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

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

Links:

Apr 29, 2014

New Life Center

Boys at New Life Center
Boys at New Life Center

At the New Life Center in Kathmandu, 88 HIV-infected children – half-younger than five – last year received not only treatment and medical care, but also psychological counseling and an appropriate diet. Center staff also took the children on outings and celebrated holidays and festivals to make certain that joy was a part of their lives. New Life Center has treated 400 children and educated 356 mothers since Nepal Youth Foundation began the program in 2006.

While 65 children were returned home in stable health, readmission is very high because the children’s health often deteriorates rapidly once they return to homes without appropriate living conditions or nutritious food.   

To help families take care of their children, counselors educate mothers and caretakers in a series of 48 sessions on nutrition and reproductive health. They also offer guidance on caring for their infected children once they returned home.

This comprehensive care model is a key to the Center’s success. Most children arrive with full-blown AIDS, including illnesses such as tuberculosis, malnutrition, and hepatitis, and return home with only HIV, ready to go to school and enjoy a happy childhood. If kids with HIV live hygienically, eat a nutritious diet, and try to avoid infections, they can typically expect to lead full and meaningful lives for around 25 years. By that time, it’s likely that additional treatments will be available to extend their lives even further. Most of the children don’t even need to take anti-retroviral drugs, which are difficult for people in rural and remote areas to obtain.

The New Life Center’s staff strives to find innovative ways to improve the livelihoods of their patients. For example, they planted a small vegetable garden and formed a partnership with Heifer International which contributed a few cows. These provide nutritious organic vegetables and fresh milk to the mothers and children at the Center.

Thank you for supporting these vulnerable children.

Namaste.

Frolicking in the sun
Frolicking in the sun
Mother and child at New Life Center
Mother and child at New Life Center

Links:

Mar 24, 2014

Heading from bonded servitude to a college degree

Renu delivers babies at a rural maternity clinic
Renu delivers babies at a rural maternity clinic

Renu was a fifth grader in her local village school when her dad had a bad accident and could no longer support the family. Desperate, he "sold" Renu into a contract of indentured servitude and sent the 12-year old to work as a Kamlari — essentially, a household slave — for a family in a city far from her home.

While her "employer" promised to send Renu to school, he gave her so much work that she was unable to attend the local elementary school. Instead, she studied on her own late at night after a grueling day of sweeping, mopping and fetching fodder for the family’s animals.

“As a Kamlari, I was constantly working,” Renu said. “I started at 3 a.m. and often didn’t finish until midnight. It took everything to stay up to study.”

As part of its campaign to end the practice of Kamlari, Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) rescued Renu in 2000 after five years as an indentured servant. She was 17 years old.

Smart and hardworking, Renu received a scholarship and finished her studies, passing the difficult School Leaving Certificate exam, a test required of all Nepalis to complete high school. She joined NYF’s Vocational Education and Counseling Center program (VECC) and completed the 18-month Auxiliary Nurse Midwife training program.

She now earns 15,000 rupees ($150) a month — good money in this impoverished country — delivering babies at a small clinic in Western Nepal.

Renu is also continuing her work towards a bachelor’s degree — again, working late into the night studying.

“This is different,” she said. “I don’t mind studying now. I am lucky to have this opportunity. “

Since 2000, NYF has rescued nearly 13,000 girls from the Kamlari system, and was instrumental in causing the government of Nepal in 2013 to officially ban Kamlari once and for all. Today, NYF focuses on providing former Kamlaris with the education, job skills, emotional counseling, and business opportunities they need to ensure a brighter future.

”I am happy that the next generation of girls will never have to go through what I have been through,” Renu said.

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations. Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $20
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $350
    give
  • $860
    give
  • $3,500
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $350
    each month
    give
  • $860
    each month
    give
  • $3,500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) on GreatNonProfits.org.