Psychological counseling in Nepal is in its infancy, although many children suffer from emotional trauma. NYF’s Ankur Counseling Center is a pioneer in psychological therapy for disadvantaged children in Nepal. Ankur also offers a wide range of training for people who work with youth.
Since the Ankur Counseling Center began in 2006, it has provided free psychological counseling to 2213 underprivileged children. In 2011-2012, 604 people benefited from therapy at Ankur. The Center also held 28 training sessions and workshops through the year for 415 participants.
Emotional health is largely neglected in Nepal and psychology is only beginning to gain acceptance. However, many people, especially disabled children, orphans, and homeless youth, suffer from oppression and discrimination.
To meet this need, the Nepal Youth Foundation established the Ankur Counseling Center in 2006. Ankur’s counselors, who have Masters degrees in clinical psychology, provide psychosocial therapy to hundreds of underprivileged children every year. This counseling is enabling children who have endured unimaginable hardships at very young ages to fulfill their potential.
In addition to individual counseling, Ankur’s therapists run group therapy sessions and workshops for youth. These are very beneficial to the boys and girls who live at J and K House, NYF’s children’s homes, many of whom face similar emotional and behavioral challenges. The therapy sessions teach children about interpersonal relationships, self-esteem, and leadership, and the workshops cover topics such as stress management and drug abuse.
Ankur is the first center in Nepal to use sand play therapy, a form of psychological therapy which transcends language and is therefore particularly suitable to the needs of children. Ankur’s counselors now train other psychologists to use sand play therapy.
The Center complements its psychosocial counseling with a wide range of trainings and workshops for hundreds of people every year. The participants, who come from throughout Nepal to attend the trainings, include professionals and students in the field of psychology, child care professionals, teachers, and parents, as well as children. Ankur also provides trainings for child care professionals, such as are therapists, teachers, and staff of orphanages. Some of the topics are Peer Counseling, Parenting skills, Creative Movement Therapy, Positive Discipline, and Motivational Communication Skills.
Additionally, Ankur offers internships to college students in Nepal who are pursuing degrees in social work. The interns actively participate in many of the activities at the Center and gain a greater understanding of the importance of psychosocial care.
Counseling for Girls Rescued from Bondage
Ankur has established a second counseling center in Western Nepal for girls NYF has freed from childhoods spent in indentured servitude. Many of these girls have been severely traumatized and their emotional needs have largely been neglected. NYF has trained 45 rescued girls to be peer counselors, and in 2011-2012, the girls formed 75 support groups with a total of 783 members. Ankur’s counselors traveled throughout the program area to monitor the support groups and arrange further training for the peer counselors.
Sustainability of the Program
The Ankur Counseling Center has made its counseling and other programs available to everyone in the Kathmandu area, with an emphasis on children. The income generated through this counseling partially funds the free treatment for disadvantaged children, helping the Center become sustainable. The counselors use television and radio to raise awareness about the importance of psychological counseling and encourage people to come to Ankur.
Some of the programs that generate income include a Psychological Care Camp for children and teens during their winter vacation from school, parenting classes that teach parents and teachers how to create child-friendly environments in schools and homes, and specialized training programs for child care staff.
A Mysterious Illness Cured by Therapy
Sunita, a student in 9th grade, suffered from headaches, dizziness, and vomiting, and was performing poorly in school. Ankur’s counselor found that she was very afraid of the future and felt pressured to excel in school to "be somebody." Her fears had produced physical symptoms.
Through techniques including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Sand Tray Therapy, Ankur’s psychologist explored Sunita’s problem and reduced her fears. The counselor taught her relaxation techniques and had her study, eat, and sleep according to a set schedule. After six therapy sessions, Sunita passed her high school examinations and is now studying in college.
Even when the Nepal Youth Foundation is able to rescue a child from hunger and want, it is not always as easy to rescue that child from the nightmares that remain in the wake of harsh trauma, domestic violence and extreme poverty.
Ankur Counseling Center (ACC) was established as a place to give the children of NYF the psychological counseling needed to recover their mental health as they are being restored to physically healthy, happy lives in NYF's other programs.
In addition, ACC also offers outreach for other children suffering psychological pain, and, in this last half year, trained 45 former Kamlari girls as peer counselors.
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.
As far as the Ankur Counseling Center goes, this means the addition of a full year of mental health services provided to an additional two clients, increasing the number of children and young adults served from five to seven for the same investment.
