Moira Kelly

Moira Kelly, Australian HumanitarianNo matter where you travel in the world, she has probably been there serving and helping children and communities in need. This feisty Australian woman has spent her life roaming the world in search of the sick and wounded. Moira Kelly’s actions and her fundraising efforts have saved countless lives and improved numerous communities. When she perceives a need, she rolls up her sleeves and personally goes to work.

Moira Kelly was born in Melbourne, Australia on January 31, 1964. Her life of devotion to serving the needy began when she was only eight years old. Inspired to make a difference after viewing a documentary on Mother Teresa, she would hop the fence that separated her primary school and the neighboring special needs school. Day after day she would help feed and engage with the often ostracized children during her lunch break.

At age 18, Moira realized that her efforts could be expanded if she had a greater understanding of those she was helping. She took courses to become a special education teaching assistant. Then a few years later she studied and trained to become a probation officer of troubled youth and a lay missionary. With her skills and training, Moira set off to Western Australia to work amongst the impoverished Aboriginal children.

“The greatest act of kindness changes generations. Wherever there is the greatest evil, the greatest good can be achieved.” – Moira Kelly

By the age of 21, Moira Kelly wanted to expand her education and service. She sold her car to purchase a ticket to India to learn and serve alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta. When her visa expired six months later, she returned to Australia with a greater understanding of poverty and ideas of new places to travel. She traveled to Botswana to help start a self-help program with the Kalahari Bushmen. After some time there, she moved on to South Africa to serve intellectually impaired students, then to Albania to start a school for children who were classified by their race as “foreigners” and denied education. Within the next few years Moira visited the Bronx to nurse crack babies, set up a soup kitchen and help for the homeless in India, and to Romania to help children born with AIDS.

When war crimes caught children in the crossfire, the 30 year old Kelly headed to the refugee camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina to organize aid and welfare programs. She soon became a regional program director for Nobody’s Children and coordinated a core of volunteers to assist in aid efforts across many refugee camps, such as dental and health care clinics, pharmacies, education and recreation programs. Most significantly, during her five years as a director, she was responsible for organizing the medical evacuation of the critically ill and injured to overseas hospitals. It was this activity that would inspire Moira to a unique mission that she would continue to this day.

“All you need is a sense that there is no such thing as ‘no’ and everything is possible” -Moira Kelly

In 1999, Moira Kelly returned to Australia and begged her friends and family to donate money to start a non-profit organization dedicated to providing transportation and healthcare for children with urgent needs in developing countries. Her efforts paid off and the Children First Foundation was formed. Moira began networking with hospitals and doctors in Australia, Canada, the United States and Ireland who would be able to donate their services to children in developing countries who have serious health problems that cannot be treated by local doctors. Children First Foundation raises funds from charities and donors for the transportation of the children to the Western doctors, surgeons and specialists.

In the past two decades the foundation has orchestrated the medical evacuation and treatment of over 200 impoverished children from dozens of countries. Albania, Bangladesh, Djibouti, East Timor, Fiji, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Tibet, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Palestine, and Zambia to name a few. The children’s needs have ranged from burn victims and war injuries to paralysis and heart surgery.

“Its a funny world we live in really, where what passport you own determines whether you will live or die. Someone really has to change that” – Moira Kelly

With the help of Rotary, the Children First Foundation was able to purchase a farm outside of Melbourne and build a dormitory for the children in need of extensive rehabilitation. After their treatment and rehabilitation, they are returned to their communities in their native homes and often provided with additional services such as funding for housing and education.

Moira is hands on to this day. She has adopted a few of the children who came from orphanages and is usually the person who travels to meet with the families and discuss options prior to the medical evacuation. Though she certainly isn’t working for the honor of the tile, she is a Moral Hero in our books. We are inspired by Moria Kelly’s personal sacrifice, passionate commitment and her life-long dedication to doing whatever it takes to save and heal children from all over the world.

[box] More Resources

The Children First Foundation – Official Website

ABC Interview with Moira Kelly

Moira Kelly on Wikipedia
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22 thoughts on “Moira Kelly

  1. Moira what an inspirational human being I have followed you for a long time I must say you must of been proud of your son on X Factor her is doing well if there were more Moira Kelly’s in the world it woulld be a better place
    Fond wishes
    Pam Kenyon
    Port Macquarie

  2.   I  cant make up my mind on whether this outstanding woman is an angel or a saint – maybe both if possible.  I sit here in complete awe of her accomplishments in life, and feel that my remaining years will forever be changed by her story.  Bravo – and thank you from both my mind and soul.

  3. Dear Moira,

    I am a Swedish from South of Sweden (Malmoe) lady, and I saw you´re son Emmanuel singing. I had tears in my eyes. All my colleagues has seen you´re beautiful son today, and he is the talk of the town. He is on frontpages in Sweden. Take good care and give the boys my regards from Sweden. Hugs Isabella

  4. Ja neznam engleski ali znam tko je Moira Kelly. To je osoba koja ce ostati u srcima  moje familije. Jos davne 1994-u izbjeglickom kampu Tasovcici u Capljina- Bosna i Hercegovina-Mnogo se zahvaljujemo na pomoci kada nam je najvise trebala -njoj i njenim saradnicima volonterima.Ljubomir Kljajic.

    1. “Hvala vam Ljubomira (ne znam kako se govori hrvatski – to je od google prevoditelj). Ali ja sam vrlo sretan što znate o Moira Kelly i pomogla joj u teškim vremenima.” 

      “Thank you Ljubomir. (I don’t know how to speak croatian – this is from google translator) but I am very happy you know about Moira Kelly and were helped by her during the difficult times. “

  5. We were living in Wagon camp in Capljina when she came and change our world
    thank you for that happy moments

  6. im 11 years old and im delighted about your life and what you do for other people. i hope more people become like you.

  7. Moira, how can be possible?. I love you although I do not know you :). For people like you, this world still has a chance …

  8. Dear Moira:  I want too express my heartfelt gratitude for your devotion toward peace.  Your message has traveled afar – to Canada….I, a Canadian hear others speak of you and often their words resound as “she even looks like an angel”.  I listen to Emmanuel’s taping on the X Factor every night before bed.  His words, his soul and energy are my hope and peace — you and your family are making a difference and thank you for your message, inspiration, and of  story that shows us we, as a collective, can bring love and peace into our WORLD.
         You have left me committed to an increased partitipation toward peace … for this I thank you. 
    Melanie Elliott

  9. Soy de Mexico, ví el video de tu hijo Emanuel, también me llamo mucho la atención de lo contenta y orgullosa que estabas, me imagine que tu eras la que ayudó a formar la personalidad de Emanuel, ya leí tu historia y lo que has hecho.  Como persona te digo muchas gracias por hacer este mundo un poquito mejor, eres un magnifico ejemplo. Dios te bendiga. Manuel Pacheco (Merida Mexico)

    1. Gracias Manuel,
      También creo que los padres son la mayor influencia para los niños heroicos. Espero que todos siguen inspirando a la gente alrededor de nosotros. Gracias por visitar nuestro sitio y dejar un comentario. Esperamos que compartió su historia con los demás!

      Thanks manuel,
      I also believe that parents are the major influence for heroic children. I hope we all continue to inspire the people around us. Thanks for visiting our site and leaving a comment. We hope you shared her story with others!

  10. Moira. You are still the same as when we met so many years ago at Safeways supermarket. You were an inspiration to me then and by God you are a Saint in my books today.  Keep rolling those sleeves up my friend . THe world is a better place because of you!!! 

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