The remarkable story of Tara Winkler, who established the Cambodian Children's Trust to provide children with emotional security and the opportunities they need to break the cycle of poverty.
How could it be wrong to save the children by starting an orphanage? Oh, in so many ways . . .
Tara Winkler first arrived in Cambodia to join a tour group in 2005 and was taken to visit a small orphanage in Battambang. The children were living in extreme poverty, and Tara was determined to raise money to help them.
Two years later, after fundraising in Australia, Tara returned to Battambang only to discover that the same children were in deep trouble. Her spontaneous response was to find them a new, safe, home. With a team of committed locals and support from friends, she established the Cambodian Children's Trust (CCT).
With an instant family of fourteen children and three dogs, Tara had to learn a lot, very fast. And, along the way, she realised that many of the actions she took with good intentions were not at all what the children needed - or indeed, what any child needs. CCT now helps vulnerable children to escape poverty and be cared for within their families.
In this compelling, poignant and funny memoir, Tara shares the many joys and the terrible lows of her journey thus far with honesty and passion.
About the Author
Tara Winkler is the Managing Director of the Cambodian Children's Trust (CCT) which she established with Jedtha Pon in 2007 in order to rescue fourteen children from a corrupt and abusive orphanage.
Tara has led CCT through a number of significant organisational changes, including the closure of the initial CCT orphanage in favour of a holistic model of programs and services to help Cambodian families escape poverty, while ensuring family preservation. Tara now speaks out against the spread of orphanages in developing countries, caused by the good intentions of foreign donors, and of harm that comes to children when they are separated from family and left to grow up in institutions.
In 2011 Tara was awarded NSW Young Australian of the Year in recognition of her work with CCT and she has been featured twice on Australian Story.
How (Not) to Start an Orphanage is her first book.
Winkler was twenty-two when she discovered the director of the orphanage where she was volunteering was embezzling donations and abusing children. She now provides education and health programs through the Cambodian Children's Trust. Herald Sun, 2016's Hottest 100 Books