Our History

SCAI was formally established in July 2005 after its founders Emma Taylor, Michaela Killips and Sarah Kemp, were inspired by a group of children they met while volunteering at an “orphanage” in Kathmandu in 2004. Whilst a few of these children were orphans, as is the case in the majority of so called orphanages, children’s homes or other similar institutions, most had at least 1 parent and been trafficked or enticed away from their homes with the promise by traffickers of a better education in Kathmandu.

After a very short time in Nepal, the founders discovered that due to political conflict over the preceding ten years, poor economic conditions and various social issues, literally thousands of children had been orphaned, abandoned, forced into child labour or left to fend for themselves in the increasingly crowded streets of Kathmandu.

Some of the children have been fortunate enough to have ended up in well run homes where the children are loved and cared for, educated properly and where there are genuine attempts to re-connect and re-integrate children with their families where possible. Others have sadly ended up in so called orphanages, children's homes or other similar institutions, where the children’s basic rights and needs are not met and where the children are used to earn money for orphanage owners or, worse, sold to child traffickers, to massage parlours or brothels. Many of these children come from remote villages and are cut-off from their families, sometimes for years and in some cases permanently.

Establishment of SCAI in Nepal

In order to protect these and many more of Nepal’s vulnerable children, SCAI Australia established itself as an INGO in Nepal, and Emma Taylor, one of the 3 founders, moved to Nepal to run the INGO. During her initial 3 months in Nepal in early 2004, Emma met some wonderful Nepalese partners, who would share SCAI’s vision and together established a local NGO through which SCAI could implement its programs.

Initially, in response to a need at the time, SCAI and its NGO partner set up a family based child care home, a safe haven for children needing rescue from corrupt “orphanages”. A home whereby children could be loved and cared for and wherever possible re-integrated back to their families.

Since establishment of SCAI and its NGO partner in July 2005, the Sunrise team have gone on to develop Education Scholarship Programs and small Community Training and Development programs which aim to keep children with their families. These programs now support over 400 children and provided training for over 600 adults. The family based child care home still remains, as a last resort for children with no other option for proper care in their own communities. See Our Work for further details.