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.
Aug 1, 2013

Education lights the way for disabled students

Students are eager to learn
Students are eager to learn

Countless children in Nepal are blind, deaf, or physically disabled due to dietary deficiencies and lack of medical care. They seldom have a chance to show that they can be productive members of society. Tuition at schools that accommodate the needs of disabled students is usually more than the annual income of a Nepali family. Thus, only 30% of the disabled are educated; the rest are relegated to barren lives, unable to read, write, or earn a living. Your generosity provides them with hope and the opportunity to reach their potential. 

In 2012-2013, 10 students in our Disabled Scholarship Program passed the college entrance exam (School Leaving Certificate) and will attend college. Of these 11 children who sat for the S.L.C. (the Nepali equivalent of a high school diploma), only one failed – a 91 percent pass rate!  We added two more children to the program last year with 61 students currently enrolled. The students range from preschool to high school.

NYF has paid special attention to blind, deaf, and physically challenged children, giving 190 of them scholarships since its inception. If they can enter regular school or college, NYF enrolls them there. For other children, the best place is a special school that meets their needs. The program has been highly successful – many of its graduates are now providing for themselves and their families. Some are paying their own way through graduate school.

NYF supported students have gone on to great successes. One student went on to become the only blind lawyer in Nepal. Others have gone on to teach at private schools. Aside from the feeling of self-respect, the students develop the skills to be able to support themselves and live with dignity.

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Jul 9, 2013

Changing Lives Through Education

While education is a challenge for all impoverished Nepali children, young people in remote rural villages face even more obstacles than their urban counterparts do.

The dropout rate is exceedingly high in these remote villages – many quit school before 5th grade.  These families are so destitute that the cost of school uniforms, supplies and even a modest school fee is far beyond their meager budgets. Many parents also need their children to work on the family farm or perform household chores and feel that school is beyond their reality, and sadly beyond their dreams.

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. The cost – about $100 a year per child – is an incredible investment. An education will best prepare these youngsters for the very difficult future that awaits them.

In 2012-2013, NYF provided scholarships to 43 children in impoverished rural families – 19 girls and 24 boys in grades one through ten.

We have seen some interesting ripple effects from this program. Our scholarships motivate parents other than those whose children we support to send their children to school, too. There is social pressure in the village when some kids go to school and others do not. Some parents hope that NYF will sponsor their children if they start school. Headmasters tell us that there are noticeable rises in general attendance after we bring our scholarship program to their schools.

Our field workers visit the schools regularly to check on the children and to see how the schools are functioning. To do the job, they walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, sometimes ten hours a day, stopping at various village schools along the way to survey the situation and discuss problems with the headmasters and students.

The Nepal Youth Foundation supports children until they can support themselves. After they graduate from high school, we provide them with college scholarships or vocational training.

We have asked some of the girls we support in rural schools to write about their lives and ambitions. Pushpa, a student in class five writes, “Despite the … adversities, I am not hopeless… I am studying hard because I am determined to become a nurse and take care of the poor.” Kamala, who is in the 8th grade, says: “After getting this scholarship I have been able to go to school regularly and keep myself neat and clean.” And Menuka writes, “I am happy that this scholarship has provided an opportunity for us to get education on an equitable basis with other rich and high class people. We can also become a renowned person if we get equal access of education.”

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May 31, 2013

Abolishing Child Slavery in Nepal

Free to be Children Again
Free to be Children Again

The Nepal Youth Foundation has just earned its 7th consecutive 4-star rating, the highest possible, from Charity Navigator for our efficient use of your donations. Fewer than 2% of charities earn seven consecutive 4-star ratings.

NYF is also excited to announce our new website. Please take a look and let us know what you think:  www.nepalyouthfoundation.org

Indentured Daughters Program Outcomes • May 2013

In rural Nepal, some families are so impoverished that they sell their young daughters to be virtual slaves. In Nepali, these girls are known as “Kamlari”. Despite the fact that the Kamlari system was outlawed in 2000, some girls, and recently boys, are sold under the cover of night. These girls are abused, almost none attend school, and some are forced into prostitution. After spending their childhoods as servants, the girls face soul-crushing challenges.

The Nepal Youth Foundation is eradicating this inhumane tradition. NYF’s Indentured Daughters Program rescues girls from virtual slavery, brings them home to be educated, and empowers them to be self-sufficient.

NYF’s Solution

The pioneering Indentured Daughters Program uses a multifaceted approach to free girls who were sold into servitude. For only $100, the Nepal Youth Foundation liberates a bonded servant, brings her home, gives her family a piglet, goat, or sheep as compensation for her wages, and ensures she can go to school – often for the first time in her life. NYF is eliminating the practice of enslaving girls in Nepal through a two-pronged attack. First, girls that are currently bonded are set free. Second, public awareness campaigns educate communities and turn them against the practice, ensuring that the tradition is stamped out.

Since its inception in 2000, the program has freed 12,082 girls. It continues to support over 11,000 of them in diverse ways. 7,262 of the former servants are currently receiving scholarships.  

Due to the success of the project, wealthy families began buying boys instead of girls. A recent survey estimated that 1,814 boys younger than 14 were indentured in Nepal. NYF began to address this in 2011–2012 by liberating 650 of them. 513 rescued boys are currently attending school under scholarships.

Sustainability of the Program

Now that NYF is close to eradicating the Tharu custom of selling their young daughters, we are shifting our focus from rescuing them to empowering them to be independent and successful. From January to March, 2013, 113 girls were enrolled in vocational training courses about topics such as dress making, poultry farming, computers, cooking, and obtaining a Certified Medical Assistant. These programs develop their confidence as well as their skills and enable them to start their own businesses. NYF arranged training in political activism and human rights for about 100 of the most dynamic girls who show the greatest potential to become leaders of the movement against bonding.

Under the auspices of NYF, many of the girls have been given incentives to form cooperatives that create financial opportunities for themselves and their families. NYF provides seed money for the girls to invest in the coops in order to get started.  The Coop members collectively decide how to manage their business and how to use the money to generate income. They also borrow money from the cooperative profits to start individual business ventures. Due to the girls’ determination and newfound confidence, as well as the trainings provided, the coops have been extremely successful. During the reporting period, liberated girls established two new cooperatives. Currently, there are 26 cooperatives up and running.

Furthermore, former indentured servants have formed an NGO called the Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF). NYF trains its members to carry out the awareness campaign against servitude which NYF started, and since June 2010, all of NYF’s work in the program area has been conducted through FKDF. FKDF is now organizing marches and public speeches, as well as mobilizing youth clubs, community leaders, and the media in the campaign to oppose bonded servitude. In collaboration with FKDF, NYF convinced the government of Nepal to fund the education and vocational training of all formerly bonded girls.

Because the Nepali government was not allocating the funds to the girls as agreed, the Nepal Youth Foundation arranged for the leaders of FKDF to meet repeatedly with Nepal’s President, Prime Minister, Education Minister, and other high-ranking government officials. The Prime Minister promised that the government funding for the liberated girls would get to where it was needed.

Through FKDF and the cooperatives, former indentured daughters have established an extensive network throughout Western Nepal that empowers them to fulfill their dreams. 

From Slave to Leader & Activist
From Slave to Leader & Activist

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