First, I would like to thank you for your generous contributions to our program to Rescue Children Suffering From Severe Malnutrition (www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/health/nrhindex.html). This project’s impressive accomplishments, including giving lifesaving treatment to more than 1,000 malnourished Nepali children every year, would not be possible without the support of people like you.
Additionally, I want to tell you that I am retiring as the President of the Nepal Youth Foundation and that the Board has appointed Som Paneru, our former Executive Director in Nepal, as my successor.
This is bittersweet – on the one hand, I am leaving a position to which I had devoted the last 25 years of my life. On the other, I’m taking a step toward fulfilling my most ardent wish – that the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) continue to provide life-changing help to the neediest children of Nepal. The appointment of Som as the new President will bring to NYF the skills, the passion, the smarts, the creativity, and the experience to assure its future long after I am gone. NYF has a bright future.
Let me tell you a bit about Som. He is a product of NYF’s scholarship program and the son of a poor farmer from the Ghorka District of Nepal. In the 1990s, after we granted him a scholarship to Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu to study science and math, he brought several of his young siblings to Kathmandu from his village to assure that they, too, would receive an education. He enrolled them in school in the city, and provided all the care they needed, and full support. Several of his siblings now have advanced degrees.
After Som graduated, he wanted to teach, but not in a private school for rich kids, but in a poor village where the instruction in science and math was pitifully inadequate. He explained that he had "a lot to pay back" to those who had helped him to get an education.
NYF was growing quickly, and in 1995 we offered Som a job. It became apparent very quickly that he had an uncanny knack for creating and administering programs. Our very popular Indentured Daughters Program was his idea, and he was instrumental in creating the ingenious "piglet for a girl" method to liberate these young girls from slavery (www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/freedom). And it was his idea and his excellent relations with the Ministry of Health that led to the government agreeing to take over and fund all the 14 Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes we have built after we operate them for five years (http://nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/health/nrhindex.html).
I will continue to be involved with NYF, of course. I hold the post of Honorary President, and will continue as a member of the Board of Directors. It is hard to exaggerate the pleasure your support and encouragement have given me over these many years. It has enabled NYF to grow from a tiny organization to what we are today – a well-run foundation providing transformative help to thousands of Nepali children every year.
Founder and Honorary Board President
Nepal Youth Foundation
P.S. Please learn more about the Nepal Youth Foundation’s diverse programs for children in need at www.NepalYouthFoundation.org.
Krishna Dahal was less than two years old when his parents brought him to a children’s hospital because he suffered from vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. After his condition stabilized, the hospital staff referred him to a nearby Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) because a root cause of his problems was severe malnutrition.
Although Krishna belongs to a middle-class family and both of his parents are well educated, they were unaware of basic nutrition. His mother fed him enough calories every day but he lacked essential nutrients.
When little Krishna arrived at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Home, he was sad, pale, and lifeless. The NRH staff gave him fortified milk and vitamins to supplement the highly nutritious diet fed to everyone at the facility. They also taught his mother about the importance of nutrition for children’s development. After just a month, Krishna reached his target weight and was a happy, healthy baby. His mother became well-nourished and educated.
The Nepal Youth Foundation’s pioneering Nutritional Rehabilitation Home program treats severely malnourished children while teaching their mothers about nutrition and health care. After a few weeks, a healthy child and a healthy and educated mother return home. Learn more about this life-changing program at www.NepalYouthFoundation.org
P.S. To get the latest news about the Nepal Youth Foundation’s work for Nepali children in need, please join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nepalyouth
In Nepal, around half the children under five are malnourished. Malnutrition is a leading cause of death in young children.
NYF's Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes (NRHs) are small home-like hospitals throughout Nepal that use an innovative method to restore severely malnourished children to good health while educating their mothers in nutrition and child care. When mother and child return home, the mother shares her new knowledge with her family and neighbors, multiplying the impact.
NYF opened the first Nutritional Rehabilitation Home in 1998. Since then, the program has treated 8,443 severely malnourished children and educated 7,528 of their parents and guardians. In 2011-2012 alone, the NRHs rescued 1374 children and trained 1249 caretakers.
In Nepal, the main cause of malnutrition is ignorance, rather than poverty. Severely malnourished children come to NRHs with their caretakers (who, in Nepal, are almost always their mothers). Many of these children are emaciated and lifeless. The NRHs’ nurses, dieticians, and cooks provide medical care and nutritious food to restore the youngsters to full weight and health. More than 80% of the patients are younger than five.
At the same time, the staff trains the youngsters’ guardians about a wide range of topics including preparing nutritious meals using locally available, inexpensive food; sanitation and hygiene; preventive health care; and how to share this knowledge with others. The daily hands-on training sessions and practical demonstrations are very effective with illiterate and uneducated parents.
After an average of five weeks, a happy, healthy child and a newly educated mother return to their home. The mother provides better nutrition for her entire family and tells her relatives and neighbors what she learned at the NRH, extending the effects of the program far beyond the children who are treated at the facilities.
