The Forget Me Not story began in 2004 with a young volunteer that saw a need.
A committee was established in Australia in 2005 and Forget Me Not was born.
Forget Me Not Children’s Home in Nepal was opened to six children in January 2006.
The dream had become reality. Right from the start, we made the decision not to have volunteers as caregivers for the children. We were acutely conscious of the fact that these children required continuity of care. As such, we employed local Nepalis who ensure a culturally appropriate upbringing. The number of children in our care slowly grew to 21.
Back in Australia, people were excited to be able to undertake the responsibility of sponsoring the children. As an organisation, we undertook to always ensure that sponsorship money went to the needs of the children – to paying their educational expenses, living costs, the costs of caregivers and guardians, medical care and everything a family would normally provide.
The shape of Forget Me Not in Nepal changed with our registration as an International Non Governmental Organisation in June 2011. We employed our first Country Director who commenced work in January 2012 as our voice in Nepal.
Up until that time, we had been led to believe by our partnering organisation in Nepal that the children in our care were orphans. After working with the children, our Country Director discovered that they were “paper orphans” – that is, they had falsified documentation saying they are orphans, but many have living families.
The children had been trafficked to Kathmandu for this purpose.
Upon this discovery, we disassociated from our former partner in Nepal, and forged a new partnership with The Himalayan Innovation Society (THIS) to work on finding the families of the children in our care.
It is every child’s right to know their family and their background, and so Forget Me Not Nepal now focuses on reconnecting the children in our care with their families.
In November 2009 Forget Me Not was approached with the plight of children in a project in Uganda.
The children were starving, in desperate need of medical attention and the school fees were unpaid. Forget Me Not took immediate action by finding sponsors for each child and sending much needed funds.
After an independent audit of the partnering organisation showed discrepancies in August 2011, Forget Me Not swung into action. We removed the children from the care of the partnering organisation working closely with the Ministry of Gender, Welfare and Social Labour.
Upon removal, it was discovered that the children were also victims of child trafficking.
With this information in hand, we set about finding the family of each child.
As a result, the Forget Me Not Families Project was established – a project which focuses on keeping our children in Boarding School in term (which is very common in Uganda) and returning them home in the holidays. We also work with the families to help them become self-sustainable through small business initiatives.
Our reach in Uganda also encompasses the Nanna Project. A wonderful grass roots auspiced project that focuses on grandmothers looking after their orphaned grandchildren. This project ensures that orphaned children who are residing with their grandmothers are educated, and have appropriate nutrition and medical care.
Forget Me Not India was launched in 2012 through a partnership formed with Lakshya Aakriti Foundation.
This young, dynamic charity is set to make a difference to children’s lives. Forget Me Not and LAF have established projectHELP: Health; Education; Livelihood; Possibilities. This project will meet the health and education needs of children living in the Kalyanpuri Slum, Delhi. The Brighter Futures Education Centre opened in Delhi in 2013 with the aim of getting children from the Kalyanpuri Slum school ready.
This is an exciting partnership of which Forget Me Not is very proud.
Forget Me Not Australia has also changed since starting in 2005.
The shape of Forget Me Not had changed drastically – instead of being the orphanage that was originally envisioned, Forget Me Not is now working to reunify trafficked children with their families, and keep families together.
We have an excellent Australian Administrative team comprising Andrea Nave (CEO) and Emmalene Travers (Programs Officer). Andrea and Emmalene work tirelessly for Forget Me Not, volunteering above and beyond their paid hours and we are very lucky to have such dedicated and committed employees.
The team of Forget Me Not are committed to giving more than we take in this world.
We are committed to being transparent as an organisation. Forget Me Not Australia is a registered charity with the ACNC and is audited annually. We ensure that our projects are independently audited each year. We hold an open Annual General Meeting every financial year.
You can also view our last Annual Report.
We are committed to being responsive to the best interests of the child. When we know better, we do better. While we began this journey as a children’s home, we recognise that permanent care away from home is a last resort. As such, we are actively working to find and reconnect our children with their families.
We are committed to providing lost children with hope, love and a safe environment. We are committed to spreading the message that together our hands really can help. Each one of us can make a huge difference in this world. The possibilities are endless!
We continue to work with passion and enthusiasm to give children a better life.
Why not join us in this journey?