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 18, 2012

NYF has now built 12 nutrition homes in Nepal

Nutritional education for mothers and children
Nutritional education for mothers and children

In Nepal, around half the children under five are malnourished. Malnutrition is a leading cause of death in young children.

NYF's Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes (NRHs) are small home-like hospitals throughout Nepal that use an innovative method to restore severely malnourished children to good health while educating their mothers in nutrition and child care. When mother and child return home, the mother shares her new knowledge with her family and neighbors, multiplying the impact.

NYF opened the first Nutritional Rehabilitation Home in 1998. Since then, the program has treated 8,443 severely malnourished children and educated 7,528 of their parents and guardians. In 2011-2012 alone, the NRHs rescued 1374 children and trained 1249 caretakers.

NYF’s Solution

In Nepal, the main cause of malnutrition is ignorance, rather than poverty. Severely malnourished children come to NRHs with their caretakers (who, in Nepal, are almost always their mothers). Many of these children are emaciated and lifeless. The NRHs’ nurses, dieticians, and cooks provide medical care and nutritious food to restore the youngsters to full weight and health. More than 80% of the patients are younger than five.

At the same time, the staff trains the youngsters’ guardians about a wide range of topics including preparing nutritious meals using locally available, inexpensive food; sanitation and hygiene; preventive health care; and how to share this knowledge with others. The daily hands-on training sessions and practical demonstrations are very effective with illiterate and uneducated parents.

After an average of five weeks, a happy, healthy child and a newly educated mother return to their home. The mother provides better nutrition for her entire family and tells her relatives and neighbors what she learned at the NRH, extending the effects of the program far beyond the children who are treated at the facilities.

According to a typical case study, “When Lhamu returned to her village, the entire community was in awe over her improvement. Moreover, her mother has now changed her feeding habits and improved her family’s hygiene.”

NRH field staff visit every child at least twice to ensure they are retaining their health and weight. They also provide additional training to the caretakers and refer the children to hospitals or NRHs if they suffer from health problems. In 2011-2012, NRH staff conducted 1,490 follow-up visits and found that the small number of children who were still malnourished were generally suffering from chronic diseases or were from deeply impoverished families.

Expansion of the Program

This program has been extremely successful. At the request of the government of Nepal, NYF has built Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes throughout the country. With the exception of the flagship facility in Kathmandu, each NRH is constructed on or next to the grounds of a large government hospital. Through an agreement with the government, NYF builds the facilities, hires and trains staff, and gradually transfers management and funding of the operation to the government hospital. After five years, the government is fully responsible for the NRH.

NYF has now constructed 12 NRHs, which can treat a total of 143 children at a time. In 2011-2012, the organization transferred two NRHs to the government. NYF’s staff inspected all five NRHs that have crossed the five-year threshold and found that all are adequately funded and effectively managed.

The program continues to expand across the country to rescue children from malnutrition in remote areas. In 2011-2012, NRHs were in all stages of development: a newly built one began operation, NYF completed construction of another, and plans were made to begin one more. NYF also secured funding to construct three more facilities in rural and remote areas of Nepal.

In early 2012, NYF’s flagship NRH moved to a new and much larger facility. In addition to its functions as an NRH, it serves as a nutritional education center for training dieticians and health care professionals.

The NRHs’ pioneering approach has built-in sustainability. The nutritional knowledge imparted on the caretakers stays with them for life and will be handed down for generations. On a larger scale, by transferring management of the NRHs to government hospitals, NYF ensures they will continue to rescue malnourished children for decades to come, and frees NYF’s funding to be used for other projects.

Akha when he first arrived at the NRH...
Akha when he first arrived at the NRH...
...Akha after just a few weeks of treatment
...Akha after just a few weeks of treatment

Links:

Apr 16, 2012

Empowering former bonded servants to be successful

Two former bonded servants at a children
Two former bonded servants at a children's home

In rural Nepal, some families are so impoverished that they sell their daughters to be virtual slaves. Many of these girls are abused, almost none attend school, and some are forced into prostitution. After spending their childhoods as servants, the girls face great challenges learning to support themselves. Now boys are also being sold into bonded servitude.

The Nepal Youth Foundation is eradicating this abhorrent tradition. NYF’s Indentured Daughters Program rescues girls from virtual slavery, brings them home to be educated, and empowers them to be self-sufficient.

NYF’s Solution

The pioneering Indentured Daughters Program uses a multifaceted approach to free girls who were sold into servitude. For only $100, the Nepal Youth Foundation liberates a bonded servant, brings her home, gives her family a piglet, goat, or sheep as compensation for her wages, and ensures she can go to school – often for the first time in her life. NYF is eliminating the inhumane practice of enslaving girls in Nepal through a vigorous public awareness campaign that turns communities against the practice, as well as by rescuing bonded servants.

NYF has freed 11,951 girls since the program began in 2000. 7,433 of them are currently receiving scholarships. NYF has now liberated more than 90% of the bonded girls and is close to its goal of ending the custom.

The program has been so effective that schools in the area began to overflow with former indentured servants. To ensure they have access to quality education, NYF constructs classrooms in poorly funded schools. The organization has built 58 classrooms to date.

Some of the girls NYF rescues are orphans and others are rejected or abused by their families. The organization has placed 357 of these girls in children’s homes where they are surrounded by other former bonded servants and feel a sense of family.

Due to the success of the project, wealthy families began buying boys instead of girls. A recent survey estimated that 1,814 boys younger than 14 were indentured in Nepal. NYF began to address this in 2011–2012 by liberating 650 of them. 547 are currently attending school.

