Nepal: Orphanage Support
Children Celebrate Dashain: Q3 2017
October 28, 2017
Ganesh Shrestha, Program Manager and Pragya Gautam, Program and M&E Coordinator
Summary of Activities
Nepal Children’s Organization (NCO) is a nonprofit organization that houses, educates, and shapes the future of hundreds of vulnerable children throughout Nepal, serving orphans, as well as deserted, conflict-affected, and dependent children of prisoners. The organization has a nationwide presence and is providing shelter to about 500 children in its ten children’s homes.
NCO not only provides shelter for these children, but also all provisions necessary to ensure proper growth and development including formal school education, staff who care for children full time, an environment for physical activities, and psychological support. NCO also provides treatment and care to sick children at their homes and, if necessary, at various hospitals. This organization respects the rights of children and aims to help them grow to become responsible citizens.
Celebrating “Children’s Day”
Many Guests Honor Children
This year NCO celebrated Children’s Day by organizing a formal function at a nearby school. The theme of Children’s Day this year was ‘Child-Friendly Governance – Respect of Child Rights.’ The program was filled with dance and drama performances as well as sporting events.
RMF nurses actively participated in the program by planning the event, welcoming guests, distributing badges, offering food and beverages, and other necessary tasks. As a result of the combined efforts of the RMF nurses, the honored guests, and the NCO staff and children, the program was a huge success.
Dashain at NCO
Celebrating Goodness in NCO Homes
Dashain is celebrated in September/October (the sixth lunar month) of each year and is observed for 15 days. This festival is celebrated to symbolize the victory of good over evil. The children at NCO celebrate Dashain with great excitement.
During this festival, they get a vacation from school and enjoy feasting on mouth-watering delicacies. They also get more time to enjoy and utilize their creativity. The children clean the NCO premises and their own rooms in honor of Dashain and show respect to the NCO staff as their family. The festive atmosphere of Dashain has put everyone at NCO in high spirits.
Providing Continuous Care
Nurses Provide Holistic Support
RMF’s support is now continued at NCO by the three nurses who work in the homes. They continuously provide basic nursing care to the children at NCO as well as preventive, curative, and rehabilitative healthcare. The nurses also regularly make decisions regarding the children’s health status and conditions, as well as treatment options. In addition to their healthcare-related work, the RMF nurses also help the children study, maintain clean environments at NCO homes, and help other staff in their routine work.
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.
- Provide psychosocial counseling to deeply affected children
- Construct a room for infants
- Health and sanitation trainings for house mothers and children
- Construct a room for differently-abled children
- Provide better quality primary healthcare
- Provide qualified staff nurses at NCO’s centers
- Enhance knowledge and awareness of health and nutrition
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RMF Nurses Help Him Fight Infection
Five-month-old Sabal Sunar was crying continuously and refusing to feed. Then, slowly, his temperature began to rise. RMF Nurse Sanskriti assessed the child and gave him paracetamol drops to control the fever, but the condition showed no signs of improvement. Sabal was rushed to Kanti Children’s Hospital for emergency treatment.
At the hospital, he was kept for observation and blood samples were taken for testing. A urine test was also performed, revealing a severe urinary tract infection. Because the Sabal was very young and was not breastfed, he was vulnerable to serious complications, so he was admitted to the medical ward for intravenous antibiotics. RMF Nurses Sanskriti and Bina alternately took care of the child, and he improved. He was discharged from the hospital and healthy after 7 days.
Recovering from Wrist Injury
Sumi Baidhya is a bright and playful 8-year-old girl who is very active in school. One September evening while she was playing with her friends on the NCO premises, she fell down. She was in pain and quickly ran to RMF Nurse Sanskriti who saw that Sumi had sustained an injury on her right wrist and was unable to move it. Sumi was rushed to the emergency department of the nearby hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment.
There she took an X-ray which revealed torsion in the right distal radius. The orthopedic doctor applied a splint on her right arm to support and immobilize the injured area. She was also given medications to ease the pain. Sumi still has the splint on and is happy that RMF Nurse Sanskriti took immediate action to ease her suffering.
Maya Devi Shahi
Slowly Making Health Improvements
Maya Devi Shahi is a 4-year-old girl who was adopted by NCO in September. She was brought from Mugu, one of the remotest mountainous districts in the country. She has a 7-year-old older brother and the NCO staff was troubled to learn that the siblings were neglected by their parents.
When a general physical assessment was performed on her arrival, she said she had difficulty walking, sitting, and especially defecating. It was found that she had severe rectal prolapse which was causing difficulties in all her activities. She was taken to a nearby hospital and saw a pediatrician who, after examination, told NCO staff that she had severe anemia and malnutrition.
The prolapsed rectum was cleaned and pushed into the anus. He also advised the staff to provide Maya with a highly nutritious diet as well as a stool softener. RMF nurses are taking good care of Maya and teaching her exercises to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles. As a result, her condition is improving slowly.
Adopted by NCO
Sejal Balika, who was born as a twin, was brought from Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital. The twins were delivered at 33 weeks of gestation. The other twin weighed 1.5kg at birth and died immediately. Sejal was born second and weighed 1.9kg at birth. She was kept in the NICU for 3 days. When the hospital authority searched for the mother, they discovered that she had abandoned her child.
They tried to search for the mother using the information provided at the time of admission, but the woman has provided fake information. As a last resort, the hospital authority contacted NCO and handed over the child. On arrival at NCO, the Sejal weighed 2.1kg, and now she is healthy and under the care of NCO mothers.
Condition Markedly Improved
Locals were alarmed to find a crying newborn baby near the garbage can of Lumbini premises. The locals gathered and decided to seek help from the police. The police came and investigated but were not able to find the mother. They handed the child over to NCO, who took her to NCO home Naxal.
On arrival, Anamika was in very poor condition with sticky eyes and infected wounds behind the ears. She weighed just 2kg. She was taken to the hospital where her condition was diagnosed as a local infection. She was given eye drops and oral antibiotics. Her condition has markedly improved as she is well-fed on formula. Her condition is being monitored by the NCO mothers.