What we really liked about Beyond the Orphanage's Child Sponsorship program is that it aims at getting children off the street and putting their lives back together through education, health and the care of a foster family.We love that the children are placed with their extended family where possible, and if not, then with another family...Read now
A conversation 30,000ft above sea level between former AFL Captain Leigh Colbert and CEO Geoff Hucker has led to the opening of a new program centre in Nepal.
Now a pilot for Tiger Airways, Leigh says “I’d heard a lot about Geoff before I actually met him. He’s quite accomplished as a pilot but to have this other facet of his life is intriguing. We met flying a Gold Coast flight and could finally talk with him about his ‘other’ life.
“After our conversation I read on the website what Beyond The Orphanage is trying to achieve. That’s where it all started for me and I felt compelled to offer some help. My sister, best mate and I are involved with an events company, so it was pretty easy to create an event.”
The fundraising event organised by Leigh Colbert raised more than AUD$62,000 – enough funds to open a Beyond the Orphanage centre in Nepal, which was the aim of the evening.
“It’s a huge long term impact. Just to know that is pretty neat in itself. Pleasing from a personal point of view, but there was also a huge effort from those who helped organise and a great commitment from the attendees.”
With such a high profile, Leigh Colbert has contact with many not for profits, but Beyond the Orphanage’s approach struck a chord with Leigh.
“What initially made it stand out for me was Geoff – his belief and passion. Then I learned about the foster care model and how it’s supporting young orphaned kids and realised it’s a pretty special organisation.
“Because orphanages are so full, from age 10 kids end up on the street. These kids often have relatives who love them but can’t support them because they just don’t have the means. These kids are just in an unfortunate situation, and to be out on the street fending for themselves is devastating.
“If we can do anything in our lives to help out it would be amazing. To think that BTO has already saved 1,000 kids, that’s just so powerful. And to hear stories like Tigist’s, who’s now gone through tertiary education, that’s a huge achievement.
“Another great thing is that I can also see the money gets where it’s supposed to go. It’s a pretty comforting thing if you’re asking your family, friends, colleagues and clients to invest in this great charity, to know the support’s going to where it should be.”
Leigh’s commitment to Beyond the Orphanage continues, as a newly appointed ambassador, ongoing child sponsor and proud advocate for the organisation.
Geoff Hucker, Beyond the Orphanage CEO, says “Leigh’s enthusiasm for our work is fantastic. As a small organisation, every dollar we raise directly impacts each child we help. His support has changed the lives of many children, and will continue to do so for a long time.”
You don’t need to be an AFL player or pilot to be part of the community of Beyond the Orphanage fundraisers! Click here to sponsor a child or email info[@]beyondtheorphanage.org if you’d like to organise your own event.