Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)

The Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF; formerly the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation, NYOF) is devoted to bringing hope to the most destitute children in the beautiful but impoverished Himalayan country of Nepal. With a personal touch, we provide these children with what should be every child's birthright - education, housing, medical care, and loving support. Empowered to reach their potential, these children blossom, enriching the world we all share.
Jan 6, 2015

Giving New Life to children with HIV/AIDS

Nutrition and Health Education for Mothers
Nutrition and Health Education for Mothers

HIV/AIDS is a rapidly growing problem in Nepal, fueled by ignorance about HIV prevention and brutal discrimination against people with AIDS. Many children with HIV are forced to leave their schools, and infected women are often abandoned by their husbands. Because of this stigma, many people avoid being tested and hide their symptoms of AIDS for as long as possible. According to a U.N. study, more than 80% of Nepalis with HIV have not been diagnosed.

New Life Center offers what its name promises – a new start for the 102 children with HIV/AIDS and their caretakers who were treated at the center in 2013-2014.  The program provides lifesaving treatment to children while teaching their caretakers, most of whom also have HIV, to live hygienically and cook nutritious meals. This training dramatically reduces the risk of acquiring the illnesses that make HIV develop into AIDS, and let’s infected people lead fulfilling lives. During the months that children and their guardians spend there, they receive food, housing, and all medical treatment for free.

Opened in 2006, the center can house 18 children and their caretakers for several months. Last year, the center admitted 91 new children, in addition to 11 children who remained from the previous year. More than half of these children were under the age of 5.

It is the only facility in Nepal that uses a comprehensive, holistic approach to helping HIV-positive children. Its nurses, nutritionist, doctor, and other staff provide:

For the children: education and enriching activities

For their caretakers: training in nutrition, health, literacy, and income generation

For both: nutritious meals, 24-hour medical care, and counseling to improve their self-confidence and help them manage the stigma of HIV/AIDS.

Most children who are admitted to the Center suffer from health problems such as malnutrition and tuberculosis. Rather than only treating their symptoms, the Center implements a three-pronged approach consisting of clinical therapy, nutritional therapy, and psychological therapy. While the nurses treat the patients’ health issues and give anti-retroviral drugs to reduce the effects of HIV infection, the professional nutritionist and cook plan and prepare healthy, well-rounded meals. Professional psychological counselors help the children and their guardians learn to live with the stigma of HIV/AIDS and improve their self-esteem. 

The nurses and nutritionist complement the treatment with a series of educational programs for the caretakers. The topics include nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, the dietary needs of children of different ages, reproductive health, and illnesses that commonly afflict people with HIV. This training enables the parents to avoid many of the diseases that are particularly dangerous to HIV-positive people and to eat a balanced diet using inexpensive, locally available foods to keep themselves and their children as healthy as possible. The children also participate in enrichment activities such as celebrating Nepali festivals and taking trips to the zoo.

After several months, when the patients’ health problems have been alleviated and the caretakers are fully trained, they return to their homes.

Many live productive lives for years by practicing what they learned at the New Life Center. If they need additional treatment or if their health worsens, they can return to the Center for free follow-up care at any time.

The Center’s staff has taken initiative to raise money for the program. In addition to requesting donations from visitors and supporters, they print and sell t-shirts and note cards. They formed a partnership with Heifer International, which contributed two cows, who are a source of fresh milk to nourish the children and sell for additional income.

Thank you for supporting these vulnerable children.

Namaste!

Classroom instruction for children at New Life Ctr
Classroom instruction for children at New Life Ctr

Links:

Jan 2, 2015

Healing the trauma of indentured servitude

Clay therapy during trauma counseling
Clay therapy during trauma counseling

Young village girls indentured as household slaves in faraway cities often endured harsh trauma and domestic violence in the homes of their “employers.”

And while now freed from the practice of indentured servitude known as Kamlari, these girls need help rising above these psychological traumas to rebuild their lives.

Counselors at Nepal Youth Foundation’s Ankur Counseling Center in Kathmandu have trained 119 former Kamlari as peer counselors and 55 of these peer counselors are now leading support groups to help other freed slaves rebuild their lives.

So far, the peer counselors have formed 145 support groups with 2,025 members. The groups meet monthly for group counseling. Girls that need extra support or individual counseling meet with Ankur center therapists.

NYF rescued more than 12,300 girls from slavery and is helping them to start new lives.

Peer counselors also visit schools and hostels to talk to young women about issues such as bullying, academic performance, and the challenges of transitioning from slavery to independence. They also visit the girls in their homes to talk to families about early marriage, gender discrimination and domestic violence.

Thank you for your generous support.

Namaste!

Girls at a monthly support meeting
Girls at a monthly support meeting

Links:

Dec 9, 2014

NYF puts girls freed from slavery on the road to independence

Former Kamlari training to be a seamstress
Former Kamlari training to be a seamstress

We launched our Indentured Daughters Program in 2000 with an audacious goal -- to end the practice of Kamlari, the system in which girls from desperately poor families were sold into domestic slavery.

Since then, Nepal Youth Foundation has rescued over 12,300 girls and returned them to their home communities, importantly, our advocacy work helped persuade the government to officially affirm the abolition of Kamlari and allocate millions of dollars to educate girls who were officially victims of the system.

But rescuing the girls isn't enough. Every one of them has suffered traumatic loss and abuse during their childhood and has been deprived of an education. They'll need support well into young adulthood in order to thrive and make their place in the world.

Our new Empowering Freed Kamari’s program (EFK) is helping the rescued girls become healthy, happy, independent young women, while stimulating the cultural and economic development needed to ensure that no child will ever become a victim of Kamlari again.

This year our various EFK activities served more than 8,000 girls and young women.

Leadership Training With support from NYF, the girls formed their own action group in 2010 - the Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF), which has grown to include 1,375 members. Our EFK staff provides them with training in leadership skills, organizational management, political literacy, accounting and entrepreneurship.

Economic Development There are 37 FKDF business co-ops with nearly 3,000 members. We provided $40,000 to start their co-op loan fund, and 762 young women have now launched their own businesses and reinvested $40,000 back into the fund.

Vocational Training We provide assessment tests and counseling, and then help girls enroll in top-quality training programs. This year, 355 girls developed marketable skills in agriculture, engineering, computer technology, healthcare and more.

Psychological Support With training and supervision from the staff of our Ankur Counseling Center, FKDF peer counselors provide emotional support for former Kamari’s. There are now 50 FKDF peer counselors and five assistant counselors conducting 145 monthly support groups with 2,025 participants.

Thank you for helping us to do this important work.

Namaste!

Sita at her poultry farm
Sita at her poultry farm
Former Kamlari
Former Kamlari
Literacy training for former Kamlari
Literacy training for former Kamlari
Two young freed Kamlari
Two young freed Kamlari
Literacy training
Literacy training

Links:

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