Forget Me Not began as a children’s home for a handful of happy little girls we believed to be orphans in Kathmandu.
FMNs first Country Director was American-born, Nepali-speaking Eva Capozzola. In 2012 Eva was employed to keep a watchful eye and ensure the girls’ needs were being met and that they were receiving the very best care, excellent education and access to extra-curricular opportunities.
As the girls began to trust Eva, they spoke their truth and told Eva about their families.
Eva was FMNs first and only non-Nepali in-country employee. Our goal was to establish an International NGO and employ only Nepali people. The baton was proudly passed from Eva to FMNs current Country Director Anju Pun in 2014.
In this blog Eva reminds us how important it is to remain vigilant and never hesitate to do better, when we know better.
“While I was Country Director for Forget Me Not in Nepal, we confronted egregious human rights violations in children’s homes and shifted the focus of our organisation to deinstitutionalisation and working to reunify and reintegrate children into their homes with their families. This work began with a group of 20 girls. Through all of our work, it was paramount that these young women knew that they had agency and that their voices would be heard.
I captured these portraits of the girls holding up adjectives they chose to describe themselves in 2013 as a small project called, “I AM.”
Since then, these young women have been reunified with their families and have continued their education – some becoming social workers to help children like them. Forget Me Not’s work has grown and now there are over 200 children that have been reunited with their families throughout 24 districts of Nepal. These children are being monitored and supported by FMN’s team on the ground and by the team in Australia.
The work FMN and Dr Kate van Doore have contributed to the movement against modern day slavery is outstanding. They are giving children the ability to realise their most basic right – to be with their families and to have agency in their own lives.
It is difficult to get accurate and reliable information about the impact of COVID-19 on developing countries. Last week, Forget Me Not CEO Andrea Nave and FMN’s Global Leadership Team; Anju Pun (Nepal), Diptesh Singh (India), and Patrick Rhuweza (Uganda) had a conversation in which they shared the reality on the ground, the response, predicted priorities and plans for recovery.
In Nepal, a national lockdown began in March. As it has continued, an increasing number of families are struggling with loss of income as they are largely daily wage earners in remote and rural areas. In response, Forget Me Not is focusing on delivering emergency food support through their “Feed Our Families” campaign. In March there were 50 families receiving food support and those numbers have risen to over 100 children and their family members, reaching 450 people.
If you are in a position to offer financial support to help these families, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help this effort.
Thank you. ❤️🐘🙏🏽