Sustainability of the Program

Now that the vast majority of the bonded girls are free, the Nepal Youth Foundation has shifted its focus from rescuing them to empowering them to be independent and successful. In 2011-2012, almost 500 former bonded servants participated in trainings about topics such as cooperative management, marketing, self-employment, and small business management. These programs develop their confidence as well as their skills and enable them to start their own businesses. NYF arranged training in political activism and human rights for about 100 of the most dynamic girls who show the greatest potential to become leaders of the movement against bonding.

Under NYF’s guidance, many of the girls have formed cooperatives that create financial opportunities for themselves and their families. They invest in the coops to become members, and collectively decide how to use the money to generate income. They also borrow money from the cooperatives to start business ventures. Due to the girls’ determination and newfound confidence, as well as the trainings provided, the coops have been extremely successful. To date, liberated girls have established 16 cooperatives and are in the process of forming 12 more.

Furthermore, former indentured servants have formed an NGO called the Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF). NYF trains its members to carry out the awareness campaign against servitude which NYF started, and since June 2010, all of NYF’s work in the program area has been conducted through FKDF. FKDF is now organizing marches and public speeches, as well as mobilizing youth clubs, community leaders, and the media in the campaign to oppose bonded servitude. In collaboration with FKDF, NYF convinced the government of Nepal to fund the education and vocational training of all formerly bonded girls.

Because this money was not being allocated properly, in 2011-2012, NYF arranged for the leaders of FKDF to meet repeatedly with the President, Prime Minister, Education Minister, and other high-ranking government officials. The Prime Minister promised that the government funding for the liberated girls would get to where it was needed.

Through FKDF and the cooperatives, former indentured daughters have established an extensive network throughout Western Nepal that empowers them to fulfill their dreams.  

Girls rescued from servitude are now in school
Girls rescued from servitude are now in school
A girl saved from a childhood of bonded servitude
A girl saved from a childhood of bonded servitude

Links:

Apr 16, 2012

Empowering former bonded servants to be successful

A girl saved from a childhood of bonded servitude
A girl saved from a childhood of bonded servitude

In rural Nepal, some families are so impoverished that they sell their daughters to be virtual slaves. Many of these girls are abused, almost none attend school, and some are forced into prostitution. After spending their childhoods as servants, the girls face great challenges learning to support themselves. Now boys are also being sold into bonded servitude.

The Nepal Youth Foundation is eradicating this abhorrent tradition. NYF’s Indentured Daughters Program rescues girls from virtual slavery, brings them home to be educated, and empowers them to be self-sufficient.

NYF’s Solution

The pioneering Indentured Daughters Program uses a multifaceted approach to free girls who were sold into servitude. For only $100, the Nepal Youth Foundation liberates a bonded servant, brings her home, gives her family a piglet, goat, or sheep as compensation for her wages, and ensures she can go to school – often for the first time in her life. NYF is eliminating the inhumane practice of enslaving girls in Nepal through a vigorous public awareness campaign that turns communities against the practice, as well as by rescuing bonded servants.

NYF has freed 11,951 girls since the program began in 2000. 7,433 of them are currently receiving scholarships. NYF has now liberated more than 90% of the bonded girls and is close to its goal of ending the custom.

The program has been so effective that schools in the area began to overflow with former indentured servants. To ensure they have access to quality education, NYF constructs classrooms in poorly funded schools. The organization has built 58 classrooms to date.

Some of the girls NYF rescues are orphans and others are rejected or abused by their families. The organization has placed 357 of these girls in children’s homes where they are surrounded by other former bonded servants and feel a sense of family.

Due to the success of the project, wealthy families began buying boys instead of girls. A recent survey estimated that 1,814 boys younger than 14 were indentured in Nepal. NYF began to address this in 2011–2012 by liberating 650 of them. 547 are currently attending school.

Sustainability of the Program

Now that the vast majority of the bonded girls are free, the Nepal Youth Foundation has shifted its focus from rescuing them to empowering them to be independent and successful. In 2011-2012, almost 500 former bonded servants participated in trainings about topics such as cooperative management, marketing, self-employment, and small business management. These programs develop their confidence as well as their skills and enable them to start their own businesses. NYF arranged training in political activism and human rights for about 100 of the most dynamic girls who show the greatest potential to become leaders of the movement against bonding.

Under NYF’s guidance, many of the girls have formed cooperatives that create financial opportunities for themselves and their families. They invest in the coops to become members, and collectively decide how to use the money to generate income. They also borrow money from the cooperatives to start business ventures. Due to the girls’ determination and newfound confidence, as well as the trainings provided, the coops have been extremely successful. To date, liberated girls have established 16 cooperatives and are in the process of forming 12 more.

Furthermore, former indentured servants have formed an NGO called the Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF). NYF trains its members to carry out the awareness campaign against servitude which NYF started, and since June 2010, all of NYF’s work in the program area has been conducted through FKDF. FKDF is now organizing marches and public speeches, as well as mobilizing youth clubs, community leaders, and the media in the campaign to oppose bonded servitude. In collaboration with FKDF, NYF convinced the government of Nepal to fund the education and vocational training of all formerly bonded girls.

Because this money was not being allocated properly, in 2011-2012, NYF arranged for the leaders of FKDF to meet repeatedly with the President, Prime Minister, Education Minister, and other high-ranking government officials. The Prime Minister promised that the government funding for the liberated girls would get to where it was needed.

Through FKDF and the cooperatives, former indentured daughters have established an extensive network throughout Western Nepal that empowers them to fulfill their dreams.  

Two former bonded servants at a children
Two former bonded servants at a children's home
Girls rescued from servitude are now in school
Girls rescued from servitude are now in school

Links:

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