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.
Feb 28, 2012

Stopping the Sale of Children

Freed Kamlaris Demonstrating during Maghi Festival
Freed Kamlaris Demonstrating during Maghi Festival

In 2011 a total of 1111 girls were rescued from virtual slavery from five districts of Nepal: 85 in Dang 318 in Bardiya, 453 in Kailalai, 77 in Bake and 178 in Kanchanpur.  Many of those rescued joined the Freed Kamlaris Development Forum (FKDF).

FKDF is an organization of girls and young women who have been rescued from indentured servitude, most of them through the help of the Nepal Youth Foundation’s Indentured Daughters Program (IDP).  The FKDF mission is to end the practice of families selling the services of their daughters (and sons), to help ensure the education and ongoing freedom of these children, and to create business opportunities and cooperatives through which those rescued can develop self-sustaining economies for themselves and their families.

Every year, members of the FKDF rally together in December and January during the festival of the Maghi, which is the Tharu New Year and the time when contracts for child labor are often renewed or renegotiated.  This year, an even larger number of freed Kamlaris showed up to protest the practice. They mobilized the local youth clubs, child clubs, and Badhgar (communal leaders) committees as well as the print and the electronic media. The major awareness activities included door-to-door visits, putting up posters and pamphlets, bicycle rallies, interaction programs, culture shows, street dramas and media mobilization. Transit points were blocked to check and rescue girls who were being taken away by contract employers.

These committed former Kamlaris hosted special awareness programs in all the districts celebrating the Maghi Festival. Through presentations, lectures and performances, the FKDF educated the children, young adults, parents and Badghar committees about the realities of this abominable practice. The young women of the FKDF also held press conferences and public hearings.  Most emotional and heart-rending were the interactions with parents of Kamlaris who, once sold into servitude, disappeared.

Sixty-nine percent of the funds needed to continue this work comes from the Nepal Youth Foundation, which means, it comes from you.  Thank you for continuing to support the liberation of children from bonded servitude.  With your help, in their lifetimes, this form of slavery can vanish forever into the history books.

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Feb 22, 2012

Beyond Miraculous ... WARNING- DISTURBING PHOTO

Jamuna at arrival in Nepalgunj NRH
Jamuna at arrival in Nepalgunj NRH

 

A case study: Jamuna Budha Magar

Jamuna Budha Magar is almost 12 years old.  Her family lives in the far west part of Nepal in the Rukum district.  She is one of eight children ranging in ages from seven to 14.  Her parents lack formal education and are illiterate. Jamuna, herself, never learned to read or write, and, now, due to serious and unaddressed ailments she cannot speak.  Recently, she lost her sight as a result of a severe E.coli infection.  When Jamuna arrived at the Baluatar Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) in Kathmandu, her length was 107 cm (3.5 ft) and weight, 9 kg (19.8 lbs).  According to World Health Organization guidelines, this is a score of minus-4 on a weight to height ratio (a comparative scale which normally goes only to minus-3:  http://www.who.int/childgrowth/standards/Growth_standard.pdf)

Under other circumstances, it is very probable that Jamuna would be dead by the time you read this.

After Jamuna’s admission, NRH nutritionists designed a diet plan to address her nutritional deficiencies. She was fed milk, rice pudding and other foods which her system could assimilate. From the first week, she began to gain weight at a steady rate of almost 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per week. In the initial 29 days of her stay in the NRH, Jamuna has gained 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs). Now, her total body weight is 13.4 kg (29.5 lbs). Despite losing her vision, Jamuna has begun responding and, although she cannot speak, according to the staff at the NRH, she smiles when she is happy. Recently, she was taken for a consultation with the doctors at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. Their recommendation is that Jamuna gain optimum weight before she undergoes surgery to deal with ailments contracted due to severe ongoing malnutrition, including hydrocephalus.

We continue to be deeply grateful for your support of the NRH program and, especially, when we can save a child on the very brink of death as Jamuna was. Please give as generously as you can, so that we can continue to help kids in Nepal grow up to live as fully as possible.

Jamuna after 10 days of NRH Nutritional Care
Jamuna after 10 days of NRH Nutritional Care
Jamuna after 29 days of NRH Nutritional Care
Jamuna after 29 days of NRH Nutritional Care
Dec 22, 2011

New Life Center Update

Children infected or affected by HIV
Children infected or affected by HIV

Bishnu Raidash -- One Child's Story

When HIV-infected 19-month-old Bishnu Raidash was admitted to the Nepal Youth Foundation's New Life Center (MSPN) in Kathmandu this year, he weighed 11 pounds (5kg), less than half of the normal North American child's weight at that age.

Bishnu was born in Lumbini, a town close to the Indian border which is considered to be the birthplace of Siddartha Gautama, founder of the Buddhist tradition. Unlike the Buddha, who was born to royalty, Bishnu was the youngest child born to an impoverished family with six other children.  When Bishnu was three months old, his mother, Kislabati, became ill with fever and diarrhea. Finally seeking treatment at the regional hospital, Kislabati was diagnosed as HIV positive. Doctors advised her to stop breast feeding Bishnu. However, it was too late, and the baby had contracted the illness from her.

Kislabati died within the year, leaving her HIV-infected husband, Manodhar, to raise the children, two of whom were also HIV positive -- Bishnu and his 6-year-old brother.

By the time Bishnu was 10-months-old, his diet had become protein deficient, resulting in a condition of malnutrition known as Kwashiorkor.  At 18 months of age, with his condition severely worsened, Bishnu was admitted to the government hospital where he stayed for two weeks as doctors stabilized his medical condition.  However, government hospitals do not provide on-going nutritional care, so Bishnu was transferred to the New Life Center.

The New Life Center

NYF's New Life Center provides excellent lifesaving treatment to children with HIV/AIDS 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 lets infected people lead fulfilling lives. During the months that children and their guardians spend at the Center, they receive food, housing, and all medical treatment for free.

Although the New Life Center occupies one relatively small building, since its inception in 2006, it has served hundreds children and trained their caretakers on health and nutrition.  In addition, nutritional therapy is sometimes all that is necessary to renew these children to health without administration of antiviral drugs.

The rest of One Child's Story...

Bishnu stayed at the New Life Center for nearly two months.  When he was released, he was a much healthier toddler weighing nearly 18 lbs (>8 kg).  The effects of Kwashiorkor were minimized and Bishnu truly has a good chance of living a strong and long life.

Thanks to the support and funding of NYF's donors, Bishnu is alive today and the New Life Center continues to save the lives of similarly precious and deserving children of Nepal.

If you would like more information about our programs please visit us at www.nepalyouthfoundation.org.  Thank you for your support.  Follow this link to watch our new 4 minute video:http://bit.ly/uv6is2.

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