Thank you again for your support of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Namaste!
By Teresa Parker - Development Director
Nepal Youth Foundation’s Ankur Counseling Center (ACC) provides therapeutic counseling to nearly 1,000 adults and children, annually. In addition, ACC trains almost as many adults with backgrounds in education, medicine and mental health in counseling and therapy skills. Conducting orientation sessions quarterly, they also lead multiple-day training sessions and at least one advanced training session every year.
ACC’s results-oriented mental health programs continue to generate support and interest. Their staff now regularly makes presentations, teaches group sessions, and leads workshops in regional schools and colleges. With a leading-edge understanding of mental health and the many effective ways to minimize its effects, ACC receives invitations to present their methods to an ever-increasing number of professionals and organizations throughout Nepal.
Freed Indentured Daughters Receive Counseling and Counseling Training
The ACC staff of mental health practitioners continues to work closely with the Freed Kamalaris Development Forum (FKDF), the nonprofit organized by once-indentured and now free young women. With the assistance and training provided by ACC, these formerly bonded girls are able to deal effectively with their earlier traumas. The flagship training program offered through the FKDF, “Basic Counseling Skills,” continues to show remarkable results. This six-day training teaches accessible and transferable counseling and facilitation techniques which the young women can then put in service to help resolve the psychological troubles of their freed younger “sisters.”
In addition, a shortened three-day form of the “Basic Counseling Skills” course is now regularly given to school teachers and members of child care institutions, focusing on child psychology, communication skills and behavior change cycle.
Among their many effective modalities of treatment are Creative Movement Therapy (CMT) for stress management, Non Violent Communication (NVC) to enhance the understanding of the influence of language on behavior, and courses in “Sex and Sexuality” offered to adolescents, providing an open forum for exploring these topics while examining the associated emotions and social consequences.
In the schools and colleges, ACC also holds ongoing orientation sessions with young adults, providing information about the myths and realities of therapy. By these means, ACC continues to develop a positive attitude toward mental health counseling. These programs are fruitful for Ankur, allowing many opportunities to disseminate its services to the community and schools.
World Mental Health Day Celebration – October 10, 2011
ACC participated again in 2011 in the World Mental Health Day, using the event as a platform to raise public awareness about mental health issues in Nepal. ACC’s successes with their many modalities has helped to promote more open discussion of the problems of mental illness, which is still a new and sensitive subject for most Nepalese.
For more information about this program, please visit us at www.nepalyouthfoundation.org. Follow this link to watch our new 4 minute video:http://bit.ly/uv6is2.
We thank you for supporting this worthwhile project.
The Nepal Youth Foundation has started to rescue children with HIV/AIDS! The New Life Center in Kathmandu, Nepal provides excellent treatment to children with HIV/AIDS while teaching their parents 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 HIV-infected people lead fulfilling lives. Find out more about this pioneering project!http://www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/health/newlife.html
NYF's founder Olga Murray describes falling in love with NepalShe also discusses NYF’s diverse programs for children and the organization's plans for the future, in an interview in the Napa Valley Register. http://bit.ly/8XzPn6
Read an interview about NYF's life-changing projects!Read an interview with the Nepal Youth Foundation's Development Director, Gregg Tully, about NYF's work to end child slavery in Nepal, scholarships, and children's homes. Also watch a video in which a blind Nepali girl describes the happiest moment in her life.http://bit.ly/9Fihbt
NYF earns its fourth consecutive four-star ratingBecause of our exceptional fiscal management, the Nepal Youth Foundation received its fourth four-star rating – the highest possible – from Charity Navigator, America's largest evaluator of charities. Only 8% of the charities evaluated receive four consecutive four-star ratings. This indicates our extremely efficient and effective implementation of the funds that you, our donors, contribute.
A hair salon held a fundraiser to rescue enslaved Nepali girls! Salon Amour in Walnut Creek, California donated 100% of their proceeds for a day to NYF, and raised $5,000 – enough to rescue 50 girls! Find out more about how they did it at http://www.callandresponse.com/blog/?p=753. Can you hold a fundraiser, too? Read about many creative and fun ways you can help NYF rescue needy children:http://www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/howtohelp/supporters.html
Please donate today to enable the Nepal Youth Foundation to give unimagined opportunities to some of the most destitute children on earth. It only costs $100 to rescue a girl from bonded servitude and let her get an education.
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 education for disabled children, nutrition, 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.
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President and Founder of NYOF