The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) uses an integrated approach to address the multitude of challenges facing Nepali children and empowers them to fulfill their dreams. To learn more about how NYOF’s diverse programs provide nutrition for emaciated children, education, loving homes, and much more, visit http://www.NYOF.org .
Olga Murray, who founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) 20 years ago, just turned 85. We celebrated this combined anniversary and birthday in San Francisco with around 200 of Olga and NYOF’s friends and supporters.
Watch ABC TV's VIDEO about NYOF’s work in Nepal and Olga's party!
The video shows the results of the decades NYOF and Olga have spent helping Nepali Children, including rescuing girls who have been enslaved as bonded servants.
NYOF has rescued close to 10,000 girls from slave-like servitude, and more than 3,500 have been saved in the current year alone. NYOF will soon eliminate the tradition of selling Nepali girls into bondage. Read this news article about our accomplishments:
"Happy Birthday Olga Mummy!"
Watch this adorable VIDEO of the children of J and K House, the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation's excellent homes for children, sending Olga Murray birthday greetings.
Bill Brower is a Field Program Officer with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout South and Southeast Asia. On May 10th he visited the NYOF Nutritional Rehabilitation Home in Kathmandu. His “Postcard” from the visit:
The approach to treating severe malnutrition that NYOF and its implementing partners have developed is truly impressive. When they started off in 1998 Som, NYOF’s Executive Director in Kathmandu, says they weren’t aware of a “manual from anywhere in the world” on how to treat these children. All their methods they developed themselves over time. They now have a manual of their own that they use to train staff in the new Nutritional Homes they’ve been starting—with government support—all over Nepal.
Children and their mothers are referred to the facility by local hospitals, unable themselves to provide anything but a bit of emergency care. Outside of fortified milk, the children are fed only foods available anywhere in Nepal. These children, according to Sunita of NYOF’s partner Friends of Needy Children, are not malnourished for lack of food but from ignorance: The mothers are feeding their children only white rice three times a day, or overcooked or fried foods lacking the nutritional value that kids need. So the mothers get trainings while their children recover—in what foods children need, how to prepare them, when to feed their children, how to grow certain foods.
The children are typically discharged at a healthy weight in just 35 days. What’s more impressive is mother and child are sent home with only the training she has received and one bag of flour, and there is a less than 8% relapse rate, according to Sunita. The easy answer might be to provide on-going food assistance, which would be costly and not solve the root cause of the problem. NYOF’s approach seems significantly more sustainable.
One of the mothers, Sita, was bouncing a healthy-looking, eight-month old Nischita on her knee. I asked her what she learned: Sita said she knew now that things like banana and egg yolks did not in fact cause colds in children. She also learned about hygiene and how to prepare nutritional foods, like jowolo. She said she will now feed Nischita five times per day. There are other children in her community who are malnourished and she said she would definitely share what she’s learned with their mothers. She said it would be easy for her since she is a teacher. Shree, another mother, gave a similar response saying she’d learned about optimal feeding times and how to prepare vegetables and a special type of flour.
I think this is a great project. I’m proud that GlobalGiving donors are supporting it. It seems an approach deserving of spreading throughout Nepal and beyond.
The boy in the photos is Shiva Rana (not his real name), and he was born in Kanchenpur, one of the nine districts where NYOF has established a Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (“NRH”). These are small hospitals dedicated to restoring the health of malnourished children. His mother gave birth to Shiva, her fourth child, at their hut in a shantytown settlement. Her health was fragile and her breast milk insufficient, so little Shiva started out life without adequate nourishment. When he grew old enough to consume solid foods, at times the family was so poor that they did not have food to offer him. His mother took him to a local shaman (a common practice in poor rural areas in Nepal where there are no doctors), but Shiva continued to deteriorate.
She finally took him to a hospital nearby, where he was diagnosed as suffering from acute malnutrition. The hospital referred him to the nearest NRH. At our doorstep appeared an exhausted, malnourished mother carrying a tiny 11 month old baby weighing only 10 pounds, his face distorted by constant crying, with no appetite, a dull complexion, and severe diarrhea.
Although all 10 beds at the NRH were occupied by children in similar condition, our staff found space and admitted him because of the severity of his condition, and went into action. As she does for all the children, our dietitian prepared a special diet tailored to his needs as well as a feeding and nursing schedule, and the doctor attended to his medical problems.
While Shiva was being restored to health, his mother was instructed daily in the preparation of nutritious food inexpensively and easily available in her village, and about all aspects of child care – the importance of hygiene, the symptoms of illness, etc. She stayed with Shiva at the NRH and was offered food that was nourishing and plentiful. Voila – after 34 days, a healthy, smiling baby and a happy, well-nourished and educated mother.
Shiva’s mother kept repeating that it was hard to believe that her half-dead baby could be transformed so quickly into a bouncy, vigorous infant simply by proper diet and care, and she vowed that she would continue to follow the practices she learned at the NRH to keep him and her other children healthy. Our field worker has made several visits to their home, and he reports that Shiva is in the pink of health. And all this for an average cost of $340.
We are deeply grateful for your support. Please give as generously as you can, so that we can continue to help kids in Nepal to uncover and develop their full potential. We have a proven track record in making the most of your donations – you can do more good with a dollar in Nepal than almost anywhere else, and we spend a very small percentage of donations on administration (as evidenced by our four-star rating from Charity Navigator). We hope you will help us in our efforts to make a difference in these children’s lives.
