April 25.

One year ago, at 11:56am local time, everything changed.

April 25's 7.8-Magnitude earthquake tore through Kathmandu Valley and turned our world upside down. On this symbolic anniversary of April 25, we invite you to join us in reflecting upon the year that has passed and the thousands of lives that were lost.

One year later, our community is still shaking. We have had hundreds and hundreds of earthquakes since that day.

One year later, our community is still strong. Because of everyone who supports and encourages CYF, we have been able to stay determined and optimistic throughout this challenging year. We are continually inspired by the resilience of the Nepali population, and together, we are infinitely stronger than the #NepalQuake.

If you were to fly to Kathmandu today, you would still see rubble on nearly every street corner. Major temples and UNESCO heritage sites remain unrepaired, solemn ghosts next to posters of their former selves, showing tourists what they used to look like. It won't take you long to spot a damaged building with huge cracks running top to bottom; unfortunately, it is hard to spot the cracked ones that were painted over in an attempt to look repaired, yet still suffer from dangerous internal damage and could collapse at any time. Camps of earthquake survivors living in tents are still scattered across the city. And, of course, the earthquakes themselves are still coming.

Boudha Stupa, a UNESCO heritage site, under reconstruction in December 2015. 

Boudha Stupa, a UNESCO heritage site, under reconstruction in December 2015. 

Nepal has had hundreds and hundreds of aftershocks and new earthquakes since April 25's. Today, it is still common to have ones roll through that are over 5.0-Magnitude. This becomes of higher concern during the upcoming rainy season, as earthquakes like this can cause landslides, as they did on a huge scale last spring. These ongoing tremors also add to the psychological damage of last April's quake, particularly because Nepal is still expecting "The Big One" - a seismologically overdue earthquake, possibly even higher than an 8.5. As CYF 6th grader Mingma Lama put it, "Nowadays the earthquakes will come sometimes, and we all feel scared." It's hard to tell what will happen next when the ground starts shaking, so this tumultuous pattern continues to keep us alert at all times.

While these rumbles have become routine, it is 11:56am on April 25 that is still engrained in countless minds. Anyone who was in the valley can tell you exactly where they were in that moment, and how the ground rolled like an ocean. Our kids at CYF frequently mention the time, 11:56, when they talk about their memories of the earthquake. That one moment is impossible to forget.

Immediately after that moment, people around the world jumped into action, responding to what had happened in Nepal. Ever since, our CYF team has been working every day to rebuild our community, stand by our neighbors, and put all of your donations to their best use.

Kamala Tamang, the head stitcher at CYF's Haushala Cooperative, has led many of our earthquake relief projects across the valley.

Kamala Tamang, the head stitcher at CYF's Haushala Cooperative, has led many of our earthquake relief projects across the valley.

After the first earthquake, we joined together with friends, family, neighbors and organizations under the CYF Collective, a collaborative group to provide organized and effective relief aid. We delivered trucks and trucks full of emergency supplies and blankets, set up temporary shelters and classrooms, and built toilets in destroyed villages. We also brought rescue helicopters to remote areas, and set up sewing centers to provide earthquake survivors with business opportunities.

The CYF Collective's first helicopter rescue mission transported Furke Lama, age 55, from Dhap, Sindhupalchowk to the Dhulikhel Hospital. Her multiple injuries included a rib bone fracture, deep forearm wound, possible sepsis, and a severe chest infection. This rescue mission, led by Dr. Sajal Shakya, Dr. Roshan Piya, and Prajwan Shrestha, also airlifted two others to the hospital. During the same trip, they dropped 350 kilos of relief items to Gunsa, Sindhupalchowk as well. This helicopter trip was funded by our friend Marie Claire in France.

The CYF Collective's first helicopter rescue mission transported Furke Lama, age 55, from Dhap, Sindhupalchowk to the Dhulikhel Hospital. Her multiple injuries included a rib bone fracture, deep forearm wound, possible sepsis, and a severe chest infection. This rescue mission, led by Dr. Sajal Shakya, Dr. Roshan Piya, and Prajwan Shrestha, also airlifted two others to the hospital. During the same trip, they dropped 350 kilos of relief items to Gunsa, Sindhupalchowk as well. This helicopter trip was funded by our friend Marie Claire in France.

In order to achieve sustainable, long-term recovery in Kathmandu Valley, we focused in on what we consider the most important part of society to protect and invest in: education. On April 26, 2015, over one million children in Nepal woke up without a classroom. We partnered up with a few government schools in the valley that had been destroyed, working together to completely restore them. Today, reconstruction is almost complete in the Shree Bagh Bairav school of Kaleswor, Lalitpur, and the Milan Primary School of Chyasingkharka, Kavrepalanchowk. Shree Bagh Bairav's reconstruction was funded through CYF by the fundraising initiatives of Alex Trulock from Alabama.

The Milan Primary school was completely destroyed, only a short time after it was first built.

The Milan Primary school was completely destroyed, only a short time after it was first built.

Reconstruction underway in Kaleswor!

Reconstruction underway in Kaleswor!

We also sustained significant damage at our own school, Life Vision Academy, where our dormitory was destroyed. We are now in the process of moving to a new location in Godavari, away from earthquake damage. When the first earthquake hit in April, our kids camped out on the basketball court for a few weeks, until we were able to put up three prefabricated houses as temporary and safe places to live. Putting a roof over our kids' heads was possible because of support from our friends, family and global community.

