Orphanage Tourism Conference 2018

INVITATION

Join ReThink Orphanages Network to explore the ethics and alternatives for orphanage tourism. Be there for the launch of brand new school resources and curriculum module on ethical community engagement overseas hot off the press! Everyone in the education sector looking to learn more about this issue and engage with leading experts should be there, regardless of direct involvement with orphanage tourism and school trips. This is for you!

Coming soon to a city near you:

Melbourne (24 August)
Perth (Oct 10)
Adelaide (Oct 29)
Sydney (Oct 30)
Brisbane (Oct 31)

FIND OUT MORE

 

UPDATE: Asha Orphanage Rescue

In February this year, the Nepal Government finally agreed for Forget Me Not to formally assess the second largest orphanage in the country, Asha Orphanage in the tourist capital of Chitwan. Forget Me Not was engaged to carry out the task over what we thought would be a 5-day period with our two assessing officers.

The initial findings were shocking.

The orphanage was overcrowded with children found starving, sick and suffering. The operators had very limited information about the children and were regularly bringing tourists and volunteers to the orphanage. The record keeping and financial management was virtually non-existent.

The children themselves told their own stories of abuse and violence including hard labour, constant hunger, threats and suffering.

Our team called for back up and Country Director Anju immediately joined with four more staff. The assessment took seven staff 15 days straight!

The final number of children found in the home was 301 of which there were only 23 orphans amongst the cohort. The children are aged between 4 and 18 years old many trafficked up to 15 years ago with no family connection since that time and others as recently as two years, post-quake.

The assessment of Asha Orphanage is being hailed an historic marker in Nepal as the Government, post civil war and two massive earthquakes later, takes definitive steps towards responsibility for child protection and deinstitutionalisation.

As a result of the strong and loyal support we were able be precisely where we were needed at this critical time!

Forget Me Not was able to take the lead in driving the assessment recommendations and reach agreement to prioritise rescue and family reconnection for these children.

We are now working intensively with each child held at Asha Orphanage and to date we have assessed 157 families and 91 children have returned home.

Our collaborative approach, with four other aid agencies, has assisted immensely with this initial phase including provision of health camps. However, it is proudly Forget Me Not championing the cause, leading the charge with family assessments and economic strengthening requirements for reunified children to remain at home and in school into the future.

Thank you for your loyalty and commitment to this work – We can’t do it without you!

UK Government acknowledges “orphanages harm children” and will work towards closures

For the first time the UK government has formally recognised that overseas orphanages harm children and has promised to support closures, long-term.

This marks a breakthrough moment for the growing global movement to eliminate orphanages.

The Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, made the announcement during the first Global Disability Summit in London today.

“The UK government recognises that institutionalisation harms children’s physical, emotional and psychological development. Children with disabilities are often the first to be placed in institutions, the last to leave institutional care and often end up being forgotten by society”, she said…

READ MORE

 

Orphanage Trafficking and the Modern Slavery Act in Australia

By Kate van Doore and Rebecca Nhep

Recent estimates suggest that there are over 40 million victims of modern slavery in the world today. Modern Slavery is an umbrella term encompassing the offences of human trafficking, slavery, debt bondage, forced labour and other slavery-like practices. Due to the scale and the heinous nature of these crimes, a number of countries are strengthening measures to combat modern slavery, including through the introduction of Modern Slavery legislation. Following the lead of the United Kingdom, a parliamentary Inquiry into whether Australia should establish a Modern Slavery Act was held in 2017. One of the foci of the Inquiry was the issue of how Australia contributes to modern slavery through ‘orphanage trafficking’. Australia is a key donor and volunteer sending country with respect to overseas orphanages, or residential care institutions. The Parliamentary Inquiry heard extensive evidence from non-government organisations and academics pertaining to Australia’s potential involvement in orphanage trafficking through the charity, tourism, education and faith-based sectors. Australia is the first government to consider legislating for orphanage trafficking as a form of modern slavery…

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Dear Volunteer

Dear Volunteer, it’s time to end orphanage volunteering and reunite more children with their families. We are excited to share our recent project in collaboration with our friends at The Umbrella Foundation.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Animation: Surya Sunuwar, Bishnu GC, Binod Guragain, Sujita Maharjan
Background: Sabin K.C.
Story: Imogen Harper & Anju Pun
Music: Imogen Harper
Direction: Binod Guragain
Funding: GoPhilanthropic
Copyright: © The Umbrella Foundation & Forget Me Not

Inside the Nepali Orphanage Where Children Faced Abuse and Neglect

By Emma Brancatisano, ten daily News Reporter

‘They tell stories of being forced to tend to animals, and of being beaten into submission.’

