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.
Jun 29, 2015

New home for New Life Center

boy at New Life Center
boy at New Life Center

Nepal Youth Foundation is accelerating plans to build a permanent residence for our New Life Center after the earthquakes weakened our rented structure this spring.

While the current residence is still habitable, residents no longer feel safe. We will build the new house on the site our Nutritional Rehabilitation Home in Kathmandu on property owned by NYF. The building will cost around $200,000 to build.

We had architectural plans drawn up before the devastating earthquakes struck Nepal in April and May and will move forward with construction after the monsoon ends this summer.

The newly constructed New Life Center will improve both access and quality to HIV/AIDS treatment and services in Nepal for years to come. 65 children received treatment and care at the center last year.

The New Life Center provides 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 allows 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.

The New Life Center is the only facility in Nepal that uses a holistic approach to helping HIV-positive children. We offer psychological counseling services to help children and their guardians learn to live with the stigma of HIV/AIDS and improve their self-esteem. Further, nurses, nutritionist, doctor, and other staff provide: education and enriching activities for children, training in nutrition, health, literacy, and income generation for caregivers, as well as nutritious meals, 24-hour medical care, and counseling to improve their self-confidence and help them manage the stigma of HIV/AIDS for both.

This comprehensive care model is 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 children 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.

Thank you for your support.

Namaste!

Architectural drawing of new New Life Center
Architectural drawing of new New Life Center
Mother and child at New Life Center
Mother and child at New Life Center

Links:

Jun 23, 2015

Earthquake relief aid worsens malnutrition problem

NYF provides hearty lunch for earthquake survivors
NYF provides hearty lunch for earthquake survivors

Malnutrition was a big problem in this tiny country before the massive earthquakes destroyed large swaths of Nepal earlier this spring. Nearly half of all Nepalese children under age five are afflicted with the condition.

Sadly, relief efforts might be worsening the problem. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, relief organizations sent huge amounts of rice, noodles and biscuits to villages, Because  these foods are easy and filling, mothers were happy to serve rice, noodles and biscuits to their children three times daily.

Nepal Youth Foundation staff visited three emergency centers in Sindhupalchok, a region hard hit by the quakes, and found many children showing signs of malnourishment.

"This is an unintended consequence of relief," said NYF's President Som Paneru. “This should serve as a lesson for future disasters.'

Instead of starchy, processed food with no nutritional value, Mr. Paneru recommends that relief agencies send non-genetically modified seeds be distributed to the villagers, most of whom already farm their own land.

"Nepal is not suffering from famine or drought," said Mr. Paneru. “So instead of distributing rice, relief agencies should be distributing wheat, millet, and maize, which have ten times more nutrition. They should distribute beans which can be boiled, germinated and consumed."

The seeds would encourage people to return to their land and till the soil, a healing process in itself.

Most families lost the seeds stored inside their houses. By distributing the black lentils and soybeans currently in season, families would feel compelled to return to their homes. Mr. Paneru said that many people are afraid of recurring quakes and need to be reassured that it is safe to return.

"For farmers to go out and till their land is itself a healing process," said Mr. Paneru.

NYF operates 16 nutrition clinics throughout Nepal and has educated thousands of mothers and caretakers in the basics of good nutrition.

Links:

Jun 23, 2015

Counselors help to calm nerves after the quakes

Counselors learn to sooth nerves after the quakes
Counselors learn to sooth nerves after the quakes

NYF’s Ankur Counseling Center has developed a psychological support mechanism for earthquake survivors focusing on children, teachers and parents. As part of the program, NYF counselors have already trained 145 teachers, staff and volunteers on how to provide psychological first aid and support to the children, and deal with parents to help them overcome the insecurity surrounding the earthquake. Relaxation and self- help techniques were also included in the training. Ankur will be busy conducting trainings for more schools. Ankur is also conducting two days intensive Training of Trainers (TOT) for psychosocial counselors who have been mobilized in the affected community after the earthquake. Twenty-five counselors received this training.

Many people remain traumatized by the massive quakes that struck in April and May and by the hundreds of continuing aftershocks.

We are grateful for our lead counselor Chhori Laxmi Maharjan who took a break from her PhD studies in San Francisco to return to Nepal to handle this crisis.

And thanks to our many supporters who help us do this important work.

Namaste!

Training the Trainers
Training the Trainers
Counselor Chhori Laxmi Maharjan comforts family
Counselor Chhori Laxmi Maharjan comforts family

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