World Children’s Day 2020: Building a path to a brighter future
posted on 20 November, 2020 by Bindu Panicker
Passion, accountability, change and teamwork; these are the values at the heart of everything we do at tna, including the work of our humanitarian organisation, the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation. Since its establishment in 2002, the Foundation has worked to further the vision of a world in which each and every person has access to the resources they need to fulfil their potential. Poverty, social injustice and inequality should not be facts of life. By harnessing the skills and ideals behind tna’s success, the Foundation strives to support local partners doing exceptional work on the ground and fight for every person’s right to a bright future.
Celebrating the completion of a water project in Uganda
With this mission at its heart, the Foundation’s primary focus has been on improving the lives of children. Young people are not only the most critical stakeholders in terms of future development, but also the group most vulnerable to the inequalities and injustices the Foundation works to combat.
To celebrate International Children’s Day 2020, we spoke with Nadia Taylor, co-founder at tna solutions and founding director of the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation, about current projects, plans for the future and what the Foundation’s work means to her personally.
How is the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation currently working to improve children’s welfare? Are there any specific projects you would like to highlight?
At any one time, the Foundation is actively involved in supporting the lives of hundreds of children around the globe – whether that’s by ensuring they have access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities, the opportunity to go to school, or simply providing them with shelter and a safe place to sleep. Over almost 18 years of operation, we’re proud to have supported more than 130 organisations across 39 countries, directly impacting the lives of over 20,000 people – most of whom have been children and their families.
We recently partnered with Pygmy Child Care on a soap making project for unemployed Pygmy youth in the village of Mubambiro in the Dominican Republic of the Congo. 75 youth between the ages of 12-18 were without family support, skills or employment. Everyone in this area, both Pygmy and non-Pygmy has been displaced by the war and live hand to mouth. Soap is a luxury most people cannot afford, yet it is essential in the fight against Ebola and COVID-19 as well as the many other endemic diseases in this area. The Pygmy Child Care set up a soap making pilot project and our Foundation stepped in to raise funds that could provide infrastructure support like a hut for production, ingredients, equipment for storing, mixing, making the soap, and a small stipend for workers during training and the initial stages of production and developing a market for the product.
Dedicated to serving the needs of children in crisis across Vietnam, Blue Dragon is committed to treating each of the 1,500 children it currently serves as important individuals with unique needs, traumas and aspirations. The Foundation was able to step in and fund Blue Dragon to dramatically upscale their resources, adding more social workers, psychologists, and carers to its Hanoi-based staff and arranging improved training on issues such as substance abuse and addiction recovery. In addition, donations from the Foundation have helped fund counselling rooms, crisis accommodation, recreational areas, gyms, libraries and office space to allow the organisation to grow and build its capacity to help yet more vulnerable young people.
What’s next for the Foundation? Are there any new projects on the horizon that you are especially excited about?
We’re always on the lookout for new projects and partner organisations to support, but some notable initiatives we’re looking forward to getting involved with soon include; a new scheme for developing specialist kindergartens for deprived townships in South Africa, improving teacher training and recruitment for a range of schools in Cambodia, and facilitating a vaccination programme for mothers, babies and young children in rural Myanmar.
So far, we’ve invested over AUD $8 million (US $6 million) in building brighter, more sustainable futures for the world’s poorest children. We will continue to support children across the globe, through thick and thin!
What does World Children’s Day mean to you, and how does this feed into the Foundation’s mission?
Since the establishment of tna as a business, Alf and I have always wanted to ensure we’re able to give back to the community. We both had a very modest upbringing and are therefore very grateful for the life we were able to build in Australia. The work of the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation is our way of expressing our gratitude and commitment to helping those who may not have had similar opportunities.
International Children’s Day is especially important to me, not just because I firmly believe that children are our future, but also because they’re often the group who suffer most due to poverty, hunger, lack of education, violence and neglect. I believe the sheer luck of where and to whom a child is born, should not define their life. During our travels over the years, we’ve been privileged to meet and get to know countless children and families, who through no fault of their own, don’t have access to the most basic things human beings need to survive. Clean water, food, sanitation, education – these are luxuries for many children. In some cases, kids are even being forced into child labour, which I think is the worst kind of exploitation.
We’re working tirelessly with our partners to create sustainable models for communities so that children have access to the fundamental rights they deserve. With our constantly expanding ambitions to improve the lives of even more young people, we hope to be able to report so many more fantastic success stories by the next International Children’s Day!
To learn more about the work of The Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation and its partners, click here and stay connected with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.