According to a typical case study, “When Lhamu returned to her village, the entire community was in awe over her improvement. Moreover, her mother has now changed her feeding habits and improved her family’s hygiene.”
NRH field staff visit every child at least twice to ensure they are retaining their health and weight. They also provide additional training to the caretakers and refer the children to hospitals or NRHs if they suffer from health problems. In 2011-2012, NRH staff conducted 1,490 follow-up visits and found that the small number of children who were still malnourished were generally suffering from chronic diseases or were from deeply impoverished families.
Expansion of the Program
This program has been extremely successful. At the request of the government of Nepal, NYF has built Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes throughout the country. With the exception of the flagship facility in Kathmandu, each NRH is constructed on or next to the grounds of a large government hospital. Through an agreement with the government, NYF builds the facilities, hires and trains staff, and gradually transfers management and funding of the operation to the government hospital. After five years, the government is fully responsible for the NRH.
NYF has now constructed 12 NRHs, which can treat a total of 143 children at a time. In 2011-2012, the organization transferred two NRHs to the government. NYF’s staff inspected all five NRHs that have crossed the five-year threshold and found that all are adequately funded and effectively managed.
The program continues to expand across the country to rescue children from malnutrition in remote areas. In 2011-2012, NRHs were in all stages of development: a newly built one began operation, NYF completed construction of another, and plans were made to begin one more. NYF also secured funding to construct three more facilities in rural and remote areas of Nepal.
In early 2012, NYF’s flagship NRH moved to a new and much larger facility. In addition to its functions as an NRH, it serves as a nutritional education center for training dieticians and health care professionals.
The NRHs’ pioneering approach has built-in sustainability. The nutritional knowledge imparted on the caretakers stays with them for life and will be handed down for generations. On a larger scale, by transferring management of the NRHs to government hospitals, NYF ensures they will continue to rescue malnourished children for decades to come, and frees NYF’s funding to be used for other projects.
Within the last half year, 442 malnourished children were admitted to NYF Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes. While the children's health was being restored through proper nutrition on a diet of locally available foods, 377 caregivers were trained in proper food preparation and child care.
In addition, 745 children who had been treated previously received follow-up visits from our field workers who ensure that the children continue to receive appropriate care.
And, our Bi-Annual report indicates that all of the NRHs are meeting their target admission, discharge and follow ups schedules. Plus, due to improved practices and streamlined methods, to restore a child to WHO health standards costs our donors $80 less per child now than last year.
And, now, next Wednesday, March 14 ONLY...
... because we appreciate every dollar you have given to support our program, NYF is thrilled to invite you to participate in GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day event.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, GlobalGiving.org will match 30% for every dollar you donate! $50,000 in matching funds are available, but only on March 14. This 30% matching offer begins right after the stroke of midnight, March 13, and runs only until the $50,000 is claimed. Once the funds are used, no more matching funds will be applied.
Add even greater value to the gifts you give NYF. Mark your calendars for NEXT Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
And, GlobalGiving will make this 30% match for single contributions up to $1,000! That’s $1,300 value for a $1,000 donation.
As far as NYF's Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes go, this means that the same $1,000 donation which can normally support the return to health by fewer than four severely malnourished children can, on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 ONLY provide for the full program of revitalized health for five youngsters, including parental education to ensure the entire family's well-being for the same investment.
Thank you again for your support of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Namaste!
A case study: Jamuna Budha Magar
Jamuna Budha Magar is almost 12 years old. Her family lives in the far west part of Nepal in the Rukum district. She is one of eight children ranging in ages from seven to 14. Her parents lack formal education and are illiterate. Jamuna, herself, never learned to read or write, and, now, due to serious and unaddressed ailments she cannot speak. Recently, she lost her sight as a result of a severe E.coli infection. When Jamuna arrived at the Baluatar Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) in Kathmandu, her length was 107 cm (3.5 ft) and weight, 9 kg (19.8 lbs). According to World Health Organization guidelines, this is a score of minus-4 on a weight to height ratio (a comparative scale which normally goes only to minus-3: http://www.who.int/childgrowth/standards/Growth_standard.pdf)
Under other circumstances, it is very probable that Jamuna would be dead by the time you read this.
After Jamuna’s admission, NRH nutritionists designed a diet plan to address her nutritional deficiencies. She was fed milk, rice pudding and other foods which her system could assimilate. From the first week, she began to gain weight at a steady rate of almost 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per week. In the initial 29 days of her stay in the NRH, Jamuna has gained 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs). Now, her total body weight is 13.4 kg (29.5 lbs). Despite losing her vision, Jamuna has begun responding and, although she cannot speak, according to the staff at the NRH, she smiles when she is happy. Recently, she was taken for a consultation with the doctors at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. Their recommendation is that Jamuna gain optimum weight before she undergoes surgery to deal with ailments contracted due to severe ongoing malnutrition, including hydrocephalus.
We continue to be deeply grateful for your support of the NRH program and, especially, when we can save a child on the very brink of death as Jamuna was. Please give as generously as you can, so that we can continue to help kids in Nepal grow up to live as fully as possible.
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