We #ChooseToChallenge this International Women’s Day

Beyond the Orphanage

This International Women’s Day We #ChooseToChallenge


As an organisation spanning multiple countries and continents, we have the great privilege and responsibility of working with an incredibly diverse community of women. From on the ground in Kenya to the boardrooms of BTO,  this International Women’s Day we want to share how we #ChooseToChallenge and help forge a gender-equal world.

Women in Leadership


To create an organisation that supports, recognises and empowers women it’s essential that women have a voice in leadership. Over the past two years, we have been thrilled to welcome two very intelligent, committed and skilled young women to our Australian Board of Directors.


Alexandra Loftus is an experienced communications professional currently leading the communications and engagement for the redevelopment of the Sydney Children’s Hospital. Having recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact, Alex has already played an instrumental role in BTO’s strategic fundraising and governance development.








In 2020 we also welcomed Michelle Lim to our Australian board. Michelle is an accomplished engineer with 11 years of experience in Australian and international organisations. Her guidance in risk and opportunity management, strategic thinking, economic analysis has proved to be invaluable to the BTO board and wider operations team, particularly through the financial and strategic challenges of the global pandemic.




Together Alex and Michelle are leading the development of a Youth Advisory Committee to support our board and operations team in providing a platform for voice and collaboration for youth. As a child-focused organisation, this committee will play an integral role in program design and strategy. While we are in the early stages of the Youth Advisory Committee we are excited to have a number of young women from around the world sitting on the committee. 



In 2020 BTO was also privileged to welcome Amy Horrocks into the position of Chief Operating Officer for Australia and the USA. After many years of working with BTO, Amy officially took on the COO role, using her experience in corporate business development and finance to help manage significant organisational change to steward a new period of growth and evolution for BTO.


These three women are already redefining and supporting our full, female-run operations team and join accomplished BTO Directors Dr Natalie Conner, Dr Bobbie Legg and Kate Fewings, Regional General Counsel at CitiGroup, in shaping BTO.


Women in Partnership

We are incredibly proud to support women in senior management across our in-country programs. We know the impact of empowering a woman through employment and education extends far beyond the individual. It delivers security and opportunity to families, and communities and contributes to systemic change for gender equality.  

The women who run our programs are impressive beyond belief, dedicating their lives to supporting some of the worlds most vulnerable children. Keep an eye out for our Women in Partnership series coming soon, sign up to the newsletter and make sure you don’t miss it!

Supporting girls, mothers and communities 

A focus on gender equality is fundamental to human rights and development is integral to BTO’s programs. This includes ensuring the participation and needs of women and girls in program interventions and activities.

A number of our key program partners focus on ensuring opportunities for the empowerment of women and girls. Our outreach program in Pokhara, Nepal is focused primarily on supporting mothers and female caregivers and their children who may be infected/affected by HIV/AIDS and subsequently neglected and ostracized from their communities. 

At the same time, BTO is supporting ongoing gender and social inclusion training and last year delivered training in Nepal to its major partners Star Children, Sano Paila and Nawajiwan. This was provided by local trainers, in the local language so all staff could participate. During the training, a GESI (Gender Equality and Social Inclusion) Policy was developed by each organization.


There is always more to do

We are immensely proud of the education, opportunity and empowerment we provide for young girls and women through our programs. While both Nepal and Kenya have progressed in their efforts for gender equality, there are still significant challenges in cultural attitudes towards women and girls in both countries. 

We work hard to create ongoing opportunities for girls to participate in education and training beyond school, and to support our partners in delivering gender equality education to the communities they work with.

But there is always more to do. As an organisation, we are committed to continuing our progress towards gender equality. Gender equality means more opportunities for decision making power for women, more opportunities for influence, more space for voice, more opportunity for development and more room for financial growth. We look forward to working with the women in our teams, in our programs and in our communities to great these spaces and opportunities, and to see our women, girls and LGTBQIA+ community thrive.

Want to be part of our growth and contribute to our mission for gender equality?

Donate here and join our community and sign up to the newsletter to stay up to date with our development.

March 8, 2021

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