Our 2015 Year in Review
The Forgotten International operates entirely on donations. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to accomplish much good this past year helping women and children around the world rise out of extreme poverty. With your ongoing support we have plans to do much more this year. Below is a sampling of what we were able to do together.
Living on a Dollar a Day: The Documentary
Our Award-winning book, now a short film.
We look forward to bringing you our Documentary based on the making of our book, Living on a Dollar a Day. After much effort by four-time Emmy Award-winning video editor, Karlo Gharabegian in Los Angeles, we received the final cut and had a chance to preview it in October for our Board of Directors and friends for some initial feedback. 

The film features the jobs the extreme poor do just to survive. Using Renée C. Byer's personal experiences with the individuals on the ground, Tom Nazario's knowledge of the causes and effects of poverty, and experts in their respective fields, we tell some of the stories of the daily lives of women, children, and families struggling to survive on a dollar a day. Most importantly, we highlight the everyday heroes among us who offer help and hope to those in need.

We are grateful to our donors and friends who specifically gave to this film project and saw the importance of spreading the message of compassion through film. We especially thank our videographer George Rosenfeld for capturing amazing footage from around the world and to everyone who gave their time to this project.

Here is the trailer for our film:  Living on a Dollar a Day: Documentary Trailer
Doing Good, a Curriculum from our Compassion Education Project
Our compassion-centered curriculum
A grant from Bank of the West makes it possible for us to bring our Compassion Education curriculum called Doing Good, written by Tom Nazario and educator Kelly Quayle, to high schools in the Bay Area in 2016. The curriculum was completed thanks to the graphic design work of Norma Novy of Acorn Graphics.
Tom has been speaking to California high school students about having compassion for others and being more aware of the world around us. He returned to speak at the Viewpoint School in Calabasas, California, in January 2015, and at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, California, in April where a teacher field-tested the curriculum last fall. We look forward to bringing our inspiring curriculum to students in the East Bay this year and to more cities soon.

Here is a sample video from our curriculum:

Helping Children through Sponsorship  
Our Children's F
On an October 2015 trip to Ghana, our operations director met (from left to right) Fatima, Solomon, Asana and Ayisha at their boarding school in Accra. The kids were not going to school and working on an e-waste dump site until last year. 
und was started at the urging of one of our donors who wished to help individual children rise out of poverty. In response we created a fund specifically for children we could support with the help of local, trusted guides. Today, seven children are supported by this fund: two girls in India and three girls and two boys in Ghana.
In October 2015, our operations director Jennifer Zahgkuni made a field visit to Ghana to meet the four young people TFI was supporting at that time, their teachers, their families, and our local guide, Mr. Darry Kwame, without whom we could not do this work. While there, TFI decided to sponsor another boy already in the school whose mother had fallen on hard times and would have to pull her son from school unless support came from somewhere. His name is Elvis and he is the latest student to be sponsored by this fund.

Our work in Ghana was made possible by the efforts of Mr. Mikelis Beitiks who made the initial trip to Ghana on our behalf in January 2015. He found the three girls, Ayisha, Asana, and Fatima, and the boy Solomon working on the Agbogbloshie electronic waste dump site just as our photojournalist Renée C. Byer had found the girls a few years ago when she was sent there to document stories for our book Living on a Dollar a Day. Mikelis found the girls still there and also met the young boy trying to pay his school fees by recycling from the dumpsite.  
Elvis is from Nigeria and is our 7th sponsorship student.
We are grateful to the Brandenburg Family who support the five children in Ghana and one in India, and to Tom Nazario who has been supporting a young Nepali girl named Karishma in India since she was in grade school. She is now in college and Tom continues to support her education by donating to TFI's Children's Fund.
This year, we will continue to monitor the progress of these children and check in on them to make sure they feel supported. We continue to push for them to learn English which will greatly enhance their opportunities for secondary school and beyond. In a few short years these children will be able to help themselves and their families, something they could not do without education. We also hope this is just one of many success stories from our book. 
Student and Community Groups Doing Good
Solar panels for the CCDO's new computer lab made possible by a donation from the Atlas Club in South Carolina. Photo by CCDO.
School buildings in Kyegewa, Uganda restored after a devastating storm thanks to a gift from the San Jose Kiwanis Club.

We are grateful to two groups who chose to do good in 2015 by donating to projects through TFI. The Atlas Club, a student-founded and student-run organization at Riverside High School in Greenville, South Carolina, held fundraising activities all year to support the  Cambodian Child's Dream Organization (CCDO). Each year the Atlas Club chooses one TFI program and the students hold fundraising events at school, such as a global market and an international fashion show. This year they raised $2,623.12! These funds were used to purchase and install a solar electricity system for the CCDO's new computer lab, which opened in the fall of 2015. 

This is a perfect example of young people helping other young people!
A gift from the Kiwanis Club of San Jose, California, in January 2015 for the  Angels Care School for refugee children in Kyegegwa, Uganda helped rebuild classrooms that were severely damaged in a rainstorm. The school building has been repaired and new doors, windows, chalkboards and desks were built and purchased with the $1,500 gift. 

