Community & Business

8 September, 2023

Couple’s last trip to orphanage

A YUNGABURRA couple with a passion for helping the world’s most vulnerable by establishing an orphanage in Nepal nearly 20 years ago will soon make their final trip back.

Doctor Digby and Anne Hoyal with families at the Silom Children’s House in Nepal.
Doctor Digby and Anne Hoyal with families at the Silom Children’s House in Nepal.

Doctor Digby and Anne Hoyal established the Nepali Family Inc. charity in 2004 after spending several years in the country working as doctors for the local hospital. 

Being exposed to the social pyramid and the mistreatment of the “poor people”, the couple knew they had to do something to help the nation’s most vulnerable, especially the children.

Taking in their first child, the Hoyal’s began their journey to create a safe haven for dozens of young people. 

“Of course, when you go to a Third-World country, you see what is going on around you, and there is a lot of poverty,” Anne said. 

“Very early on, in around 2000, we took on our first child, and he came and lived with us. He came into the hospital really sick with TB (tuberculosis).

“He was a very very sick little cookie and had no family and was found on the rubbish tips about 60 miles away from the hospital.

“We started educating him and, a bit like a pied piper, he bought in all his mates, so we ended up having five of them… and then at the end of the year, we had 12 orphan kids under our care.”

After their visa ended, the Hoyal returned to the Tablelands with a promise to the children they would be back soon to establish an organisation to help them. 

Fulfilling their promise, they returned to Nepal and took in more children in desperate need and built the Silom Children’s House. 

Today, some of the first children they took in are helping run the orphanage, giving back to their beginnings and assisting kids like them. 

Two young girls have also begun studying law with aspirations of becoming lawyers, thanks to the education provided by Anne and Digby. 

Anne and Digby have travelled to and from Nepal several times, but as they reach their 80s, they plan to hand over the reins to their family. 

During what they believe will be their final trip to Nepal, the Hoyals hope to leave a lasting legacy that will help bring up the next generation of Nepalese youth. 

“We always feel a huge amount of emotion when we go over, but of course, we have a huge legacy now which we never expected to have,” Anne said. 

“When we go over, we want to be able to stabilise everything and make sure there are people that can carry on our legacy.

“We are lucky enough to have our daughter who is president of Nepali Family Inc.… we really just want to waterproof the project, and we would like to especially (waterproof) the children’s house.”

The Hoyal’s foundation relies solely on fundraising efforts and has established a second-hand shop in Yungaburra to help create brighter futures for those they care for. 

Lalli’s Op Shop at the Red Shed in Yungaburra raises all the essential funds needed to help aid the ill children, help educate them and provide better lives. 

Anne and Digby are calling for anyone who can assist to stop at Lalli’s to donate or get involved with their project. 


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