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.
Dec 22, 2011

Donations and Love Build A Home Away from Home

Terrain in rural Western Nepal
Terrain in rural Western Nepal

Gaurishankar Secondary School

There is a saying in Nepal, "far west, far behind."  Gaurishankar Secondary School, located in Gaira Village in Doti District, 800 kilometers west of Kathmandu, is struggling to catch up. Already, Gaurishankar School is far ahead of regional standards by simply providing safe drinking water and bathroom facilities for the children -- luxuries unknown to most of the inhabitants in the region.

With a staff of 11 teachers, the school provides education to approximately 500 students in grades 1 through 10. More than 30% of the children are from indigenous minorities, including the Dalits, or "untouchable" caste.  As everywhere in the world, education is the way into a brighter future and better possibilities for the people of western Nepal.

However, Gaurishankar School serves 30 villages, some which are as far as 20 miles away.  There are no roads connecting these remote towns, and the children must walk hours on foot paths and undeveloped tracks through rugged terrain every day to attend classes.  More than 60% walk an hour to get to school, and some walk 8 hours to and from school every day.

Dormitories for Students

In 2010, Nepal Youth Foundation came to the aid of the students of Gaurishankar School with a pledge to help construct dormitories on an adjacent piece of property donated by a local land owner.  Now, two dormitories, or hostels, are being built to house 24 boys and 24 girls in grades 9 and 10. The students will live at the hostels during the week and go home on the weekends. This "home away from home" is particularly valuable to the children in these higher grades as they study for their School Leaving Certificate Exam (SLC).  Referred to as the "Iron Gate," passing this exam is essential in order for students to continue with their education, either into university or vocational training.

The dormitories will provide domestic amenities matching the standards of the developed regions of Nepal: sound structures with modern kitchens, common study areas, two-person shared bedrooms, and toilet and shower facilities. In addition to full-time supervisory staff, teachers will also stay in the hostels through the week, providing guidance and tutoring to the boys and girls.

Now, those hours, once lost walking back and forth from remote villages, can be invested by the children in learning their academic subjects very well. This "home" near their school will ensure that these deserving students will change the course of their own lives and, thus, the world in which they live. Through programs like these, western Nepal will be able to catch up with the standards of Kathmandu and join the 21st century.

We thank you for supporting this worthwhile project.  For more information about this and other NYF projects, please visit our website at www.nepalyouthfoundation.org. Follow this link to watch our new 4 minute video:http://bit.ly/uv6is2.

School Students in Rural Nepal
School Students in Rural Nepal

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Dec 22, 2011

Blind Girl Studies to Serve

Rama
Rama

Rama Bhattarai

Eighteen-year-old Rama Bhattarai has been blind since birth. The fourth child of Mr. Kashinath Bhattrai and Ms. Kamala Bhattrai, Rama is their second daughter to be born blind.

In the Morang district of eastern Nepal where Rama's family lives, there are no schools for blind or disabled children. With an historic prejudice in Nepal toward blind children as evidence of familial wrongs, Rama's future looked bleak. Many children afflicted with blindness and other disabilities suffer ostracism and isolation all of their lives; lives which, very often, are much shorter than normal Nepali children.

However, the door to Rama's opportunity opened when she was selected for a Nepal Youth Foundation Disabled Student Scholarship and brought to their special school in Dharan. Now Rama lives in the school's hostel with many of the other children in Gayan Chakchhu School for the Blind. Last year, Rama passed the final term examination for 7th grade in the first division, with the second highest marks in her class.  Now, studying in the 8th grade, she is doing well in her exams, securing first division marks.

Rama is a bright young woman who hopes to work for the blind community in the Morang district in another two years, after she completes here studies. Knowing what it's like to function without sight will be an incomparable asset for understanding how best to improve conditions for other blind people in the region. As Rama learns how to master computer skills and finishes her education through NYF's Disabled Student Scholarship Program, she will, indeed, bring light where, for many others, there was only darkness.

Disabled Scholarship Program-Removing Barriers

In Nepali society children born with disabilities are believed to be cursed and are considered the result of past wrongs committed by the family.  Not only are they are a source of shame for their families, who often try to keep them hidden out of sight, they are often viewed as worthless by the entire community.  These beliefs in addition to widespread poverty and high unemployment make these children extreme burdens to their families. 

