January 15, 2022
NYF’s COVID-19 Timeline
A brief overview of COVID-19 in Nepal; and NYF’s strong responses to it.
This timeline regarding NYF’s COVID response is a developing piece. Last updated: 3/11/2022
On March 11, 2020, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Not too long after, on April 4th, 2020, Nepal confirmed its first locally-transmitted case of COVID-19. Since then, NYF has launched five emergency programs in response to the pandemic (Community Nutrition Kitchens, The Emergency Lifeline Halfway Home, Access to Education, Lito for Life, and our very own COVID Isolation Center).
Thanks to our dedicated team in Nepal and loving support from the wider NYF community, these programs have been an incredible success. Chiri Babu Maharjan, Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, has commended NYF “for its outstanding services since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal, and for the well-facilitated quarantine and COVID Isolation Center in partnership with Lalitpur.”
NYF’s swift and effective response to the deadly surge of the Delta variant in April 2021 has also been highlighted by BBC News.
NYF remains incredibly grateful for our community of supporters, and for our amazing team in Nepal. Thank you all for being so patient, supportive, and generous during these challenging times. Whether you joined us recently or have been here with us since the beginning of this pandemic: Dhanyabad.
Please scroll down to view NYF’s pandemic timeline.
Travel bans are issued. NYF Founder Olga Murray sadly departs Kathmandu and returns home to Sausalito, California.
- Programs in Nepal are restricted to ensure the health and safety of our staff and the people in our care. K-12 schools in Nepal close, with colleges and universities to follow later in the week.
- Olgapuri Children’s Village goes into lockdown, the vocational school training program is suspended, and the main Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) closes temporarily.
- A shelter-in-place order is announced for six Bay Area counties, and NYF U.S. staff in California begins to work remotely. Learn more about this update here.
- Nepal’s strict, nation-wide lockdown goes into effect on March 24, 2020. Both China and India close their borders to Nepal, leaving the small land-locked country with skyrocketing prices for food, medicine, and other essentials.
- Olgapuri Children’s Village continues its own very strict lockdown to ensure that all 77 of the children who live there are safe. The children find creative ways to learn and stay active with help from their live-in house parents.
- Learn more about life during lockdown at Olgapuri here.
- Nepal’s country-wide lockdown is extended to last another month.
- NYF’s four trained counselors at Ankur Counseling Center continue to provide essential services over the internet and the telephone. Their workload is increasing significantly as they try to reach families suffering from increased domestic violence (a side-effect of lockdown conditions).
- Click here to read more about their important work during these months.
- “Nepal families face hunger, skip meals as pandemic hits remittances,” writes journalist Gopal Sharma. For the months since the lockdown began, individuals have not been able to work. Forced into tough decisions between rent and food, many are going hungry.
- Read the article on Reuters here.
- In response to the hunger crisis caused by the lockdown, NYF begins distributing packets of Lito — a type of ‘super flour’ made of roasted and ground corn, wheat, and soybeans — to keep urban families nourished.
- Read more about NYF’s Lito for Life program.
- Though the government has relaxed its restrictions, Olgapuri remains strictly on lockdown. The children continue to stay at home, attending virtual classes every day.
- NYF’s Vocational Education team starts a new mobile training program in order to serve students safely during COVID times. 135 students join in July, and NYF considers plans to continue the program even after COVID times.
- With ongoing public school closures, students are starting to fall behind. To combat this, NYF begins a trial run of a new village-based learning program, called Access to Education, in Dhading District. The pilot program receives enthusiastic support from students, teachers, and parents.
- Read about the beginnings of NYF’s Access to Education program.
- According to the Nepal Development Update and the World Bank, Nepal faces the risk of nearly one third of its population — who are just above the poverty line — could fall below the line due to the loss of the livelihood caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Read the article here.
NYF resumes the operation of our Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) and New Life Center program. With restrictions being lifted, NYF anticipates more and more hospitals will begin referring children with malnutrition and/or HIV to our facilities.
- By recommendation of The Social Welfare Council, NYF pauses the pop-up nutrition kitchen program. With people resuming work and receiving an income again, there is less urgency for free meals.
- NYF will continue distributing Lito packages to families in need, and will be ready to resume the pop-up kitchen program if it is needed.
- In September, the MoU for the emergency women’s shelter (previously signed on June 17, 2020) is revised in order to become an isolation facility for patients infected with COVID-19.