So much can be accomplished abroad with very little funds!
Grants to Grassroots Programs Around the World
TFI supported the children at the Tabitha Enabling Academy in Nagaland, India as a new program this year. The children
at this supportive school struggle with physical and mental disabilities
One Heart World-Wide was the recipient of a TFI small grant this year. After the April 2015 earthquake, they are operating out of military tents as they slowly rebuild their birth centers. Photo from OHWW.
Through our Small Grants Program, TFI helps under-served schools, orphanages, charitable hospitals, and grassroots organizations that are doing much good in their communities. We are thrilled to see the accomplishments of the NGOs we support and honored by their kindness to us in return. 
The ongoing generosity of our donors and friends makes it possible for us to help impoverished women and children around the world each year. Much of our giving happens at the end of the year, and it's a wonderful feeling! 
TFI was able to help 17 grassroots organizations in seven countries in 2015. We are proud to support the following organizations as they serve and improve the lives of the extreme poor in their local communities:
  • Cambodian Child's Dream Organization
  • Landmine Relief Fund
  • Working for Children
  • The Margaret Okari Children's Foundation
  • The Nest Orphanage & Children's Home
  • St. Vincent's Children of Kibera
  • One Heart World Wide
  • Angels Care School
  • Harmony Through Education
  • Lha Charitable Trust
  • Sirjana Institute
  • Tabitha Enabling Academy
  • Tibetan Delek Hospital
  • Tong Len Charitable Trust
  • Zilla Parishad High School
  • Baan Mitratorn Orphanage
  • The Tibet Fund

TFI's Human Rights &  Economic Justice Fellows
Christina Stellini was in Nairobi, Kenya working for St. Vincent's Children of Kibera through the summer of 2015.
Trinetta Chong worked in Siem Reap for the Cambodian Child's Dream Organization over the last summer.
Each year TFI sends skilled volunteers to live and work abroad for a minimum of eight weeks. Our Fellows work with village schools and grassroots organizations that serve some of the poorest people in the world.
This past year, our TFI Fellows went to Cambodia, India, and Kenya. Due to the earthquake in Nepal, our scheduled Fellow to Kathmandu had to be postponed. Our three outstanding Fellows in 2015 were:
  • Trinetta Chong, a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy in 2015, worked with the Cambodian Child's Dream Organization all summer to help them organize their collected data by compiling a database to include all aspects of the student body activities through their education programs. She also worked on their Water And Sanitation Health (WASH) Survey to help create a better system of tracking the repair status of all the water wells the CCDO builds for the rural community around Siem Reap. To further help us in our work in the area, Trinetta also visited two other programs TFI supports in Siem Reap: Working for Children and the Landmine Relief Fund. 
  • Christina Stellini returned in October 2015 from Nairobi, Kenya, after working with St. Vincent's Children of Kibera for three months. Christina has many years of fundraising experience and has worked as a program officer for NGOs that serve Sub-Saharan Africa. She was helping them with their local development efforts and setting up systems to track their resources for better overall management of their education and orphan rescue programs. Christina recommends a part time social worker for the school for this year.
  • Ms. Alisa Webber worked in Dharamsala, India from mid-October to mid-December at the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. She helped complete their Annual Report which documents human rights abuses of Tibetans in China. We have been sending Fellows to the TCHRD since 2007 and are proud of this partnership. (no photo available at this time)
We have our sponsors to thank for providing the stipends for our Fellows again this year. Our Fellows are invaluable to the organizations they serve as volunteers as well as help us keep up with the programs abroad that we try to help.

Applications are due March 15, 2016.
Donor Events for TFI
Tom Nazario with Linda Stoick (left) and Susan Gause, co-hosts of their "Fabulous Fundraiser" for TFI at Susan's home.
Tom Nazario with TFI Board Chair Debra Fischer and Diane Brandenburg (right) at the home of Susan Gause in October.
Board Member  Ms. Susan C. Gause and  Ms. Linda Stoick came together and invited their friends to a "Fabulous Fundraiser" to learn more about TFI at a dinner and cocktails event at Susan's beautiful home on October 17, 2015. All proceeds were to benefit four grassroots programs TFI supports as well as our Children's Fund.
Board Member Diane Brandenburg opened up her lovely home for her second "Out of the Closet" event on October 28, 2016, where she invited friends to take home clothing and household items she was giving away in exchange for a donation to TFI. The luncheon was a great success and all proceeds went to benefit TFI's Children's Fund, which the Brandenburg Family helped establish.
Susan and Diane did an amazing job last year of raising funds for those TFI supports through our programs. It was great fun for us to meet such caring people at their homes.
Inspiration for 2016
In 2015, we marked two special occasions: the 80th birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the first visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the United States. We shared these quotes before, but they are worth repeating again as we look forward with care and compassion to the new year before us.
A quote from the Dalai Lama:
"I sometimes think that peace can come to the world, but not in my lifetime, but if people really are showing such enthusiasm as this in different parts of the world, and they have the deep realization that the ultimate source of peace is within ourselves, then ... it may be possible to have peace in the world in my lifetime."
A quote from Pope Francis:
"How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes."
  The Forgotten International is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 
Tax ID 26-1484826
All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
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P.O. Box 192066, San Francisco, CA 94119 

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