Celebrate Children’s Week

It’s National Children’s Week in Australia – a celebration of children’s rights, talents and citizenship.

The theme for 2018 is the very important UNCRC Article 12: Children’s views and opinions are respected. They have the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child and the right to be heard.

We’ll be celebrating the voices of children 19-28 October (and every day!).

Meet Lalit and Suman

Reuniting families makes us proud.

Brothers from the remote mountains of Mugu, twelve year-old Lalit and nine year-old Suman, were separated from their family with hopes of receiving a better education. Their mother Panmati was distraught after the sudden death of their father and attempted to take her own life. It was the tears of her young children that saved her and gave her hope to carry on.

With the help of villagers, Panmati came to know about a local person collecting children in their village to take them to an orphanage in city. Like other villagers living in poverty, she was lured by the promise of better education and brighter futures for her children should she afford to send her young ones to the city. Panmati raised substantial loans and paid Rs 50,000 per child to the trafficker. Her precious sons were admitted to an orphanage in Rupandehi.

Lalit and Suman survived in ‘Sahara ko Ghar’ orphanage for 6 years.

In December 2017 the orphanage owner and trafficker were caught and the local police, District Child Welfare Board Rupandehi, Central Child Welfare Board and our brilliant rescue and reunification team freed all 30 children.

Lalit and Suman were reunited with their mother in April 2018 and she was beside herself with joy to see and hold her beloved sons.

Our team travelled for a week by bus and foot to the remote hills of Mugu in May 2018. Here they spent time with the family to see how things were going since reunification.

We were pleased to be met with health and happiness and stories of family life in the village.

Panmati shared much praise and gratitude to our team saying she is very happy and grateful her family is complete.

For all the Remarkable Teachers

As this school year draws nearer (especially for those in senior years) we thought it timely to let you know about something special you can do in your teacher’s honour – a gift that says they’re totally awesome AND helps others!

We can personalise gift certificates especially for the remarkable teachers in your lives. The text reads:

************************************
To:

Thanks for being remarkable. A donation has been made in your honour to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for children at risk. Forget Me Not’s REMARKABLE TEACHERS FUND covers the wages and on-costs for teaching staff at Brighter Futures Study Centres in New Delhi, India. Here’s to all the remarkable teachers in the world! Including YOU!!

From:
************************************

Donate using link below then email with details to order!

2018 Annual Report

What a spectacular year!

We have great pride in presenting the 2018 FMN Annual Report to our friends, donors, subscribers, volunteers, supporters and beneficiaries.

Thank you for making our job easier!

Your support does not go unnoticed and we thank you for every ounce of goodness you bring to Forget Me Not.

Caring, sharing and funding our work is undoubtedly one of the most spectacularly awesome ways you help us in our mission to raise children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity.

Stuart’s Gift of Education

We love hearing from people why they choose Forget Me Not and how much fun they have on our unforgettable adventures!

This wonderful story from Libby Rough is no exception. Maybe you’ll be inspired to travel with us in 2019?

“Remember the saying ‘Good things come to those that wait’?? This is our story!! On 1 May 2013, our beautiful son and brother Stuart Alexander McKenzie lost his short but courageous battle with Melanoma.

In his early career Stuart was a primary school teacher and the children loved him. I still remember walking down the street where we lived on a Saturday morning and from across the road you would hear ‘Hello Mr MAC’ from all directions. I’m sure when I was young, I used to run and hide from my teachers.

Stuart was an immensely kind and generous person who held the highest regard for others. Above all he valued education and always said that every child deserves a good education. When he died Stuart left behind a Gift of $50,000 and stipulated that this money was to be provided to educate children.

Move forward 5 years, our family had so many ‘charity’ opportunities come and go because of course everyone wants that amount of money. But in all honestly, none of them felt right. Feeling lost about what to do, I remember a wise person telling me that one-day the right home for Stuart’s money would come to us.

One day I decided to join a running club and the best part of running club for me was the coffee afterwards. This particular morning I sat across the table from this bubbly blonde who I immediately liked. She was talking about how she and her husband had been involved in an orphanage.

She went on to explain to the table how they had discovered the children were not orphans, but had families who loved and missed them. They had discovered the children had been trafficked into these orphanages. So I sat there listening to her talk about this amazing foundation, Forget Me Not (FMN) and wondered whether this could be a good place for Stuart’s Gift.

In my heart I knew this was it, this is where the money belongs, but I needed the blessing my family. So after a few dinners, meetings and some months later, we donated the money. I’m so grateful for those 5 years of waiting, because this decision just felt right.”

Forget Me Not invited Libby to experience Kathmandu with our Team in Nepal and were thrilled when she said YES and joined our 2018 September Trip!!

