Charity Awards 2024

Nepal Youth Foundation

Giving a better life to exploited and malnourished children

NYF provides a range of services offering healthcare, education and a safe environment to impoverished Nepalese children. However, two have been particularly noteworthy.

The first has tackled Kamalari, a traditional system of bonded labour in Nepal. Girls as young as six were being forced to work in poor conditions to cook, clean and provide childcare for wealthy families for little or no money.

The Nepal Youth Foundation worked with the community to develop an alternative. In exchange for keeping their daughter at home and sending them to school, NYF would provide each family with a piglet, which they could raise for a year and sell for £50, covering the girl’s education expenses.

It then sought to give the those affected more of an independent future by offering vocational and leadership training along with financial support to start their own businesses.

The charity’s campaigning contributed to the abolition of Kamalari by the Nepalese government in 2006, and to date 12,871 girls have been rescued from a lifetime of slavery. Freed Kamalari have set up their own non-profit organisation, the Freed Kamalari Development Forum, which itself has created 421 business cooperatives with more than 10,000 members. Some 1,425 women have launched their own businesses with co-op start-up funds.

The second project addresses malnourished children. It identified that children were being discharged from hospital as soon as infections were cured, only to return because of underlying malnourishment issues.

It set up nutritional rehabilitation homes, which act as semi-clinical residences where children can go after their discharge. Seventeen of these have now been established across the country, treating over 15,000 children since 1998 and giving important hygiene advice to ensure children do not relapse.

CC reg no: 1115394

International aid and development category sponsor: