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

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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May 6, 2013

Education - Their Hope for the Future

Enrolled in school, and succeeding
Enrolled in school, and succeeding

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

 

Outcasts in their own Communities 

Countless children in Nepal are blind, deaf, or physically disabled. Many of them develop their disability under the age of five due to malnutrition and lack of medical care. The disabled in Nepal face difficult challenges. In addition to having to cope with their impairment, they live in a society that traditionally views them as outcasts - people who are viewed as useless and to be avoided. Many people still believe that disabilities are punishments for the sins of previous lives. This prevailing view has contributed to a shockingly low education rate for the disabled in Nepal. A recent study found that nearly 60% of disabled men and nearly 78% of disabled women had no education. Without education, Nepal’s disabled children face a bleak future, with little hope of supporting themselves or using their talents to contribute to their communities.

Another factor that contributes to the lack of education is the economic hardships faced by Nepalis. Many families simply cannot afford to send their disabled child to school. While there are schools that can accommodate the needs of disabled students, the price of tuition is more than the annual income of a Nepali family.

NYF’s Solution

Education is the only hope for disabled Nepalis to support themselves. The Nepal Youth Foundation has always paid special attention to vulnerable children, including the blind, deaf, and physically challenged. With support from generous donors like you, NYF has provided scholarships to over 180 disabled children since its inception. In 2011-2012, 69 disabled youth received scholarships. Of these, 30 were girls and 39 were boys.

If a disabled child is able to enter a regular school or college, then they are enrolled there. Children who cannot attend a regular school attend a special needs school that can accommodate them. NYF scholarships provide them with hope and the opportunity to reach their potential. 

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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May 6, 2013

Reclaiming their Childhood

Receiving Tika
Receiving Tika

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

Impoverished Children Celebrate Dashain

Dashain is the biggest and most important Hindu festival in Nepal (over 80% of Nepalis are Hindu). During this 15-day celebration, people all over Nepal make ritual offerings to the goddess Durga and receive tika. Tika is a paste made from a red dye, yoghurt, and rice. Elders generally apply it to the forehead as part of a blessing. People from all over Nepal, and Nepalis from all over the world, return home to celebrate with their families.

Dashain can be a particularly difficult time for children living with HIV/AIDS, since many of them have been abandoned and stigmatized. The Nepal Youth Foundation believes that children have a right to a happy childhood and to take part in their cultural traditions. The NYF and the New Life Center form a new family with the patients, allowing HIV/AIDS-positive children to reclaim their childhood.

HIV/AIDS in Nepal

Even though national and international efforts to combat the spread of HIV have blunted the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a recent estimate shows that over 50,000 Nepalis currently are living with HIV/AIDS. Those who are infected face stigmatization and discrimination. Children who contract HIV/AIDS are forced from their schools while women may be abandoned by their husbands and families. This stigma leads many to not seek testing and attempt to hide their symptoms. The U.N. has estimated that more than 80% of Nepalis with HIV have not been diagnosed.

Impact

Thanks to generous donors like you, the Nepal Youth Foundation has paved the way in caring for children with HIV/AIDS. Children with HIV/AIDS come to our New Life Center suffering from malnutrition and opportunistic infections. The New Life Center provides them with vital medical treatment while educating their caretakers, most of whom are also have HIV/AIDS, about living hygienically and cooking nutritious meals. This training helps them to lead fulfilling lives and reduces the risk of developing the diseases that can make HIV develop into AIDS. During the time spent at the New Life Center, the children and their caretakers receive, free of cost, lifesaving medical treatment, food, and housing.

During the nearly seven years it has been open, the New Life Center has served more than 140 HIV-positive children. These children are able to live the happy childhoods that HIV/AIDS would take from them. Last year, 70 children were helped, while their mothers joined a series of classes taught by NYF nurses and dietician to learn about nutrition, health, and home-based care of their HIV-positive children.

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 provides comprehensive and holistic care for children with HIV/AIDS.

In addition to malnutrition, children admitted to the New Life Center also suffer from opportunistic infections, such as tuberculosis and hepatitis. Instead of just treating their symptoms, the Center uses an innovative, three-pronged approach of clinical, nutritional, and psychological therapy. On the clinical front, patients receive anti-retroviral drugs to combat the HIV virus. Additionally, their other infections are treated. Second, a nutritionist plans complete, well-balanced diets. Finally, professional counselors work with the children and their parents to boost their self-esteem and cope with the stigma of living with HIV/AIDS.

Sustainability

To help the children and their caretakers live healthy lives after leaving the Center, the caretakers attend training sessions to learn about nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, the children's dietary needs, reproductive health, and illnesses that people with HIV/AIDS commonly contract. The goal is for the caretakers to be able to keep their children, and themselves, as healthy as possible by avoiding dangerous diseases and eating well-rounded meals using inexpensive, locally available food. For their part, the children participate in a number of enrichment activities, such as celebrating Nepali festivals and visiting the zoo.

After several months the patients' health problems have been alleviated, and their caretakers have been fully trained, they are healthy enough to return home. Many are able to live productive lives for years by practicing what they learned at the New Life Center. If their health worsens and they need additional treatment, which can sadly happen with HIV/AIDS patients, they can return to the Center for free follow-up care. The program truly gives new life to children living with HIV/AIDS.

Funding for the New Life Center comes from a variety of sources. In addition to donations, the Center's staff has taken the initiative to raise money from a number of sources. They print and sell t-shirts and postcards, and even have made use of two donated cows. The cows are a source of nourishing fresh milk for the children, and excess milk can also be sold to generate additional income.

The New Life Center’s comprehensive care model is a key to its success. Many 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. 

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