudly supported by:

B Mee | What’s On Fraser Coast | Triple M
Allied Fitness | Carter Cooper Realty

 

The list is growing! Want to add your name? Sponsor logos appear on posters and t-shirts, and we give plenty of shout out’s on the socials 🙂

CLICK HERE to email us for more info about becoming an event sponsor!

 

Early Bird tickets end April 30

Raising children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity – that’s what Forget Me Not is all about! Early Bird tix are selling fast (which is great!) so please book before 30 April to make sure you get some for you & yours.

The Colour Stampede is for EVERYONE!! Come have fun!

Bring the whole fam bam to the 3rd Annual Colour Stampede!!

Bring your bestie xx

Meet you at the starting line!

Early Bird tix on sale until 30 April – HURRY!

Tickets / Donate
2019 Colour Stampede - FMN Fundraiser

Brighter futures earrings on sale now

Did you know 100% profit from sales of these Brighter Futures dangle earrings directly fund projectHELP and our Brighter Futures Study Centres? You can look good AND feel great!!

In collaboration with our friend Kamila at Oh Hey Lovely we have limited edition Forget Me Not and Brighter Futures earrings on sale now raising funds for our projects in India.

Click your fav’s to purchase!

 

“I’m SO proud to support our dear friend Em raise some valuable funds for projectHELP.

projectHELP creates life-changing opportunities for families living in Kalyanpuri Slum to raise their children to be vibrant, thriving and connected to family, community and opportunity. The goal is for every child to attend school, be in good health and have safe and secure housing.

Em has spent her entire adult life working with and for young people in care because she believes that kids deserve every chance to pursue their dreams and create lives full of adventure and love! She believes every child matters.

“It makes sense to support families to raise their children at home where they are safe and cared for, loved unconditionally and thriving in communities that empower them to be their best – it’s a no-brainer that it is a gazillion times better than kids being sent to orphanages because their families are poor,” she said.

This fab friend of mine is currently in training to ride the 240km 2019 Cycle for Brighter Futures through Kerala in southern India raising funds and awareness for ‘Forget Me Not’ and ‘Brighter Futures’.

Forget Me Not currently works with awesome locals in Nepal, India and Uganda to reunite trafficked children with their families and supports them to become self-determined.   

Your purchase of these limited edition Oh Hey Lovely earrings will help families stay together, end unnecessary family separation and keep children out of orphanages.

Thank You!”

~ Kamila

Are we witnessing the death of orphanage tourism?

Claire Bennett is the co-founder of Learning Service and the co-author of new book Learning Service: The Essential Guide to Volunteering Abroad. In this article she asks readers to:

  • Stop supporting, donating to, or sending volunteers to orphanages or residential care institutions for children.
  • Actively campaign for your government to bring in legislation around modern slavery in the travel industry.
  • Raise awareness about this issue.

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