Please let us know your thoughts by providing feedback in our comments section! Also, please tell your friends, family and colleagues about NYOF’s accomplishments!
NYOF’s Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) program is still thriving! The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) operates nine NRHs throughout Nepal, which treat severely malnourished children while training their mothers in child care and nutrition, so the problem does not recur. When these plump, happy, healthy babies return with their moms to their villages, the neighbors come over to find out how this amazing transformation took place! NYOF teaches the mothers to share their newfound knowledge with others, so the impact of this program spreads far beyond the mothers and babies who are treated at the NRHs.
We are preparing to build our tenth NRH in rural southeastern Nepal. With your continued support, everyone in Nepal will soon have reasonable access to these facilities, even those living in the very remote corners of the country.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
We are deeply proud of the successes and accomplishments of the many students in our programs. Take, for example, the girls in rural Nepal who we have liberated from bonded labor at the age of 16 or 17 and who have never been to school. It would be too uncomfortable for them to be in a class with first and second graders, so we place them in an intensive literacy course for nine months and then train them for a job – preferably one which will allow them to start a business of their own.
Early on, we created a sewing program for these older girls. The success of this program is guaranteed because they make school uniforms for the thousands of girls we have liberated and now support in school. (The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) pays the education expenses of former bonded girls, including two sets of school uniforms a year.) So there is no shortage of work for them. Better still, many of the girls we have trained have left the program and started their own sewing businesses in nearby villages.
We have also trained formerly indentured girls to run small shops, repair bicycles, etc. Many of the girls are remarkably entrepreneurial and have started their own businesses to generate income.
Higher education is not the same stepping stone to job opportunities in Nepal that it is in most Western countries; even people with advanced university degrees have difficulty finding work. Our limited funding is sometimes better spent on providing more children with elementary and high school educations and on efforts targeted at eventual employment and self-sufficiency.
The unemployment rate in Nepal hovers around 50%. Thus, for many youngsters, guidance and training in a specific career path is far more helpful than years of higher education. We offer counseling to explore their strengths and interests, and then support them in training for 20 different careers, such as electrician, lab technician, cook, or midwife. These jobs often pay better than the office jobs many college graduates hold out for.
Our vocational programs actively encourage women to pursue careers that in Nepal are traditionally restricted to men. At a technical training school in Kathmandu, NYOF sponsors the only female in the plumbing course. Once she’s employed as a plumber, she hopes to serve as an example to others that women should not feel that certain careers are off-limits.
A number of our vocational trainees who have found decent paying jobs are attending college on their own nickel. One of these is Bashudev Basnet. His father died when he was very young, and his mother earned a living by operating a small tea stall at the bus park in Kathmandu. We supported the education of Bashudev and his brother. After he finished high school and passed his college entrance exams, he enrolled in our vocational program as a cook and he found employment at a fairly snazzy restaurant on the fanciest street in Kathmandu. He was such a good worker that after only a month on the job he got a raise. He has enrolled in college in the morning and then goes to work on the day and evening shift. Not only that, he is now able to support his mother.
We are deeply grateful to you for standing with us. Please give as generously as you can, so that we can continue to help kids in Nepal to uncover and develop their full potential. We have a proven track record in making the most of your donations – you can do more good with a dollar in Nepal than almost anywhere else, and we spend a very small percentage of donations on administration (as evidenced by our four-star rating from Charity Navigator). We hope you will help us in our efforts to make a difference in these children’s lives.
P.S. Watch a video about Ramchandra, a student whose life was transformed by NYOF and who has a truly inspirational outlook, at http://www.nyof.org/newsroom/video.html#ram
Although the government of Nepal is undergoing more tumultuous changes, including a new Prime Minister, NYOF’s programs in Nepal are continuing to transform the lives of impoverished children, and provide them with unimagined opportunities.
NYOF’s Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes are small hospitals where mother and child live while the child is built up to normal weight and health, and the mother is educated about nutrition and other matters relating to the health of her child. The mothers are also trained to pass on the knowledge they have gained to other mothers when they return to their villages. Field workers check up on the children after their discharge to be sure that their mothers are applying the principles they learned at the NRH to maintain the health of their children.
At the request of the Ministry of Health, we are building NRHs all over the country, and have just started construction of our ninth such facility in rural Nepal. The purpose is two-fold. First, we want to restore to health the thousands of children whose mothers cannot afford to bring their children to the city for treatment. The second goal is to establish throughout the country nutrition wards at government zonal hospitals with trained and dedicated staffs and ultimately to transfer responsibility for their financing and operation to the government.
Our plan, developed by our able and dedicated staff in Nepal, is to establish at least 14 NRHs, one on the grounds of the main government hospital in each of Nepal’s administrative zones, to train the employees, and to operate and support the facility for five years. At the end of that period, the hospital itself will take over its operation and financing.
Skeptics told us the government would never accept responsibility. But guess what – it’s happening! The first of these outlying NRHs, in Nepalgunj, reached its five year anniversary last December and the Ministry of Health in Kathmandu is providing funding for the local hospital to take it over. The second comes on line in July and we anticipate the same result. NYOF will continue to have a role in evaluation, monitoring, and continuing education, but the basic support will come from the government of Nepal.
Thank you for supporting some of the most disadvantaged children in Nepal.
Please let us know your thoughts about this project by providing feedback in our comments section!
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.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.