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"A world where all children are safe and healthy in families, 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.

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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About Born to Belong Foundation

Born to Belong Foundation are leading the way in international child protection. We run innovative and ground-breaking programs that ensure children are safe in families, and connected to stable and nurturing relationships that are necessary for healthy childhood development.

We work with communities to keep vulnerable families together; reunite institutionalised children with their families; and, provide kinship care and foster families for children in need of alternative care.

Our model is focused on three main objectives

Strengthening vulnerable families to ensure poverty does not cause child-family separation. We achieve this through our community support programs and by ensuring children have access to their basic needs including safety, nutrition, healthcare and education.

Rescuing and reuniting children in orphanages with their families, and supporting those families to be self-sustaining and self-determined.

Providing kinship care and foster families for children who don’t have family or who are not safe at home.

Born to Belong Foundation delivers best-practice programs in Cambodia, India, Nepal, and Uganda.

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!

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