When COVID-19 cases began increasing in Nepal in March, most of NYF's regular programs were put on hold. The government banned all non-essential travel, and staff began working from home as much as possible. As case numbers surged, the country imposed a strict, nation-wide lockdown, and the New Life Center (NYF's special treatment facility for children with HIV/AIDS) quickly followed suit.
Though on lockdown, the amazing staff at the New Life Center (NLC) have been working harder than ever. In this report, we'd like to spotlight and honor Radhika S. — one of the nurses working tirelessly at the NLC in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Radhika S. began her career working with injecting drug users and others living with HIV/AIDS in central Nepal – but she felt called to work with children. She had seen so many of them deprived of basic rights, ignored by health professionals, and neglected by their communities. She knew these children deserved far better.
When she learned about the NLC, she eagerly joined the NYF team. Her passion for the work and her love for the children she serves have helped develop the NLC into the incredible resource it is today.
Now that Nepal is in lockdown, Radhika is one of a team of eight nurses keeping the NLC running. Most of the patients and their families had to be sent home when the lockdown began, but a handful of children living with HIV/AIDS remain in NYF’s care. These kids – either orphaned or abandoned by their families – have no other home but the New Life Center.
On her off days, Radhika keeps a positive mindset by listening to soothing spiritual programs and keeping up with her yoga practice.
But work is a different story. The NLC is a 24-hour job for the eight nurses on staff, with plenty to do. During a regular shift, Radhika administers medication, monitors health and nutrition, consults with the NYF dietician, creates and conducts educational classes, teaches yoga, and makes sure the kids are entertained, well-fed, and happy – all while taking special care to ensure the kids’ vulnerable immune systems aren’t exposed to COVID-19.
Radhika and the rest of the NLC staff are doing intensive, focused work — and NYF relies on your wonderful support to keep it going. To help us continue our important mission of supporting children with HIV/AIDS – especially during the COVID-19 crisis – please donate today. Eligible gifts up to $50 (per unique donor per organization) made between September 14th-18th will be matched at 50% by GlobalGiving.