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.
Apr 29, 2014

From severe malnutrition to blooming health

Jal when he was admitted to the NRH
Jal when he was admitted to the NRH

When you meet the children we serve, you appreciate the miracles that happen at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centers. Jal Bahadur is one of the children who got a new start in life at an NRH. Last April, NYF workers found him during a Nutrition Outreach Camp. His mother had died four months earlier, and his deeply impoverished father struggled to care for Jal and his older sister. Three-year-old Jal was so malnourished he could not talk, walk or even stand up.

Within 20 days of care at the center, Jal had put on weight and regained enough strength in his legs to walk. His father learned the basics of good nutrition and took this information back with him to share in his rural village.

Thanks to your support, Jal and thousands of children like him have a chance to lead a healthy life.

A healthy Jal after 20 days of care
A healthy Jal after 20 days of care

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Apr 29, 2014

Paying it forward

Rajan and Choodamani
Rajan and Choodamani

When Choodamani was a boy he burned his foot and became partially disabled. His social worker wrote to us explaining that his school was far away, across a river — too far for the boy to limp there on his own. The letter quoted 12-year old Choodamani saying he wanted to be "the Charles Darwin of Nepal!" So we brought this ambitious young boy to start a new life at J House, our home for boys, where school would be easily accessible and he would be well-cared for

Choodamani eventually became our very first J House graduate, and we're as proud as any family would be. After high school, he got a job in a hospital as a physical therapist while he took classes at college. He eventually became a leader in Nepal's emerging disability rights movement, and served on Nepal's National Federation of the Disabled.

Choodamani and another J house graduate, Rajan, recently teamed up to start a day care center and school for children of poor families in Kathmandu. Most of the parents who send their children to Choodamani and Rajan's center are disabled themselves or work in very low-wage jobs — so they normally couldn't afford a school like this for their children.

But Choodamani and Rajan raise funds to keep tuition at the center low and to provide scholarships. Now dozens of children are getting the education they need to create a path out of poverty — and parents can go to work knowing their kids are safe and thriving.

Thank you for helping young people like Choodamani live full and independent lives.

Namaste!

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Apr 29, 2014

Preschool gives rural Nepali children a head start

Children at a preschool in Kavre district
Children at a preschool in Kavre district

Young, impoverished Nepali children are getting a head start on their schooling through a new Early Childhood Development program started by Nepal Youth Foundation.

This year, we are developing eight centers: five of them are scattered throughout village schools in rural villages outside Kathmandu and three of them are in Kathmandu. Each class has about 20 students.

“This is a first for all of these children,” said Binu Thapa, manager of NYF's new program for children ages 3-5 from poor families. “It will make a big difference later in their lives.”

While public primary school is now widely available to all children in Nepal, preschool is a rarity, especially among the country’s impoverished children. Yet preschool is an essential step in making sure children are ready to learn in primary school.

In a corner classroom in a village school in the eastern district of Kavre, 20 children squirm and giggle as a teacher reads them a story in their native Tamang. A low murmur of conversation among the mothers sitting outside the open door drifts into the classroom. Puzzles, blocks, clocks and books are stacked in in a corner of the brick-floored classroom.

"We started the centers to give children a solid foundation to succeed, and we also want the government to succeed in maintaining the program" said Som Paneru, NYF’s president. “While the government understands the need for early childhood education and has opened over 30,000 centers across the country, the programs are not fully developed. They are understaffed, underfunded with poorly trained teachers. The centers do not have enough books or supplies and the facilities are inadequate.”

NYF’s goal is to help Nepal’s Department of Education to improve the quality of the ECD programs by training teachers, providing teaching materials and improving facilities to develop a model that will be replicable across the country.

Many children and their mothers travel long distances up steep, narrow paths to attend the class held at the local village school. The nutritious meal served daily is a big draw.

“It’s hard for families to feed their children,” Binu explained. “Children need a balanced diet, exercise, and educational stimulation to enjoy their childhoods properly.”

Nearly half of all Nepali children are malnourished. That's why the ECD staff work with NYF's Nutrition Program staff to weigh all the ECD students and assess their health. ECD and Nutrition Program staff will conduct follow up visits with families of children at risk of malnutrition. If children are found to be severely malnourished, they are sent to one of NYF’s Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes for treatment. And all ECD children receive healthy, locally available meals at the centers and their mothers are educated on good nutritional practices.

“Our goal is to prepare these children for a successful entry to first grade,” Som said. "And getting children the nutrition they need is absolutely essential to make it work."

Preschool gives children a head start
Preschool gives children a head start

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