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 3, 2015

Nepali counselors use street theater and counseling to end the practice of early marriage

Girls use street theater to tell their story
Girls use street theater to tell their story

Using street theater, leaflets, posters, counseling sessions and house visits, NYF staff and counselors are working hard to encourage young women in western Nepal to stay in school and resist family pressure to marry early.

Last year, counselors reached nearly 2,500 teachers, parents, community members and girls who were formerly indentured servants through orientation sessions, street drama, house visits and leafleting public bulletin boards. Staff registered several cases of early marriage with the local police.

The project is part of NYF’s Empowering Freed Kamlaris program which helps former Kamlari girls become healthy, happy and independent young women. NYF has rescued more than 12,700 girls since launching our campaign against the Kamlari system in 2000.

Changing attitudes and ending the practice
While marriage before the age of 18 is illegal, police and community members have tended to ignore the issue. Families often view their daughters as an economic burden and pressure them to marry, and this has been a particular problem for the girls we have rescued from Kamlari slavery.

NYF hopes to end the practice of early marriage by making girls, boys and their families aware of the negative health and economic consequences of dropping out of school and marrying young.

We have also formed 21 support groups for boys, with a total of 225 members. We’re happy to report that boys have enthusiastically embraced the cause and are sharing information with their families and communities.

NYF helped sixteen-year-old Santoshi, a former Kamlari servant, resist family pressure to get married. Suffering from severe depression, Santoshi’s friends encouraged her to join a NYF counseling support group where she learned to talk about her problems and develop strategies to deal with them. Counselors also visited her family and talked about how early marriage could negatively affect Santoshi’s life.

It’s working. Santoshi is now in NYF’s Vocational Education and Career Counseling program, where she is learning job skills and working hard to build a bright future for herself.

(Santoshi gave us permission to use her name and photo for this report.)

Thank you and dhanyabad!

Santoshi
Santoshi

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Mar 11, 2015

Dressing for success.

Former Kamlari model their traditional attire
Former Kamlari model their traditional attire

Some former child slaves are learning a trade -- and taking great pride -- in designing, creating and promoting their traditional Tharu attire.

About 20 young women from the Tharu community of Western Nepal who were sold as domestic child slaves in a practice known as Kamlari are enrolled in a training program to design and tailor their authentic native dress.

The intricately designed costumes are in high demand among Tharu girls and women.

Manjita Chaudhary, a young woman NYF rescued from indentured servitude 15 years ago, is leading the training program. NYF supports the popular program through its Vocational Education and Career Counseling program (VECC).

NYF has rescued more than 12,300 girls from the practice of Kamlari since it launched its Indentured Daughters Program in 2000 and is now working to ensure that the girls become healthly, happy, independent young women.

The vocational training programs help to stimulate the cultural and economic development needed to ensure that no child will become a victim of Kamlari again.

Our staff provides structured counseling sessions and assessment tests, and then helps girls enroll in top quality training programs for a wide variety of careers. 82 percent of our graduates are currently employed - a remarkable achievement given that the unemployment rate in Nepal is 40-46 percent.

Thank you for your generous support.

Namaste!

Young Tharu women in their tradtional attire
Young Tharu women in their tradtional attire

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Jan 7, 2015

Vocational training puts youth on track for success

Electric tecnician trainee
Electric tecnician trainee

We expanded our Vocational Education and Career Counseling Program last year and provided career guidance, training and employment to 1,292 youth --- exceeding our goal by 252 young people!

All of these young people attended an orientation session and received career counseling. Nearly 500 youth enrolled in vocational training programs -- 184 in short term trainings and 294 in longer training programs. These training programs will prepare them for jobs as midwives, cooks, compter technicians, graphic designers, furniture makers, pharmacy technicians, and farmers.

Of the 478 new trainees, 379 are freed Kamlaris who spent their childhoods working essentially as slaves.

Nearly half of all Nepalis – even those with advanced college degrees – cannot find a job. Yet plumbers and electricians are often recruited from neighboring countries because most young people in Nepal lack training in these and other skilled jobs.

Unfortunately, vocational counseling and training is severely lacking in Nepal, and without this kind of support many young people languish in unemployment and poverty.

Nepal Youth Foundation’s VECC program provides career counseling and assessment, as well as short and long term vocational training programs. VECC staff work with each student to help them decide whether to pursue higher education or vocational training for a particular career path. Our staff has conducted extensive research throughout Nepal to identify vocational courses that provide high quality training and have proven success in placing young people in satisfying jobs.

VECC staff then identifies the best training program for each student's chosen field, pays for the cost of training, and helps them to find jobs. In some cases, VECC provides graduates with support for starting a small business of their own. More than 80 percent of our graduates are now employed!

We also offered preparatory classes for the freed Kamlari girls to help them pass the entrance examination for some of the highly sought-after technical training programs. As a result, 51 of 133 girls who took the classes passed the entrance exam and enrolled in the program.

Thanks in large part to the generosity of our supporters, the VECC program is proving to be a highly effective means of putting impoverished youth on a track for life-long success.

Asmita was sent away from her family and spent five years of her childhood working as a Kamlari indentured servant before NYF rescued her in 2004. After high school, we sponsored Asmita in an agricultural training program, and then she started her own farm with a loan from the freed Kamlari business co-op. Now Asmita tills the fields with her family by her side. She's also trained 40 other former Kamlari in farming to help ensure their independence.

Renu learned a trade and is studying for a college degree. Bright and hardworking, she received an NYF scholarship and finished high school, passing the SLC exam. Renu then completed the 18-month Auxiliary Nurse Midwife training program and now earns 15,000 rupees ($150) a month (good money in this impoverished country) helping to deliver babies at a small clinic in Western Nepal. But Renu still has larger ambitions, and so she continues in college working towards a bachelor’s degree.

Thank you for giving young women like Asmita and Renu a chance for a brighter future.

Namaste!

Vocational training orientation for freed Kamlaris
Vocational training orientation for freed Kamlaris
Lab assistant trainees
Lab assistant trainees

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