First, I would like to thank you for your generous contributions to our program to Build Dormitories so 48 Students Can Go to School (www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/shelter/housing.html). The Nepal Youth Foundation has enabled thousands of children in rural Nepal to go to school because of the support of people like you.
Additionally, I want to tell you that I am retiring as the President of the Nepal Youth Foundation and that the Board has appointed Som Paneru, our former Executive Director in Nepal, as my successor.
This is bittersweet – on the one hand, I am leaving a position to which I had devoted the last 25 years of my life. On the other, I’m taking a step toward fulfilling my most ardent wish – that the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) continue to provide life-changing help to the neediest children of Nepal. The appointment of Som as the new President will bring to NYF the skills, the passion, the smarts, the creativity, and the experience to assure its future long after I am gone. NYF has a bright future.
Let me tell you a bit about Som. He is a product of NYF’s scholarship program and the son of a poor farmer from the Ghorka District of Nepal. In the 1990s, after we granted him a scholarship to Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu to study science and math, he brought several of his young siblings to Kathmandu from his village to assure that they, too, would receive an education. He enrolled them in school in the city, and provided all the care they needed, and full support. Several of his siblings now have advanced degrees.
After Som graduated, he wanted to teach, but not in a private school for rich kids, but in a poor village where the instruction in science and math was pitifully inadequate. He explained that he had "a lot to pay back" to those who had helped him to get an education.
NYF was growing quickly, and in 1995 we offered Som a job. It became apparent very quickly that he had an uncanny knack for creating and administering programs. Our very popular Indentured Daughters Program was his idea, and he was instrumental in creating the ingenious "piglet for a girl" method to liberate these young girls from slavery (www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/freedom). And it was his idea and his excellent relations with the Ministry of Health that led to the government agreeing to take over and fund all the 14 Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes we have built after we operate them for five years (http://nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/health/nrhindex.html).
I will continue to be involved with NYF, of course. I hold the post of Honorary President, and will continue as a member of the Board of Directors. It is hard to exaggerate the pleasure your support and encouragement have given me over these many years. It has enabled NYF to grow from a tiny organization to what we are today – a well-run foundation providing transformative help to thousands of Nepali children every year.
Warm regards, Olga Murray Founder and Honorary Board President Nepal Youth Foundation
P.S. Please learn more about the Nepal Youth Foundation’s diverse programs for children in need at www.NepalYouthFoundation.org.
By Sabita Shrestha:
I am now twelve years old. I have my father, mother and three brothers in my family and I am the only daughter. I am studying in grade 5. I feel so lucky because of the support I have been receiving from the Nepal Youth Foundation. If I hadn't got support, going to school would have been a dream to me because my family is so poor.
Our condition is very miserable. The roof of our house is made of straw. During the rainy season the rain water leaks through the roof and the house is also vulnerable to the wind. My father has no job and we have a very small plot of land. The cultivation from that land is insufficient for us even to feed ourselves. We don't even have enough blankets to protect ourselves from the winter. My only clothes are the school uniform provided by NYF.
My aim in life is to become a nurse and take care of the poor. That is why I have been studying so hard. But my father scolds me when he gets drunk. He even beats my mother. Last time she had to be taken to hospital because of my father's physical torture. Despite these adversities, I am not hopeless.
The Nepal Youth Foundation’s education programs enable children like Sabita to uplift themselves from poverty and give them hope for a better future. NYF’s diverse programs help impoverished children in villages and urban Kathmandu, from kindergarten to college. Learn more about these life-changing programs at www.NepalYouthFoundation.org
P.S. To get the latest news about the Nepal Youth Foundation’s work for Nepali children in need, please join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nepalyouth
There are no roads to many schools in rural Nepal, and the trails are steep and rugged. Some children walk for eight hours to and from school every day. NYF's student housing will reduce the drop-out rate and give students more time to study so they can succeed.
Many Nepali children do not attend school because of the long, difficult hike to get there, and many drop out every year. In 2011-2012, the Nepal Youth Foundation provided education to 72 children in impoverished rural families. Many are the first members of their families to attend school.
Only 70% of Nepali children enroll in primary school, and many of them drop out before the fifth grade. In the rural areas where the Nepal Youth Foundation works, the dropout rate is very high. Often, a family simply cannot afford the cost of the school uniform and school supplies, or even the very small school fee.
In several rural districts in Nepal, the Nepal Youth Foundation grants scholarships to children to cover their school expenses. This is the first generation in most of these areas to receive an education. An education is the best way to prepare these youngsters for the very difficult future that awaits them, since an increasing number of the next generation in Nepal's overpopulated hills will inherit no land and will have no choice but to find their fortunes competing for jobs in the cities.
The impact of the program ripples throughout communities. The scholarships motivate parents other than those whose children NYF supports to send their children to school, because there is social pressure in the village when some kids go to school and others do not. Some parents hope that their children will also be sponsored if they start school. Headmasters report that there are noticeable rises in general attendance after NYF brings its scholarship program to their schools.
NYF’s field workers visit the schools regularly to check on the children and to observe how the school is functioning. They walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, stopping at various village schools to survey the situation and discuss problems with the headmasters and students.
The Nepal Youth Foundation supports children until they can support themselves. After they graduate from high school, the organization provides them with college scholarships or vocational training. 273 children have received life-changing opportunities thanks to this program.
I Am Not Hopeless
I am now twelve years old. I have my father, mother and three brothers in my family and I am the only daughter. I am studying in grade 5. I feel so lucky because of the support I have been receiving from NYF. If I hadn't got support, going to school would have been a dream to me because my family is so poor.
Thanks to all of you who supported and funded our Dormitory Project, we've accomplished our goal!
Now that we have met this goal and are providing housing for these deserving students, NYF is turning its attention to the Vocational Education and Career Counseling (VECC) for maturing adolescents who are ready to enter the job market.
Please visit our VECC project link below (and project to be posted on GlobalGiving within the next two weeks). You can read about our many successes with this wonderful young program, which is already one of our most fruitful.
In the meantime, please look at Nepal Youth Foundation's 7 other programs on GlobalGiving. Only through your kindness and generosity, through the donations of concerned world citizens just like you, are we able to continue helping these deserving children.
And, now, next Wednesday, March 14 ONLY...
... because we appreciate every dollar you have given to support our program, NYF is thrilled to invite you to participate in GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day event.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, GlobalGiving.org will match 30% for every dollar you donate! $50,000 in matching funds are available, but only on March 14. This 30% matching offer begins right after the stroke of midnight, March 13, and runs only until the $50,000 is claimed. Once the funds are used, no more matching funds will be applied.
Add even greater value to the gifts you give NYF. Mark your calendars for NEXT Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
And, GlobalGiving will make this 30% match for single contributions up to $1,000! That’s $1,300 value for a $1,000 donation.
Thank you again for your support of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Namaste!
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.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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