Nepal: Orphanage Support

June – July Update

July 31, 2015

Barsha Dharel

Orphanage Support and Support to the Nepal Children’s Organisation
Nepal Children’s Organisation (NCO) is a Non-Governmental, autonomous, non-profitable and self-governing organization established in 1964 AD and is also popularly known as Balmandir (The Children's Temple). NCO works for Nepalese children by protecting and promoting their rights as well as by providing residential care to children at risk, enabling them to survive and succeed.
NCO has extensive programs for childcare and development with wide-ranging geographical coverage in Nepal. It focuses on childcare and education for orphans, abandoned and conflict affected children; rehabilitation of dependent children of prisoners; promotion of children's rights; national and international adoption of children; educational support to children from low-income families; and strengthening the capacity of its nationwide network.
NCO is home to children from varying ethnic-social backgrounds and from different age groups, ranging from newborns, infants to adolescents and adults. They also provide shelter and support to differently-abled children who have been abandoned by their families.
RMF is supporting NCO to improve the current conditions of the children at their orphanages.
Following the earthquake, the main centre/home of the NCO based at Naxal was heavily damaged and has become inhabitable. Children, who had been used to having open spaces and had been knowing this centre as the only place to call home, were compelled to relocate to two of NCO’s centers in Kathmandu. This is difficult not only for the children but also for house-mothers and other staffs who have also relocated to these temporary shelters with crammed spaces. All of these ordeals have added to the trauma of children who already have lost their parents and families in the first place. As the biggest children organization in Nepal, the Government has also placed many of the children who lost their parents during the earthquake at these centers creating challenges in integration and in addressing psychological issues.
In this light, RMF seeks to be a part of the overall support to the Nepal Children’s Organisation to help improve the living conditions of the children, and in particular improve the health, nutrition, sanitation, and hygiene status of the children. In particular, RMF is providing financial and logistic support to:

  • Improve the health status of the infants and children.
  • Improve the nutritional status of the infants and children.
  • Enhance knowledge and awareness on health and nutrition for operating staff and children of shelter homes.
  • Provide psycho trauma and psychosocial support and counseling at the NCO children’s homes.
  • Improve the toilets at each of NCO’s children’s homes to increase the sanitation and overall hygiene of the NCO children’s homes, including access for children who are differently abled.
  • Rebuild a room for infants.
  • Provide health and sanitation trainings for house-mothers and children at the NCO children’s homes.
  • Remodel or rebuild a playground for children at the NCO children’s homes.
  • Create a room for children who are differently abled.

The damaged NCO building and current temporary shelters:

Two qualified staff nurses have been hired, each of whom is now based at one of the two centers. They will be providing and supervising integrated nursing care and activities to the children at NCO, including infants, young children, adolescents, and children with special needs. They will be attending to and managing children in the respective NCO centre/s assigned and will be undertaking day-to-day clinical duties, i.e. walk-in clinic, emergencies, pre-placement and periodic medical examinations. They will also be devising training materials and will take the lead on conducting trainings and capacity building to the NCO staffs and house-mothers for effective health service delivery at the orphanages.
As part of their responsibilities, the nurses are also working on creating the children’s profiles to document the details and monitor progress.  Lack of documented details of the children seems to be an issue at the NCO which the nurses will help addressing. They will also lead and conduct timely assessments including physiological, psychological, developmental, and sociocultural factors, including signs of abuse or neglect.
An American psychologist with extensive experience of working with children in traumatic situations will be giving presentations on resilience and conducting sessions with children and NCO staffs.  This event (2-day workshop/ session) is scheduled to be organized in the week of August 3rd and is part of RMF’s support to address psycho trauma and psychosocial issues of the children at NCO.  RMF provided the first installments of the financial support to the NCO, which will be used in construction of toilets, development of a sick room and purchasing medicines.
Nurses at the NCO and Dr. Ron Palomares (Psychologist) visiting the Centre:

Next steps:
Gender segregated toilets and a toilet for children with special needs will be built at each of NCO’s children’s homes to improve the sanitation and overall hygiene of the NCO children’s homes, including access for children who are differently abled.
Provide health and sanitation trainings for house-mothers and children, led by the RMF Nurses in collaboration with government relevant agencies associated with NCO.


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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