Transformative Stories of 2022!
This December, we’ve compiled some of our favorite transformative stories of the year into this blog post. You may have already even read a couple of them in a newsletter, online, or in a special report. But we wanted to create a space to celebrate these special stories that our NYF Community made possible this year.
We hope these transformative stories showcase NYF’s love, care, and commitment for the youth and families we work with. And we also hope you feel proud of all the transformations you are fueling every day with your generous support.
Mina*, 9, is a bubbly, joyful, creative kid—and a very gifted student. In the spring of 2022, she finished the 6th grade at her school in Bhaktapur District, way ahead of kids her own age.
When she was just a baby, Mina’s father passed away. Soon, her mother found a new husband. Unfortunately, this new man wasn’t interested in caring for another man’s daughter.
Mina’s mother left her in the care of her own father—Mina’s grandfather. Mina hasn’t seen much of her mother since.
Though the family didn’t have much, they loved Mina deeply. She brings tremendous joy to their household. When NYF learned of Mina’s case, our team realized right away that with a bit of financial support, this family was the absolute best place for little Mina to grow up.
They’ve been receiving a Kinship Care stipend for several years now. Every time our social workers check in, Mina’s grandfather is ready with more stories of his granddaughter’s love of dancing and her latest art projects!
“No one does it better. NYF combines
care, compassion and enormous commitment
to raising opportunities for Nepal’s youth.”
— Marcus, Advisory Board Member & Supporter
Durgesh*, 18, comes from a very remote Himalayan village in northwestern Nepal, where the geography is quite rocky and challenging to navigate. The children in his home village walk about 45 minutes to reach their local school. The path is treacherous, with slippery sections, sharp drop-offs, and thin stretches that people have to be take single-file.
Durgesh was born with a significant visual impairment, and his parents realized early that many livelihood opportunities available in their village would not be a good match for him when he became an adult. The family was far from wealthy, but they worked hard and made personal sacrifices from the beginning to ensure he could access as many educational opportunities as possible.
When Durgesh was a small child, older village children would take turns carrying him on their backs on the way to school. This ensured that he could reach school safely, and he quickly distinguished himself as an excellent student (and a helpful friend who could provide informal tutoring to his peers when needed!).
But by the time Durgesh reached his mid-teens, he was too big to be carried along the dangerous trail by his friends. It was also too risky, and careful attempts at having him walk side-by-side with friends were too slow. That’s when a family friend who was already attending college in Kathmandu made a brilliant offer: Durgesh should move to Kathmandu, where schools were easier to access (and of a better quality!). This friend would share his apartment and ensure Durgesh was doing well in the city. Durgesh’s parents would send money for food, rent, and other necessities.
This plan worked—until the COVID-19 pandemic complicated matters. Durgesh’s parents were unable to send as much money as needed. School fees were free for Durgesh (as a student with a disability), but he was struggling to pay his portion of the rent and for the special books and stationery he needed for school.
Fortunately, NYF had worked with Durgesh’s school in the past, and the administration remembered that NYF offered special scholarships for students like Durgesh.
They referred Durgesh for our Students with Disabilities scholarship in January 2021 and has been going strong in school ever since!
Durgesh was one of the top 5 students in his grade 11 final exam a year ago, and he has recently completed his rigorous grade 12 exam. His studies during 11th and 12th grade focused on Humanities, and Durgesh is excited about the prospect of college. We’re excited for him, too, and we are eager to support him in the next chapter of his academic journey!
“We have donated to this foundation for well over 10 years,
and they continue to provide care and service
that no one else provides.”
— Liz, Donor
Pradeep*, 12, was born in Gorkha District, northwest of Kathmandu. He joined the Olgapuri family in December 2021, enrolling in the 4th grade at a local school in Lalitpur midway through the school year.
When Pradeep’s grades began coming back, his house parents noticed that he seemed to be struggling a great deal with the material. Concerned, the Junior Boys’ house parents met with Pradeep’s teacher to discuss his progress.
It became clear to everyone that Pradeep should have been placed in the 3rd grade, not the 4th, when he first arrived.
