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.
Jun 23, 2015

Earthquake relief aid worsens malnutrition problem

NYF provides hearty lunch for earthquake survivors
NYF provides hearty lunch for earthquake survivors

Malnutrition was a big problem in this tiny country before the massive earthquakes destroyed large swaths of Nepal earlier this spring. Nearly half of all Nepalese children under age five are afflicted with the condition.

Sadly, relief efforts might be worsening the problem. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, relief organizations sent huge amounts of rice, noodles and biscuits to villages, Because  these foods are easy and filling, mothers were happy to serve rice, noodles and biscuits to their children three times daily.

Nepal Youth Foundation staff visited three emergency centers in Sindhupalchok, a region hard hit by the quakes, and found many children showing signs of malnourishment.

"This is an unintended consequence of relief," said NYF's President Som Paneru. “This should serve as a lesson for future disasters.'

Instead of starchy, processed food with no nutritional value, Mr. Paneru recommends that relief agencies send non-genetically modified seeds be distributed to the villagers, most of whom already farm their own land.

"Nepal is not suffering from famine or drought," said Mr. Paneru. “So instead of distributing rice, relief agencies should be distributing wheat, millet, and maize, which have ten times more nutrition. They should distribute beans which can be boiled, germinated and consumed."

The seeds would encourage people to return to their land and till the soil, a healing process in itself.

Most families lost the seeds stored inside their houses. By distributing the black lentils and soybeans currently in season, families would feel compelled to return to their homes. Mr. Paneru said that many people are afraid of recurring quakes and need to be reassured that it is safe to return.

"For farmers to go out and till their land is itself a healing process," said Mr. Paneru.

NYF operates 16 nutrition clinics throughout Nepal and has educated thousands of mothers and caretakers in the basics of good nutrition.

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Jun 23, 2015

Counselors help to calm nerves after the quakes

Counselors learn to sooth nerves after the quakes
Counselors learn to sooth nerves after the quakes

NYF’s Ankur Counseling Center has developed a psychological support mechanism for earthquake survivors focusing on children, teachers and parents. As part of the program, NYF counselors have already trained 145 teachers, staff and volunteers on how to provide psychological first aid and support to the children, and deal with parents to help them overcome the insecurity surrounding the earthquake. Relaxation and self- help techniques were also included in the training. Ankur will be busy conducting trainings for more schools. Ankur is also conducting two days intensive Training of Trainers (TOT) for psychosocial counselors who have been mobilized in the affected community after the earthquake. Twenty-five counselors received this training.

Many people remain traumatized by the massive quakes that struck in April and May and by the hundreds of continuing aftershocks.

We are grateful for our lead counselor Chhori Laxmi Maharjan who took a break from her PhD studies in San Francisco to return to Nepal to handle this crisis.

And thanks to our many supporters who help us do this important work.

Namaste!

Training the Trainers
Training the Trainers
Counselor Chhori Laxmi Maharjan comforts family
Counselor Chhori Laxmi Maharjan comforts family

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Jun 11, 2015

Earthquakes spark a spirit of volunteerism

Health aides tend to injured earthquake victims
Health aides tend to injured earthquake victims

Nearly 40 former child slaves who were trained as health aides through the Nepal Youth Foundation’s vocational training program traveled from their remote village to Kathmandu, where they volunteered at our temporary recovery center for earthquake victims.

The young women spent two weeks following the April 25th earthquake changing bandages and soothing jittery nerves of the hundreds of survivors who stayed in our center following the massive earthquake.

We temporarily converted our nutrition center in Kathmandu and Pokhara to recovery centers for earthquake victims who were discharged from area hospitals but were too injured to return home. Many had no homes to return to.

The former house servants – girls as young as six who were sold as household slaves in a now banned practice known as Kamlari -- traveled six hours by bus from their homes to volunteer their time at the center.

“The response of the younger generation has been fantastic,” said Olga Murray, NYF’s founder who was in Kathmandu at the time of the earthquake. “So many young people came out to help in any way they could.”

Thank you for supporting our work during this difficult time in Nepal.

Namaste!

Tending to the injured
Tending to the injured
Mending broken limbs
Mending broken limbs

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