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.
Jan 22, 2013

Rescue Needy Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS

New Life Center Outcomes  •  2012

HIV/AIDS is a rapidly growing problem in Nepal, fueled by ignorance about HIV prevention and brutal discrimination against people with AIDS. Many children with HIV are forced to leave their schools, and infected women are often abandoned by their husbands. Because of this stigma, many people avoid being tested and hide their symptoms of AIDS for as long as possible. According to a U.N. study, more than 80% of Nepalis with HIV have not been diagnosed.

NYF’s Solution

NYF’s New Life Center is a pioneer in care for children with HIV/AIDS in Nepal. The program provides lifesaving treatment to children 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 lets 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.

Since the New Life Center opened in 2006, it has provided more than 140 HIV-positive children with happy, fulfilling childhoods. Last year, it gave life-saving and life-extending treatment to 63 children and their caretakers.

The New Life Center can house 18 children and their guardians, who live there for several months. It is the only facility in Nepal that uses a comprehensive, holistic approach to helping HIV-positive children. Its nurses, nutritionist, doctor, and other staff provide:

For the children:  education and enriching activities

For their caretakers:  training in nutrition, health, literacy, and income generation

For both:  nutritious meals, 24-hour medical care, and counseling to improve their self-confidence and help them manage the stigma of HIV/AIDS

Most children who are admitted to the Center suffer from health problems such as malnutrition and tuberculosis. Rather than only treating their symptoms, the Center implements a three-pronged approach consisting of clinical therapy, nutritional therapy, and psychological therapy. While the nurses treat the patients’ health issues and give anti-retroviral drugs to reduce the effects of HIV infection, the professional nutritionist and cook plan and prepare healthy, well rounded meals. Professional psychological counselors help the children and their guardians learn to live with the stigma of HIV/AIDS and improve their self-esteem.

The nurses and nutritionist complement the treatment with a series of educational programs for the caretakers. The topics include nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, the dietary needs of children of different ages, reproductive health, and illnesses that commonly afflict people with HIV. This training enables the parents to avoid many of the diseases that are particularly dangerous to HIV-positive people and to eat a balanced diet using inexpensive, locally available foods to keep themselves and their children as healthy as possible. The children also participate in enrichment activities such as celebrating Nepali festivals and taking trips to the zoo.

After several months, when the patients’ health problems have been alleviated and the caretakers are fully trained, they return to their homes. Many live productive lives for years by practicing what they learned at the New Life Center. If they need additional treatment or if their health worsens, they can return to the Center for free follow-up care at any time. The program truly gives new life to children with HIV/AIDS.

The Center’s staff has taken initiative to raise money for the program. In addition to requesting donations from visitors and supporters, they print and sell t-shirts and notecards. They formed a partnership with Heifer International which contributed two cows, who are a source of fresh milk to nourish the children and sell for additional income.

Sustainability of the Program

The New Life Center’s comprehensive care model is a key to its success. Most children arrive at the Center with full-blown AIDS, including illnesses like 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 is likely that additional treatments will be available to extend their lives even further.

Two Lives Transformed by the New Life Center

When Sita’s son, who was HIV-positive from birth, came down with a fever, tuberculosis, and other illnesses, the doctors at the local government hospital refused to help him because she couldn't afford the treatment. She was alone, destitute, and heartbroken, until someone recommended the New Life Center.

 "After coming to the New Life Center, my son and I both got healthier and gained weight," Sita said. "I learned about a balanced diet, health, and hygiene. I gained self-confidence, and I learned how to deal with discrimination about HIV/AIDS and stand up for my rights." After two months at the Center, she and her child were healthy and ready to resume their lives. Sita is now employed as a social motivator, training HIV-positive women. "At the New Life Center, I became empowered. Now I feel confident enough to do anything."

Links:

Jan 18, 2013

Educate Children in Rural Nepal

Sushmita
Sushmita

Many Nepali children do not attend school because their families cannot afford the uniform and small fees. Furthermore, many parents expect their children to work on the family farm or do housework all day.

In 2011-2012, the Nepal Youth Foundation’s village scholarships provided education to 74 children in impoverished rural families – 33 girls and 41 boys. Many are the first members of their families to attend school.

NYF’s Solution

 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 kids 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 schools are functioning. They walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, stopping at various 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. 273 children have received life-changing opportunities thanks to this program since NYF began.

My name is Sushmita--Now 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.

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.

Links:

Oct 22, 2012

Children walk for hours to get to school

Namu must limp 8 miles to school every day
Namu must limp 8 miles to school every day

Life in the rugged western region of Nepal-some 500 miles from Kathmandu- is a constant struggle for survival.  People lack adequate food,safe drinking water, decent schools and primary health care.  Travel is difficult.  There are few roads and those that exist are in poor condition.  

Gaurishankar School in rural western Nepal is a public school for 450 students from first through tenth grade. There is no road to the school. It can only be reached on foot, via steep, rough trails. Because it is the only high school that serves more than 30 villages, some students walk as far as 20 miles round-trip every schoolday, often across dangerous rivers. During the rainy season, students must cross dangerous rivers. Girls feel unsafe walking after dark.

The Nepal Youth Foundation has launched a new project to construct student housing at the school, so that fewer students drop out and so the students have enough time to study. This student housing will reduce the drop-out rate and give students more time to study so they can succeed.

The Nepal Youth Foundation is constructing dormitories, one for girls and one for boys. Schoolteachers will live in the housing and supervise the students. .

 Namu, a victim of polio, is determined to go to school

Thirteen-year-old Namu is a victim of polio and walks with a marked limp. She is from a village four miles away from Gaurishankar School. Namu is determined to attend the school even though she has to walk eight miles a day, which takes her four hours. Namu would like to stay near the school and have more time to study, but there are no dormitories or houses nearby where she can rent a room.

Links:

 

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