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.
May 29, 2013

Improving Access to Education

A Rural School
A Rural School

Education in Rural Nepal

In Nepal, there are numerous barriers to a child successfully completing secondary school.  Only 70% of children even start primary school. Many do not finish the 5th grade. Students must struggle with both financial and practical obstacles to finishing school.

Financially, many families can’t afford the school fee, which is modest by the standards of developed countries, let alone the cost of books and uniforms. The Nepal Youth Foundation has supported hundreds of students so they can receive an education. During the reporting period, NYF supported 43 rural students (29 male, 19 female) by providing them with scholarships.

NYF’s field workers regularly check on the children and observe how the schools are functioning. They walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, stopping at village schools to survey the situation and discuss any 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. Nearly 300 children have received life-changing opportunities since this program started.

Many students face challenges just getting to the classroom. While life is difficult everywhere in Nepal, it is especially challenging in Western Nepal, a rugged and remote region. Many villages lack roads. Children must walk for hours on dirt paths to reach school. Some must walk for over 20 miles. Aside from the rough terrain and poor footpaths, some girls do not feel safe after dark and must actually run to reach home before sundown. These challenges contribute to the high dropout rate in Nepal.

To help students attend and complete secondary school, NYF is constructing two dormitories – one for girls and another for boys. Each will provide 24 students from distant villages a place to stay so they can focus on studying, not traveling to and from school. Teachers will also live at the dormitories to ensure the children’s safety.

Links:

May 29, 2013

Overcoming Past Trauma Through Therapy

Sandplay Therapy
Sandplay Therapy

Project Update:

From January to March, 2013, Ankur conducted 97 individual counseling sessions for children from NYF’s J and K House, New Life Center, as well as the community. Additionally, 12 group counseling sessions were held.

During this three month period, counselors made 14 visits to the J and K House to establish a rapport with the children and to help them develop social skills in a fun, safe environment. These visits also provided an opportunity for the counselors to observe the children's behavior in their home environment and their interpersonal relationships with each other and house parents.

Nepalganj Unit: Providing Psychological Support for Rescued Kamlaris

The Ankur Counceling Center in Nepalgunj (a city in Western Nepal) has been helping girls who have been freed from indentured servitude. Many of these girls have been severely traumatized and their emotional needs have largely been neglected. NYF has trained dozens of rescued girls to be peer counselors, and they have formed support groups with hundreds of members. Ankur’s counselors travel throughout the program area to monitor the support groups and arrange further training for the peer counselors.

During the reporting period, 152 girls were provided individual counseling through 256 sessions, 78 group counseling sessions were conducted for 304 girls. Likewise, 345 home visits, 245 school visits and 18 hostel visits were made by the peer counselors. Currently there are 45 Peer Counselors and 1156 members in 91 support groups. 199 Support Group Meetings were held in these three months.

Recovering from the Past

Nepal has faced a number of hardships over the past several decades. A protracted civil war lasted ten years and left over 15,000 deaths and over 100,000 displaced people. Political instability continues, and a weak economy has resulted in nearly 50% unemployment.

Children have been especially affected. Many were orphaned by the civil war or sent to work in urban areas where they are at risk for exploitation. Drug abuse is rampant amongst street children.

While these children have suffered emotional trauma, they have very little access to mental health resources. Psychological counseling is still in its infancy in Nepal. To meet this need, the Nepal Youth Foundation established the Ankur Counseling Center in 2006. At Ankur, professional counselors provide psychological therapy to underprivileged children. This counseling helps the children to overcome their pasts and achieve their full potential.

Ankur’s beneficial therapies reach beyond individual children. The Center additionally holds group therapy sessions and workshops. These are especially helpful for the children living at J and K House, NYF’s children’s homes. Therapy sessions help the children develop interpersonal and leadership skills, as well as building self-esteem. The workshops cover such issues as stress management and drug abuse. Beyond offering direct support for Nepal’s children, Ankur is working towards improving the field of mental health in Nepal.

Ankur was the first center in Nepal to introduce sandplay therapy. In sandplay therapy, the children use small figurines and a sandbox to express their feelings. Since this modality transcends language, it is particularly well suited for children. Ankur’s counselors now train other psychologists to use sandplay.

Capacity building is an important part of Ankur’s work. Every year, hundreds of people from around Nepal come to attend a wide range of trainings and workshops. These participants include psychology students and professionals, childcare workers, teachers, parents, and even Buddhist monks and women’s groups.

Another way that Ankur is contributing to the future of mental health in Nepal is by offering internships to college students who are studying social work. The interns are active participants at many of the activities at the center, and gain a greater understanding of the importance of psychosocial care.

We've just launched our new website: www.nepalyouthfoundation.org  Let us know what you think!

Group Counseling Yoda
Group Counseling Yoda

Links:

May 29, 2013

Ending Malnutrition Through Education

Learning about a balanced diet
Learning about a balanced diet

The Nepal Youth Foundation is excited to unveil our new website!   Please take a look and let us know what you think.

Project Update: July 2012 – March 2013

With the help of generous donors like you, NYF's Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes have been able to provide lifesaving treatment for over 8000 dangerously malnourished children. The work done by the NRHs not only treats individual children, but also educates the parents to promote the long-term health of the child. Training for health care workers around the country further helps to reduce the terrible prevalence of childhood malnourishment.

Rehabilitation:

From July 2012 to March 2013, 153 malnourished children were admitted to the NRH in Kathmandu. During the same period, 144 children were discharged afterbeing returned to health.  Field supervisors conducted 278 follow-up visits. 256 of the children were found to be still in good health. The cases of relapse were caused by medical complications and poverty.

Education:

While the children were receiving residential care, their mothers took part in training relating to food, nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation. 50 of the caretakers were unable to stay at the NRH, and were given counseling about a balanced diet.

Vaccination:

Some of the children who come to the NRHs have not yet been given basic childhood vaccines. At the NRH in Kathmandu, 22 children were vaccinated against tetanus, 32 were vaccinated received the MMR vaccine, and 42 received a meningitis vaccine.

Outreach Camps:

In the reporting period, NYF conducted four outreach camps. Out of 1302 children screened, 500 (38.4%) were found to be malnourished. Nutritional information was provided to the caretakers, and severe cases were referred to the NRH for further treatment.

Training:

In addition to directly working with malnourished children and their guardians, NRH - Kathmandu provides training to health care professionals. During the reporting period, 23 professionals were trained.

The training was executed in three phases. In the first phase, a ten-day training program was conducted focusing on four major components: basic knowledge on nutrition, diet management for specific age groups and physical conditions, diet management of patients with specific diseases, and management of acute and chronic malnutrition.

In the second phase, the participants returned to their jobs and implemented the knowledge they had acquired. Experts involved in this project then carried out follow-up visits and met with hospital managements to ensure effective implementation of the training.

The third phase consisted of a 5-day refresher training. 

The trained professionals are now focusing on promoting health through diet counseling, nutritional awareness, and improvement in kitchen management and cooking in hospitals. They are also sharing of their knowledge with other professionals on their team, multiplying the effect of the training.

Case Study: Mahendra

Mahendra was severely malnourished when he came to the NRH in Kathmandu. At 9 months, he was being fed solely on breast milk. Unfortunately, his mother was not producing enough milk. When he arrived at the NRH he weighed just 7.5lbs – 70% below a healthy weight. After 35 days, he had recovered the lost weight and was discharged a healthy, happy 11lbs 11oz baby.

Mahendra at admission
Mahendra at admission
Mahendra 35 days later
Mahendra 35 days later

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