NYF's COVID-19 Response

A brief overview of COVID-19 in Nepal; and NYF’s strong responses to it.

This page 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 World 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.

A quick look at our collective impact:

46

people sheltered via The Emergency Halfway Home

80

education centers opened via Access to Education

5,061+

kg of Lito flour distributed through Lito for Life

5,311

hot meals served through Community Nutrition Kitchens

240+

patients treated at NYF's COVID Isolation Center

Our Pandemic Timeline

2020
March 10, 2020

The World Health Organization declares coronavirus a pandemic

Travel bans are issued. NYF Founder Olga Murray sadly departs Kathmandu and returns home to Sausalito, California.

March 18, 2020

NYF’s programs are paused

  • 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.
March 23, 2020

Nepal issues a country-wide lockdown

  • 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.

 

April 29, 2020

Global cases pass 3 million; 57 confirmed cases in Nepal

  • 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.
June 7, 2020

NYF launches first COVID-19 program: Community Nutrition Kitchens

 

June 17, 2020

NYF launches second COVID program: an emergency shelter for women

 

June 28, 2020

Nepal’s hunger crisis is featured in the New York Times

  • “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.
July 1, 2020

NYF launches third COVID program: Lito for Life

  • 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.

 

July 20, 2020

Nepal’s country-wide lockdown is lifted

  • 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.
July 22, 2020

NYF launches fourth COVID program: Access to Education

  • 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.

 

August 2, 2020

NYF’s New Life Center and Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes re-open

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.

August 13, 2020

NYF pauses pop-up Community Nutrition Kitchens

  • 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.
August 31, 2020

Emergency shelter opens to all as an isolation facility for patients with COVID-19.

  • 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
October 3, 2020

NYF opens 46 more Access to Educations centers

  • 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.
December 26, 2020

All 80 of NYF’s Access to Education centers are open

  • 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.
December 31, 2020

India donates 1M doses of COVID vaccine to Nepal

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.

2021
January 31, 2021

Schools in Nepal are starting to re-open

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.

February 27, 2021

NYF staff in Nepal receive the vaccine

March 21, 2021

NYF launches SAAET Project

  • 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.

April 28, 2021

Second major wave of COVID hits Nepal and Kathmandu Valley enters another lockdown; NYF opens COVID isolation facilities

  • 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.

 

May 2, 2021

India’s outbreak spreads quickly

  • 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.
May 3, 2021

NYF opens a COVID Isolation Center at our Kathmandu Nutritional Rehabilitation Home

  • 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.

 

May 5, 2021
May 7, 2021

NYF continues to distribute Lito, a “super flour,” through the second surge

  • 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.
May 23, 2021

NYF President Som Paneru interviews with BBC News TV

  • 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
May 26, 2021

NYF adds four High-Dependency Units to COVID-19 Isolation Center

  • 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.
June 16, 2021

Nepal’s lockdown extended as the second surge continues

August 31, 2021

Over 205 patients treated at NYF’s COVID Isolation Center

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.

September 15, 2021

Nepal government eases some COVID-19 restrictions

  • 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.
September 16, 2021

NYF pauses COVID Isolation Center services

  • 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.
September 17, 2021

NYF resumes regular programming at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Home (NRH)

December 15, 2021

Children 12+ at Olgapuri Children’s Village receive COVID-19 vaccinations

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.

2022
January 3, 2022

NYF’s “Lito for Life” continues

  • 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.
January 15, 2022

As Omicron cases spike in Nepal, NYF initiates full COVID-19 protocols again

  • 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.
February 26, 2022

Third wave of COVID subsides in Nepal; government relaxes restrictions again

90% of eligible citizens above the age of 12 have received two full doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Booster shots are currently being administered.

March 8, 2022

NYF resumes regular programming and Olgapuri Children’s Village opens

  • 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.

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