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.
Apr 16, 2012

Empowering former bonded servants to be successful

A girl saved from a childhood of bonded servitude
A girl saved from a childhood of bonded servitude

In rural Nepal, some families are so impoverished that they sell their daughters to be virtual slaves. Many of these girls are abused, almost none attend school, and some are forced into prostitution. After spending their childhoods as servants, the girls face great challenges learning to support themselves. Now boys are also being sold into bonded servitude.

The Nepal Youth Foundation is eradicating this abhorrent 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 inhumane practice of enslaving girls in Nepal through a vigorous public awareness campaign that turns communities against the practice, as well as by rescuing bonded servants.

NYF has freed 11,951 girls since the program began in 2000. 7,433 of them are currently receiving scholarships. NYF has now liberated more than 90% of the bonded girls and is close to its goal of ending the custom.

The program has been so effective that schools in the area began to overflow with former indentured servants. To ensure they have access to quality education, NYF constructs classrooms in poorly funded schools. The organization has built 58 classrooms to date.

Some of the girls NYF rescues are orphans and others are rejected or abused by their families. The organization has placed 357 of these girls in children’s homes where they are surrounded by other former bonded servants and feel a sense of family.

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. 547 are currently attending school.

Sustainability of the Program

Now that the vast majority of the bonded girls are free, the Nepal Youth Foundation has shifted its focus from rescuing them to empowering them to be independent and successful. In 2011-2012, almost 500 former bonded servants participated in trainings about topics such as cooperative management, marketing, self-employment, and small business management. 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 NYF’s guidance, many of the girls have formed cooperatives that create financial opportunities for themselves and their families. They invest in the coops to become members, and collectively decide how to use the money to generate income. They also borrow money from the cooperatives to start business ventures. Due to the girls’ determination and newfound confidence, as well as the trainings provided, the coops have been extremely successful. To date, liberated girls have established 16 cooperatives and are in the process of forming 12 more.

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 this money was not being allocated properly, in 2011-2012, NYF arranged for the leaders of FKDF to meet repeatedly with the 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.  

Two former bonded servants at a children
Two former bonded servants at a children's home
Girls rescued from servitude are now in school
Girls rescued from servitude are now in school

Links:

Apr 16, 2012

The impact of NYF's scholarships ripples throughout communities

Girls walking to school in remote Nepal
Girls walking to school in remote Nepal

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 72 children in impoverished rural families. 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 children 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 school is functioning. They walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, stopping at various village schools 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, the organization provides them with college scholarships or vocational training. 273 children have received life-changing opportunities thanks to this program.

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.

Girls in school in rural Nepal, thanks to NYF
Girls in school in rural Nepal, thanks to NYF
A girl who goes to school thanks to NYF
A girl who goes to school thanks to NYF

Links:

Apr 16, 2012

NYF's impact ripples throughout communities

Girls walking far to get to school in remote Nepal
Girls walking far to get to school in remote Nepal

There are no roads to many schools in rural Nepal, and the trails are steep and rugged. Some children walk for eight hours to and from school every day. NYF's student housing will reduce the drop-out rate and give students more time to study so they can succeed.

Many Nepali children do not attend school because of the long, difficult hike to get there, and many drop out every year. In 2011-2012, the Nepal Youth Foundation provided education to 72 children in impoverished rural families. 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 children 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 school is functioning. They walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, stopping at various village schools 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, the organization provides them with college scholarships or vocational training. 273 children have received life-changing opportunities thanks to this program.

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.

A village girl who goes to school thanks to NYF
A village girl who goes to school thanks to NYF
Students in rural Nepal must walk for hours
Students in rural Nepal must walk for hours

Links:

 
   

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