How could such an error happen? Although he had always been enrolled in school before coming to Olgapuri, Pradeep wasn’t always able to attend his classes. No wonder Pradeep was so discouraged!
They decided to hold Pradeep back to attend the 4th grade again next year. And by the end of the summer, Pradeep was ready to start the 4th grade from the beginning. He’s still getting familiar to school—but his performance is improving all the time. He’s also feeling much happier with school in general.
Even better: he has made wonderful new friends who are willing to help him succeed, and he knows his house parents are truly paying attention to his needs and his wellness. Here at Olgapuri, even when things are tough, Pradeep knows he is part of a loving family he can depend on.
“I’ve been fortunate to visit the different facilities and
programs in Kathmandu, and it is eye opening
to see all the lives that are touched and the scale of the impact.”
— Topraj, Advisory Board Member & Supporter
Puja and Sangita
Six-month-old Puja* is 17-year-old Sangita* and her young husband Laxman’s* first child. When an anxious Laxman brought his family to an NYF Nutritional Outreach Camp in Makwanpur District four months ago, Sangita and Puja were both severely undernourished.
“Everyone thought she was going to die,” Sangita says. Child marriage is very common in Sangita’s community, often between boys and girls who are each quite young. Young mothers like Sangita frequently give birth prematurely, to babies with low birth weights.
If these mothers are also experiencing undernutrition, their bodies can’t provide sufficient breast milk, and young parents in these remote communities often don’t know alternative ways to nourish their babies.
As a result, many first-time mothers—still children themselves—face the heartbreak of a child’s death.
Sangita and Puja were urgently referred to the nearest Nutritional Rehabilitation Home, where they received personalized nutritional therapy for over a month. Laxman came as well, eager to learn what he could about nutrition and health, and preparing nutritious meals for children with low-cost, locally-available ingredients.
Between lessons, the pair also received family planning advice from nurses, including information on the risks of having children too quickly. These tips will be crucial for preserving Sangita’s health moving forward. The shared learning experience drew the young couple closer together—and put Puja on a path of healthy growth and development.
“Nobody recognized our daughter when we brought her home,” Sangita said proudly at their three-month follow-up visit. NYF’s Outreach Officer, Sajan Nagarkoti, was overjoyed to see how much Puja had continued to grow, and how much healthier both she and her mother looked.
“I have been continually impressed with the
creativity, flexibility, and commitment to children
shown by this organization. I heartily support them
and urge others to consider supporting them.”
— Bob, Donor & Volunteer
SAAET Project, Vocational Education
Rita*, 17, lives in a family of 8. They have a small farm on which they’ve been subsistence farming for Rita’s whole childhood. Feeding such a large family is difficult, so her parents were eager to find her a husband soon. But that’s not what Rita wanted.
She learned about the SAAET course from a local women’s group and signed up.
After the training session ended in early October, Rita was the first student to complete her own greenhouse and get her first seeds in the ground—with the help of some of her siblings!
Rita says she’s excited to start farming using modern technology. The whole family is enthusiastic about what Rita has learned. They’re waiting to see how this first greenhouse does, but they’re already talking about gradually shifting their entire approach to greenhouse farming, following Rita’s lead.
If Rita does eventually get married, she’ll be leaving her current greenhouses behind on her parents’ land—but she’ll carry the expertise with her. She is now in much greater control of her path in life, wherever it leads her: her parents are less likely to try forcing a marriage, and if she chooses a partner in the future, his family is less likely to object. She would enter such a union carrying valuable expertise that would give her greater security, stability, and clout in the new family system, allowing her to nourish herself and her future children with confidence—as well as the ability to invest in their future.
Support from friends like you make these transformations possible. We hope you enjoyed reading some of NYF’s transformative stories from 2022.
Empowering Transformations, One Gift at a Time
Here are just a few ways your gift powers transformations for children & families in Nepal.
provides 1 one-hour therapy session to a child learning vital emotional skills
provides 20kg of Lito, a life-saving and highly nutritious super flour distributed to families
covers the greenhouse build for a SAAET trainee in NYF's vocational training program
keeps a child safe in a loving family member's home & in school for a year
covers one year of living expenses, school supplies, and testing fees for a motivated college student