The Nepal Youth Foundation’s Disabled Scholarship Program provides children with disabilities opportunities to be educated or receive vocational training so that they may live their lives in dignity and become productive members of society.  NYF has emphasized education for the disabled since our inception in 1990.

The program, which covers all educational, medical, and living expenses, primarily supports children with impaired vision and hearing, because they are particularly likely to become self-sufficient adults who can give back to others in need.  NYF’s social workers visit the students and meet with their parents and teachers at least every three months. The purpose of these visits is to monitor the students’ academic progress, ensure that their living conditions are suitable for studying, and determine if their disabilities are being properly accommodated.  All students in the program also receive frequent medical examinations.

NYF’s scholarship program has positive impacts that extend beyond the students’ academic performance. The social workers have found that once students are enrolled in the program, they become much more motivated to be independent and their social behavior improves noticeably.

Thanks in large part to financial support from donors like you, the Nepal Youth Foundation gave scholarships to 57 disabled children in fiscal year 2010-2011.  Seven of these children graduated from 10th grade and took the school leaving exam (SLC). This year, 37 or 76% of students in grades 1st through 9th successfully passed to the next grade.  Seven or 88% passed the qualifying test to go on to 10th grade.   

For more about our work, please visit us at www.nepalyouthfoundation.org.  Follow this link to watch our new 4 minute video:http://bit.ly/uv6is2.

Thank you for your support!

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Dec 22, 2011

Ankur Counseling Center Update

By Teresa Parker - Development Director

Nepal Youth Foundation’s Ankur Counseling Center (ACC) provides therapeutic counseling to nearly 1,000 adults and children, annually. In addition, ACC trains almost as many adults with backgrounds in education, medicine and mental health in counseling and therapy skills.  Conducting  orientation sessions quarterly, they also lead multiple-day training sessions and at least one advanced training session every year.

ACC’s results-oriented mental health programs continue to generate support and interest.  Their staff now regularly makes presentations, teaches group sessions, and leads workshops in regional schools and colleges. With a leading-edge understanding of mental health and the many effective ways to minimize its effects, ACC receives invitations to present their methods to an ever-increasing number of professionals and organizations throughout Nepal.

Freed Indentured Daughters Receive Counseling and Counseling Training

The ACC staff of mental health practitioners continues to work closely with the Freed Kamalaris Development Forum (FKDF), the nonprofit organized by once-indentured and now free young women.  With the assistance and training provided by ACC, these formerly bonded girls are able to deal effectively with their earlier traumas. The flagship training program offered through the FKDF, “Basic Counseling Skills,” continues to show remarkable results. This six-day training teaches accessible and transferable counseling and facilitation techniques which the young women can then put in service to help resolve the psychological troubles of their freed younger “sisters.”

In addition, a shortened three-day form of the “Basic Counseling Skills” course is now regularly given to school teachers and members of child care institutions, focusing on child psychology, communication skills and behavior change cycle.

Among their many effective modalities of treatment are Creative Movement Therapy (CMT) for stress management, Non Violent Communication (NVC) to enhance the understanding of the influence of language on behavior, and courses in “Sex and Sexuality” offered to adolescents, providing an open forum for exploring these topics while examining the associated emotions and social consequences.

In the schools and colleges, ACC also holds ongoing orientation sessions with young adults, providing information about the myths and realities of therapy.  By these means, ACC continues to develop a positive attitude toward mental health counseling. These programs are fruitful for Ankur, allowing many opportunities to disseminate its services to the community and schools.

World Mental Health Day Celebration – October 10, 2011

ACC participated again in 2011 in the World Mental Health Day, using the event as a platform to raise public awareness about mental health issues in Nepal.  ACC’s successes with their many modalities has helped to promote more open discussion of the problems of mental illness, which is still a new and sensitive subject for most Nepalese.  

For more information about this program, please visit us at www.nepalyouthfoundation.org.  Follow this link to watch our new 4 minute video:http://bit.ly/uv6is2.

We thank you for supporting this worthwhile project. 

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