From the outside, it was an impressive compound. Large — about three acres  — yet isolated in the depths of Chitwan National Park, with promises of an education and adequate care.

The odour of urine and unwashed clothes hit Andrea Nave as she walked through the doors…

READ MORE

BREAKING NEWS: Modern Slavery Bill

This morning, the Modern Slavery Bill was introduced to the Australian Parliament by the Honourable Alex Hawke MP who made special mention of Senator Linda Reynolds for her “genuine passion and dedication to making a positive change in the lives of exploited and trafficked children in for-profit orphanages around the world”.

Here’s why we will not rest. Voices must be heard. Action must be taken. Children belong in families not orphanages.

Thank you to all who have lent their voices to this cause!

BREAKING NEWS: 301 Children Rescued

You will be proud to know that your support has led 301 children to freedom. Now let’s get them home!

On June 19, we returned from Nepal, following a landmark rescue of 301 children from an abusive orphanage in Nepal’s Chitwan District.

This is the largest orphanage closure ever undertaken in Nepal.

These children were barely surviving on a diet of two-minute noodles. They were freezing through Nepali winters sleeping on hessian blankets. Just two wardens were responsible for the care and protection of all 301 children.

After endless reports of physical and sexual abuse – with authority from the Nepal Government we stepped in to shut the place down.

Young children were forced to undertake hard labour – tending to the 30 buffalo, planting rice and building the orphanage compound.

Every child was threatened to stay silent or be ‘burned in a big fire’.

Despite the threats, some children did try to escape, but the isolated location of the orphanage in Chitwan National Park meant the children were always caught and brought back.

You guessed it, most of these children are not orphans and they want to go home, where they belong.

Our team in Nepal is working to reunify the children with their families, transforming the orphanage into a transit centre.

There is still much work ahead to get these children home to safety and we are calling on your help.

We simply won’t be able to get these children home to their families unless we have considerable support.

Nursing these children back to health, finding their families and  providing the necessary family support to ensure ongoing safety and wellbeing takes considerable funds.

We urgently need at least $100,000 to cover this immediate work.

To help get these children home, please make a tax-deductible donation today.

It’s Only A Play

‘Megaseller’ is how VARIETY labelled ‘It’s Only a Play’ when it smashed Broadway in 2014/2015.

This sizzling, comic romp is now to be presented at Z-PAC Theatre and you can see it first on 24 July! All proceeds from this exclusive charity performance will go directly to support Forget Me Not.

Jointly directed by Mark Thomson and Theresa Saunders, this play centres around the opening night of ‘The Golden Egg’ on Broadway. A lavish party at the Producer’s townhouse is under way as all eagerly await the first reviews.

The laugh inducing action takes place in the bedroom above the party where a group of anxious insiders have staked themselves out to be the first to hear the reviews – will they be favourable or not?

In the group is the excitable playwright, the unstable director, the pill-popping ageing star, the playwright’s supposed best friend, the show’s producer, the acerbic drama critic and the naïve ‘wannabe’ young actor.

All combine to create a sharp and humorous comment on theatre and the people who inhabit it.

The New York Times described the play as ‘..among the funniest lines to roll off the stage in years’ while the Wall Street Journal called it ‘ hilarious! …the hottest ticket in town’. ‘It’s Only a Play’ is a celebration of theatre at its best and theatre people at their not so best!

Tickets available online here: http://tix.yt/YQn

Unforgettable Long Lunch with Legends

You’re all invited to The Annual Long Lunch on Fraser Island with NRL legend Billy Moore. Hear about his successes both on the footy field and in the business arena while enjoying a three course feast and many beverages with your friends and colleagues.

12-6pm on Friday 15 June at Kingfisher Bay Resort

The Annual Long Lunch is a celebrated tradition in the business community, with local leaders getting together for a day away on Fraser Island. You should join us…

Tickets available online now!

All proceeds donated to Forget Me Not.