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301 children rescued from an abusive orphanage in Nepal. Help us get them home!

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Help us get 301 kids home!

In June 2018, Born to Belong Foundation’s Nepal operations rescued 301 children from an abusive orphanage in Chitwan District.

The children had been subjected to the worst abuse and neglect imaginable. They weren’t being fed adequately – mostly subsisting on a diet of two-minute noodles. They were sleeping like a pack of sardines huddled together on hessian blankets, the only form of warmth they had through Nepal’s winter months.

The orphanage was grossly understaffed with only two wardens to look after all 301 children. There were endless reports of physical and sexual abuse – sometimes being inflicted by the orphanage warden and sometimes by the older children. Children were forced to do hard labour: tending to the 30 buffalo, planting rice, and building the orphanage compound.

They were also threatened to keep quiet. The orphanage director warned them that if they ever told anyone what was happening in the orphanage ‘they would be burned in a big fire’. Despite the threats, some children did try to escape, but the isolated location of the orphanage meant the children were always caught and brought back.

Shockingly, most of these children are not even orphans. They have families and homes waiting for them.

Urgent action is required. We are calling on your help.

Following the rescue, the orphanage has been transformed into a transit home. The 301 children‘s immediate needs are being attended to while our Nepali team begin the hard work of reuniting them with their families.

We simply won’t be able to achieve this unless we have support. It takes considerable funds to nurse the children back to health, find their families, and then help strengthen the family and ensure their ongoing safety and wellbeing. We need at least $100,000 to make it happen. It’s a tiny amount, when you consider the value of these children’s lives.

Make a tax-deductible donation today and help us get the children back home, where they belong.

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Our Story

Born to Belong Foundation was forged from the innovative work of Cambodian Children's Trust and Forget Me Not.

We started by rescuing children from corrupt orphanages in Cambodia, Nepal and Uganda. With the best of intentions, we set up orphanages to care for the rescued children. Shockingly, we discovered that the children were not orphans. We started the challenging journey of reuniting them with their families and transforming our orphanages into our family-based care model.

We conducted some of the first orphanage rescues and orphanage transformations in developing countries.

We are now scaling our Family-based Care Model in Cambodia and Nepal.

About Born to Belong Foundation

Born to Belong Foundation is a solution to end the era of orphanages.

We work with communities in developing countries to reverse and prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children. Our Family-based Care Model makes orphanages redundant. We are currently operating in Cambodia, Nepal, India and Uganda—and it’s working.

What is the Era of Orphanages?

The number of orphanages across the developing world has grown dramatically in recent years. More than 80% of children in these orphanages are NOT orphans.

Millions of children have been taken from their families, trafficked into orphanages and used to generate funds – this is a form of modern day slavery.

Well-meaning people who are donating to orphanages are unintentionally fuelling the Global Orphanage Crisis. The more donations flood into orphanages, the more orphanages open and the more children are separated from their families to fill their beds.

Orphanages do not exist in developed countries because over 60 years of international research has proven that orphanages and institutionalisation has a serious and lifelong impact on children’s physical and psychological development.

Your support of family-based care programs in Cambodia, India, Nepal, and Uganda helps Born to Belong Foundation solve this Crisis.

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Our Family-based Care Model

Our Family-based Care Model is a two-prong, community-led approach to reverse and prevent the problem. It’s based on the following formula:

Reverse the problem:

(RA) Raise Awareness
Raise global awareness of the orphanage boom and redirect support to family-based care.

(DI) Deinstitutionalise
Deinstitutionalise developing countries by reuniting children in orphanages with families.

Prevent the problem:

(SF) Strengthen Families
Strengthen vulnerable families by ensuring children can access their basic needs, so poverty, disability or illness doesn’t cause family-separation.

(FC) Foster Care
Establish community foster care for children without any living family and for children who are unsafe at home.

(P4S) Platform For Scale:
Method for achieving global scale is a staged approach to implement our Family-based Care Model through grassroots initiatives and transforming orphanages.

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The Founders

Tara Winkler

Tara is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Cambodian Children's Trust. She has led CCT through a number of significant organisational changes, including the closure of the initial CCT orphanage and the development of CCTs Holistic Family-Based Care Model. Tara has been featured on Australian Story and 60 Minutes, her TEDxSydney talk was cited as one of the most powerful moments from the event, and her book ‘How (Not) to Start an Orphanage’ (2016) is being developed into a feature film.

Kate van Doore

Kate is Co-Founder of Forget Me Not Australia, an international child rights lawyer and an academic at Griffith Law School, Australia. Her work includes publishing the first legal argument under international law for the displacement of children from their biological families into orphanages to be regarded as a form of child trafficking and modern slavery.

Andrea Nave

Andrea is CEO of Forget Me Not Australia. She facilitated the change necessary to move FMN from the defunct orphanage-model to nurturing hearts and minds through innovative programs focused on family preservation, reunification and development. Working in India, Nepal and Uganda, Andrea has insisted on best practice, and impactful prevention and reintegration projects raising children to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity.

Keir Drinnan

Keir is Operations Director at the Cambodian Children's Trust. She has been instrumental in growing CCTs operations and developed important collaborations with USAID and UNICEF, promoting family preservation and reintegration of children from orphanages back to families.

Why we need to end the era of orphanages

Co-founder Tara Winkler's TED talk

Born to Belong Foundation’s official launch and full website is coming soon!

Contact Us

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For any other enquires, please call 1300 664 799