Pair on a mission to aid orphans
TWO Bundaberg residents supporting an Australian charity are about to head off to Nepal to work with 26 young local girls at an orphanage set up in the tiny Asian country.
The ForgetMeNot children’s home was established after Hervey Bay resident Lars Olsen was alerted to the plight of young orphan girls while he was backpacking through Nepal.
Appalled at their treatment, he came back to Australia and set up a charity to establish an orphanage where they would be safe.
Within the next few weeks, teams of Australian administrators and medical experts will fly into the capital, Kathmandu, to lend their expertise to helping the orphans.
First to leave was McDonald’s Bundaberg City and West co-owner Mel Manley, who flew out last night.
Mrs Manley is part of a team that will do preliminary work to prepare for the arrival of the medical team.
She said they would also do some English teaching and collect merchandise to bring back to Australia to sell in aid of the charity.
Mrs Manley was drawn to help the charity after hearing an interview on the radio with Mr Olsen while she was driving from Gympie to Bundaberg in 2006.
“We donate time, money and effort,” she said.
In two weeks, oral health therapist Robyn Dooley, from the Harris Dental Boutique in Bargara, will also fly to the Himalayan country as part of a medical team.
Harris Dental Boutique principal Lincoln Harris said his business had supported the ForgetMeNot charity since last year, and part of that support was sending Ms Dooley to help out.
Ms Dooley said she would be taking some basic supplies with her, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, to distribute to the orphans.
She would also run some education programs to teach the girls how to look after their oral health.
However, her main task was to assess what equipment was available at the site and what was needed.
“I’ll be looking at what we need in terms of logistics, and our power needs, such as if we need a generator to operate equipment,” she said.
Ms Dooley said she had never been to Nepal and would travel solo, but would meet up with team members when she arrived.
“They plan two trips a year, and the people just fit in with them,” she said.
The ForgetMeNot teams will also look at setting up their own village so the orphaned girls can become self-sustaining.
“I feel really positive about going over to help,” Ms Dooley said.