- NYF provides isolation services to 46 people in total: 24 women and 22 men
- An additional 46 Access to Education Centers open in two rural municipalities in Dhading District.
- With an average of 100 students per satellite center, NYF provides 5,000 K-10 students with educational opportunities they haven’t had in six months, and mobilizes 354 teachers who are already on the Nepalese government’s payroll.
- Read more about these new Access to Education Centers.
- Moving carefully to ensure COVID-19 stays out of these villages, NYF finishes the year with an additional 30 education centers in Gandaki Rural Municipality.
- All 80 satellite centers continue to run for over 9,000 children who are still out of school.
India (and China to follow) donates 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal. The first 500,000 healthcare workers in Nepal have begun to be vaccinated.
Most of the children at Olgapuri Children’s Village are now attending in-person classes at school. Home-schooling is provided for those children whose schools have not re-opened.
- Inspired by the new Olgapuri greenhouses built during the lockdown, NYF launches SAAET – a new vocational education training program for women in rural Nepal.
- Read more about the SAAET Project.
- As cases surge, another government-mandated lockdown starts in Kathmandu to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Hospitals are already full. Vaccinated NYF staff members set up COVID isolation facilities.
- Read more about NYF’s COVID isolation center.
- Nepal records the highest daily increase in death since the beginning of the pandemic as the country faces a major surge in COVID cases. Only 1% of the landlocked country’s population is fully vaccinated.
- Read more on Reuters here.
- Nepal Youth Foundation opened our first COVID Isolation Center in our Kathmandu Nutritional Rehabilitation Home on Tuesday, May 4th, and it is already full, mostly with people under the age of 18.
- Isolation centers provide safe care for individuals who have been infected with COVID-19 and must be isolated from their families, but who are not sick enough to be hospitalized.
- Read more about NYF’s COVID isolation center.
- NYF’s stock of already-prepared and packaged Lito continues to be distributed, along with other staples like rice and potatoes.
- Team members make deliveries to orphanages, children’s hospitals, long-term care facilities, food banks, and other locations where individuals can access this critical resource.
- President Som Paneru appears on BBC World News live from Kathmandu to describe the crisis– and the urgent needs in his country.
- Watch the interview here
- After a few weeks of operation, NYF’s COVID Isolation Center adds four “High-Dependency Units” or HDUs. Patients in need of hospital intervention will be moved to this area and held here, under stabilizing, high-level care and using special equipment, until NYF is certain a hospital ICU bed has been found for them.
- See pictures of NYF’s High-Dependency Units.
The 50-bed capacity isolation center has been able to provide life-saving services to over 205 patients who were unable to isolate themselves at home.
- Authorities in Nepal allow district officials to decide whether to reopen schools and other public spaces.
- After almost a year and a half of being in lockdown, children at Olgapuri Children’s Village are looking forward going back to school soon.
- Following a recent government decision to re-open public spaces, NYF suspends isolation center services to fully resume our regular NRH programming. Since its opening, we’ve admitted and treated more than 240 COVID-positive patients at our facilities.
- We are continuing to produce Lito, our homemade “super” flour, at the NRH and are still distributing them to communities in need via the Lito for Life program.
All children 12 and over at Olgapuri Children’s Village receive their second COVID-19 vaccination. NYF will arrange vaccinations for the younger children as soon as the shots are available for them in Nepal.
- Since 2020, our dedicated staff members have distributed over 6,644 kilograms (14,650 lbs) of lito—and the program is ongoing.
- NYF expands the Lito for Life program to include distribution of pantry staples beyond lito alone. Where needed, items like rice, potatoes, eggs, and lentils are also being delivered.
- With only 40% of its population being vaccinated, Nepal is experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases. Public schools will remain closed until the end of January 2022.
- NYF responds quickly by resuming COVID procedures again, including a full lockdown of Olgapuri Children’s Village and limited programming at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH). NYF students return to remote-learning.
90% of eligible citizens above the age of 12 have received two full doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Booster shots are currently being administered.
- After two long years, the children’s residence section of Olgapuri Children’s Village is fully open. All the kids have resumed in-person classes and are attending school daily.
- Eight high school graduates at Olgapuri move into university dorms or private hostels.
- CDC no longer requires air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.
The first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations for children between five and 11 years of age starts in 27 districts in Nepal.
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 at Olgapuri Children’s Village receive their COVID-19 vaccination. This means all kids five and up at Olgapuri are vaccinated!