Nepal Children’s Organization (NCO) is a nonprofit which was established to benefit children all over Nepal by promoting and protecting their rights as well as providing residential care to orphans and at-risk children. The organization has a nationwide presence and is providing shelter to about 500 children in its ten children’s homes. Bal Mandir (NCO’s building located in Naxal, Kathmandu) is the organization’s largest children’s home; before the 2015 earthquake, it housed up to 400 children at one time. Another of NCO’s children’s homes is located in Sifal, Kathmandu, about 2 km from Naxal. The Sifal NCO children’s home is very special because it houses children who are disabled. Through these types of homes, NCO has been able to provide much needed care through shelter, food, education, and health care for children. However, the situation changed dramatically after the massive earthquake that hit Nepal in April, 2015.
Bal Mandir was severely damaged during the earthquake, and a majority of the children had to be moved to different children’s homes in Kathmandu. Currently, Bal Mandir hosts only 72 children, all under the age of 5. Although the Sifal NCO children’s home did not sustain any damage, there is now a problem of congestion, as many of the children from Bal Mandir were shifted there. Due to this, the disabled children are confined to a limited area within the home to make way for the additional children.
Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) began supporting National Children’s Organization (NCO) in May 2015:
RMF continues to support two resident nurses, one in Bal Mandir and one in NCO Sifal, to provide health care and health education to the children and mamu living there.
With the objective to help disabled children in Sifal, Dididai project was initiated by a Spanish national, Pablo Menendez, and friends in 2009. In addition, Dididai is also providing an allowance to two of the mamu (resident caregivers), employed by NCO. Dididai and RMF will now be joining hands, specifically to support disabled children in NCO and help construct a permanent building in Naxal, which will become a home for the children of NCO.
Ganga Pode and her twin, Jamuna Pode, were mentioned in our previous report. The twins were prematurely born, malnourished, underweight, and both suffering from an umbilical hernia. Now, after proper care and nutrition provided by our nurses and the caregiver mothers, the twins are perfectly healthy and weigh 4 kg each. Their umbilical hernias are also slowly healing after a daily oil massage by the caregivers.
Nir Chhetri is a 7-year-old boy living in NCO Sifal. He suffered from pneumonia, tuberculosis, and pleural effusion in the past. Our nurses have been taking special care of Nir, and now he is healthy and fit. Currently, he has a recurrent ear infection and complains about frequent pain in his ear. Our nurse is treating him regularly with ear drops.
Established in 1964, Nepal Children’s Organization (NCO), also known as Balmandir (The Children’s Temple) is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Nepal working for the protection and promotion of childrens’ rights and providing residential care to the children at risk. This includes orphans, differently-abled, abandoned and conflict affected children.
After the devastating earthquake on April 25th, followed by another strong earthquake on May 12th, an estimated 2,023 children have been confirmed dead. Likewise, the number of the injured children has been established at 876 and approximately, 200 children have lost their mothers and 112 have lost their fathers. Nearly 2 million children are said to have been affected by this mega quake and the powerful aftershocks thereafter. (Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, June 2015)
Among those children who lost their parents, many have come under the tutelage of NCO, whose own shelter home was heavily destroyed by the disaster. Currently, through their 10 children’s homes within and outside Kathmandu valley, NCO has been caring for 280 children, including the earthquake-affected.
RMF will be supporting NCO in improving orphanage-based children’s health by providing better quality primary health care, including nutrition, sanitation and hygiene.
RMF plans to construct a new children’s home in Naxal to accommodate the children that NCO has been taking care of. NCO’s main building, Bal Mandir, was severely damaged by the earthquake, and many of the children had to be shifted to other children homes in Kathmandu. This resulted in NCO children’s homes becoming overcrowded and unhygienic. These effects can be seen most notably in NCO Naxal, where up to 72 children (including infants) are residing in a temporary shelter, and at NCO Sifal, where disabled children reside.
NCO Sifal was established to provide care exclusively for disabled children; however, after the earthquake in April 2015, children from NCO Naxal had to be shifted to this home. The room that was previously used for the disabled children’s recreational activities has been converted into a dormitory for the children shifted from Naxal. With these additional children living in Sifal, NCO has not been able to provide the same level of care and nurture to the disabled children as they did before. The number of recreational activities is now limited, and physical exercise routines have been affected because the new physical exercise room is extremely cold, with no direct sunlight, which made many of the disabled children sick. The room where the disabled children sleep is also very crowded, and there is no space to accommodate any additional disabled children. Therefore, a new residential building is needed at NCO to maintain proper care and a hygienic environment for the children.
Plans are underway for Dididai to construct a school for the disabled children at Naxal, and RMF plans to construct a children’s home on the same land. With construction of the new children’s home, RMF aims to provide the children of NCO with a living environment that is spacious, safe, and hygienic, where they can be well cared for.
RMF provides NCO with two residential nurses, Ms. Pushpa Khadka and Ms. Sanskriti Shrestha, in NCO Sifal and NCO Naxal respectively. These registered nurses look after the children’s health 24/7, including medical needs and medical emergencies.
Due to the large number of children requiring care, RMF is planning to provide an additional residential nurse in NCO Naxal. RMF is interviewing candidates, and a suitable candidate will be selected and introduced to the NCO authorities. The candidate will be hired only after consent from the concerned NCO authorities. In the meantime, RMF’s nurses have been working around the clock to handle the medical needs and emergencies of the children in NCO Sifal and Naxal.