Nepal Youth Foundation's Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes restore severely malnourished children to good health while educating their mothers about nutrition and child care.
Half of Nepali children under five are malnourished, and poor nourishment is one of the leading causes of death for young children. The main problem is ignorance rather than poverty. The Nepal Youth Foundation have found a simple, effective way to bring malnourished children back to health within the space of a month or two while keeping the problem from recurring.
The Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) in Kathmandu was established to nurse severely malnourished Nepali children back to health. Child and mother live together at the NRH during the course of treatment, usually about five to six weeks. While they rehabilitate the children, they also educate their mothers in how to prepare nutritious meals using foods readily available in rural Nepal. The mothers are instructed in how to pass on their knowledge to other mothers after they return to their villages. Field workers follow up in the villages to check on the child's health and to ensure that the mother is not only practicing what she has learned but is also educating other women in the community about nutrition and other good child care practices.
Most of the children come to NYF unable to smile or play or react to anything, lacking any of the sparks that define a child. It is not long before they are more alert and active, and after a few weeks they are running about and playing. Their mothers also leave with renewed health as well as nutritional education.
You can help. A donation of only $10 provides live-in care and supplemental feeding for a severely malnourished child as well as housing; $340 will restore the health or save the life of a child, empower and train the mother, and prevent the problem from happening again.
Update from the Field
Last year, 672 children were treated for malnutrition at one of the six nutrition clinics under NYF supervision and 594 mothers received education and training to keep their children healthy once they get home. During the course of their 3-4 week stay, listless, critically-underweight children are restored to health with a carefully-monitored diet. To ensure that the children stay healthy long-term, NRH staff teach the mothers how to cook local, nutrient-rich foods. The mothers, in turn, share what theyâve learned with the women in their village.
This program is unique in Nepal. It is, quite literally, saving the lives of severely malnourished Nepali children and preventing mental or physical retardation in many others. By involving the mothers in this process, the outcomes have built-in sustainability.
The NRH program has succeeded beyond expectations, serving over 5,000 mother-child pairs to date. Each year, more than 1,000 children's lives are transformed by this project.
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