“So in mid September 2018, I was generously given the opportunity to travel to Nepal for 8 days with some of the FMN team. On this trip I was to meet the FMN Nepal team and a couple of young women who 10 years ago, were rescued and reunited with their families. I was going to see how Stuart’s Gift of education will change young people’s lives.

So with no expectations I walked out of the airport in Kathmandu, and like so many under developed countries I had travelled, to the same welcome from locals wanting to ‘guide’ you anywhere and everywhere. I laughed to myself and knew straight away I would forever love this place.”

First stop on our FMN Trips is always to our office in Kathmandu to learn about ethical tourism, hear the FMN story, and get first-hand accounts of the incredible life-changing rescue and reunification work we are doing in Nepal.

“Firstly, I was truly blessed to meet the FMN Nepal team of 22 wonderful young men and women. They work tirelessly to identify, negotiate and reunite children that have been trafficked into orphanages, back to their families. At the FMN office I sat silently and emotionally at the table and listened as each member of the team spoke about their work, reporting their progress on each project.

To say I was impressed beyond belief would be an understatement, when I think about some of the scenes they face in their day-to-day work. They truly love their work, they respect and care for each other unconditionally. Their team spirit was something I have never seen or experienced and above all, something Stuart would have loved. He was ALL TEAM. “

Forget Me Not was able to arrange for Libby to meet and hear the stories of young women with lived experience of orphanage institutionalisation who have been assisted by education scholarships, mentoring and guidance from the Forget Me Not team over the years.

“What a privilege that was. Such beautifully natured, wise, driven and inspiring young women they are. Their stories will be forever in my heart. It was very emotional for me as I thought about what they had been through. I knew straight away that Stuart would be so proud of our family for making this decision and be so proud of these young women for being so focused on their studies.

So with my eyes wide open, my heart completely full and my two white feathers tucked away (that’s another story) I boarded the plane in Kathmandu knowing that this was not goodbye but see you again soon Nepal. As I sat on the plane I wondered what more I can do for this amazing foundation, but I guess good things come to those who wait. 

So from the bottom of my heart and from Stuart’s spirit, thank you Craig and Melissa Manley and Andrea and to all the FMN team and to the girls…you rock!!

Oh, and thank you running club…”

 

Keen to come on an unforgettable adventure with us?

FIND OUT MORE

WHAT A TEAM!!

“Yesterday I had to say goodbye to this bunch of pedal powered superstars⭐️🚲☝🏻🙌🏻 as we wrapped up this year’s Cycle for Brighter Futures tour!! Every year is unique, every year the adventures are different & every year my love for the Cycle for Brighter Futures tour continues to grow. This year brought some new faces & the return of some beautiful familiar souls. The team made it all the way from Kochi > Trivandrum (240kms!) in the humidity & heat of Kerala’s lush coast line. I can’t thank everyone we met along the way for their contributions in helping us to cycle for a brighter future for more than 1200 children in Delhi’s slum communities. Words can’t thank you all enough.” ~ Evanna, Trip Leader 2018

Learn more about our 2019 Cycle for Brighter Futures

Happy World Teacher’s Day

We love having SO many remarkable teachers in our Herd. You are all important and significant to making brighter futures a reality for children worldwide. You are awesome and we YOU!!

GIFT IDEA: Give your remarkable teachers a gift that is sure to be one they cherish – make a donation to FMNs Remarkable Fund – contact us and we will send you a personalised certificate from you!

Queensland celebrates World Teachers’ Day on 28 October this year – so you have some extra time to get organised!

 

Meet Sunmaya

Reuniting families makes us proud.

Twelve year-old Sunmaya is currently in Asha Orphanage awaiting news that her family has been found and she can return home.

Her father Lal Bahadur worked abroad for 15 years and came back to Nepal after his wife left him and made Sunmaya his responsibility. She was just seven years old when her father admitted her into the orphanage and flew abroad to work again.

Lal Bahadur told us he tried to keep in touch with Sunmaya during his time abroad but was told by orphanage staff that if he had contact with his daughter is would have a detrimental effect on her education. With his daughter’s best interests in mind he decided to leave her to focus on her education and vowed to visit when he returned to Nepal.

We shut down Asha Orphanage and transformed it into a transit home during the family tracing and reintegration phase. Our team visited Dhading with photographs and Sunmaya’s father recognized her. He was shocked to learn she was studying grade 8 because he believed Sunmaya should have been studying grade 10 by now. Lal Bahadur is desperate to have his daughter home and wants to care for her himself.

He said he wonders what she looks like but that she must be more beautiful than in the picture.

Official ‘flag off’ in Kerala

Our pedal-powered heroes were honoured to enjoy the brilliant fanfare of an official ‘flag off’ with Kerala government joint director Mr Nand Kishore and Municipal Councillor Mrs Shiny Matthew.

These champions are cycling 260kms from Fort Kochi to Trivandrum raising funds and awareness for projectHELP.

Please consider supporting their epic adventure.