A message from Dr Lorel Mayberry, President of Borderless Friendship Western Australia.

Hello everyone
Over the past few weeks, the media has focussed on the exploitative orphanages in Cambodia and other parts of Asia. I am proud to say that Borderless Friendship Foundation (Thailand), Borderless Friendship Western Australia (BFWA) and Happy Hands Foundation (Victoria) function very differently to the shocking ‘orphanages’ scattered throughout Asia. Many of these are established to purely exploit the goodwill of foreigners and care little about the children.
At times in the past, we have generically referred to the homes Borderless Friendship support as ‘orphanages’. For 60% of our children that term may be applicable. In reality, these homes function more as a hostel. Our homes provide a nurturing homely environment and, with their close proximity to schools, ensures children have daily access to  good quality education. Given the unfortunate tainted reputation of orphanages, it is an opportune time to better reflect the homes we support by more appropriately referring to them as hostels.
We are guided by hill tribe leaders and many trusted people. Over the past 9 years, we have built resilience, life-skills, trust, and brought change to hundreds of hill tribe children and hill tribe communities we work with.
    •    Our hill tribe hostels - Many children come from remote hill communities where access to schools and health care is limited or non-existent. The children live with volunteers in very basic accommodation at multiple sites near a school. They live in safety and learn skills. Many children have no family, come from single parent families or are cared for by grandparents. Sometimes parents are extremely ill or have died from AIDS. Some parents are in prison. The children are left without family support and then they live permanently at the hostel. Most children stay at the hostels for 10 months of the year. The hostels grow whatever food they can, and rely on the generosity of donations from visitors and friends. Parents/family give a small amount where possible. Our sponsorship program supports all the hostels.

    •    Contact with their families - Whilst many of our children do not have parents, many do, returning to their families at school breaks. Family members are encouraged to visit their children at the hostels and many come with offerings of food and labour. Without the hostels, many of our children would not have the chance to attend school.

    •    Community schools – In the past, it was rare for hill tribe people to attend school, and even rarer for them to continue at secondary school. Education is vital and every child in our care goes to school every day. They LOVE school and feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to stay at school. We support a number of community schools – children live with their families and the school works with the community to give hill tribe children the best chance at education. We now have children progressing through high school and tertiary education thanks to Education Scholarships from BFWA.

    •    Sponsorship - Borderless Friendship WA, in conjunction with our friends at Happy Hands Foundation, dream of sponsorship for all these children. We hope some will go on to technical school and even university – the leaders of the future! By sponsoring a child you will be supporting the next generation of young people to reach their full potential. Please contact BFWA if you are able to sponsor a child ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

    •    Visiting the hostels – Children’s safety is our priority. We do not advertise where the hostels are located. Most are in remote areas that would be impossible for a tourist to find. Access to the communities is supervised by hill tribe people – Pramote and Thak accompany all guests to the schools and hostels. Adequate notice must be given to our hosts and all visitors receive guidelines from BFWA and Happy Hands. Children’s privacy is respected. All carers and guests stay in separate accommodation. Volunteers must hold a Working with Children check or similar. The children love meeting new people. This gives them the opportunity to speak English, play games, have someone read to them and most importantly, have people in their lives who care about them and their future. Many BFWA and Happy Hands supporters have visited many times. The children are very familiar with us and look forward to our return. I will be returning for a month in November and a month in Jan/Feb 2018 – that will be my 18th trip. Consistency and honesty is vital for these children. We keep our promise to return and they know they are never far from our thoughts.

    •    Rights of the children – Yadaw, Pramote (President of BFF Thailand) his son Thak and Lorel educate the children, carers and the community about the rights of children with our ‘Say NO to sex trafficking’ forums. We also run weekend workshops on sexuality and relationship education

By sponsoring a child or donating you are supporting the next generation of young hill tribe people to reach their full potential. We do NOT deduct any handling fees or administration costs. Be confident that all your funds reach the hill tribe children in need.

Thank you again for your ongoing support of the beautiful children we care for.

Kindest regards
Lorel

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Interview

Click on the play button to listen to Dr Lorel Mayberry, President BFWA, speak with Jenny Seaton (Curtin FM). Lorel talks about her work, including the life-changing endeavours of BFWA.

 

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Thank you for your help.