Bindu in a power stance outside one of our three new homes.

Bindu in a power stance outside one of our three new homes.

One of these houses was funded by the Dan Fredinburg Foundation, which was established to honor the life of Google executive, climate activist and life-loving adventurer Dan Fredinburg. Dan tragically lost his life at Mount Everest Base Camp when the earthquake caused a devastating avalanche. The DFF was founded by his family and friends to honor Dan's commitments to life, education, children in Nepal, social movements and outstanding passion for this world we live in. We are extremely honored to include Dan's legacy in our school through this safe home for our students.

From www.thedanfredinburgfoundation.org. 

From www.thedanfredinburgfoundation.org. 

To everyone out there in the CYF community and beyond, we thank you for standing with us on this terrifying day one year ago. We extend our condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to the earthquakes, and we extend our support to everyone who is still recovering. And we thank you, everyone in our worldwide CYF family, for sending us your support and hope in all of the days that followed, and for getting us through this challenging year.

If you'd like to make a commemorative impact today, please sign our pledge of remembrance or donate to our ongoing earthquake relief fund. All donations will go directly towards rebuilding schools across the Kathmandu Valley. 

The earthquake was so bad. I will never forget it. I wish that this day would never come back again. But, don’t worry about us.
— Roshan Lama, Class 6

6 Months Since #NepalQuake: Where We Are Today

On April 25, everything changed.

Today marks six months since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Kathmandu Valley, triggering hundreds of earthquakes and aftershocks. These six months have been a roller coaster. Our relief projects would not have been possible without the support of our donors and friends. Thank you all for everything you've done to help Nepal rebuild. Your impact has truly made a world of a difference. 


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All donations to our earthquake relief fund enabled us to deliver immediate aid and to develop long-term recovery projects. We distributed emergency supplies, set up temporary shelters, and helped rebuild schools. We reached villages that the government never helped. We brought a rescue helicopter to remote areas. And we put a roof over the heads of our own children, replacing our crumbled dormitory with three prefabricated houses.


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All donations to Life Vision Academy have brought us closer than ever to a new school facility. When construction concludes next year, we'll open the doors of our dream home to 200 children. The earthquake took countless victims, including education; over one million students didn't have a school anymore on April 26. The new LVA will provide long-term earthquake relief by giving more kids a place to learn and the tools to grow.


It's not only about monetary donations; your friendship and solidarity have powered us through these six months. We've received so much support from friends, family, mentors and (former) strangers all around the world. The helpfulness of your hope, concern and advice is unquantifiable. Thank you for taking on this disaster with us. We are so grateful to have you as a part of our community.


We've come a long way, but we still have so much left to do. Together, we can keep rebuilding Nepal and create a safe future for the youngest generation. By donating today, you can help us finish these relief projects and push on towards our future. Thank you for your support!

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Saturday Spotlight: Man Kumari Tamang, Principal of Milan Primary School

Man Kumari Tamang is an outstanding leader who is continuously working to give her students a better education. She is the principal of Milan Primary School, which is an anomaly in Nepal where school principals are almost always male. Not only does she shatter gender norms, but she also drives her community with a strong vision and commitment to educating the future of Nepal.

Man had just finished the Milan Primary School when the devastating earthquake struck Nepal on April 25.

Her classrooms collapsed. Stones, metal and boulders crushed the classrooms as the walls fell apart. It was impossible to continue having classes. Fortunately the earthquake occurred on a Saturday, so the children were not in class when the ceilings fell.

Children and Youth First was taken by Man’s steadfast determination to her students and her enthusiasm for education. We selected Milan Primary School to be one of the four schools with whom we partnered in our earthquake relief work. We have helped them build temporary shelters and classrooms, and we brought school supplies and toys to the children.

A CYF volunteer delivering whiteboards to the school. Man has been able to continue teaching classes using school supplies and temporary classrooms funded by CYF donors.

A CYF volunteer delivering whiteboards to the school. Man has been able to continue teaching classes using school supplies and temporary classrooms funded by CYF donors.

Man’s school originally taught up to third grade, but she wants to expand through fifth grade, making it a complete primary school. Milan Primary School is located in Chyasingkharka in the Kavrepalanchowk district. Kavre is one of the poorest districts in Nepal, and it suffered incredible losses in the earthquake -- including significant damage to many of its schools. According to Kathmandu Today, 255 schools in Kavre district have been damaged due to the devastating earthquake. Primary school in Nepal is supposed to be free and compulsory through fifth grade, but the Ministry of Education has not been working to rebuild thousands of schools ruined in the earthquake.

Starting in November, CYF will help Man rebuild her school building to create a safe, permanent space for her community’s children to learn. 

 

An engineer at work, planning how to rebuild the lost sections of Man’s school.

An engineer at work, planning how to rebuild the lost sections of Man’s school.

Kamala, the head stitcher at CYF’s Haushala Women’s Cooperative, has been leading our earthquake relief work. She is working closely with Man to provide the support Milan Primary School needs most.

Man is an inspirational community leader who is visibly changing Nepal’s future; thanks to our donors, CYF is able to support her incredible leadership and changemaking. You can directly support Man’s school rebuilding fund here in our donors’ store!

Relief, Rebuilding, and Resilience: CYF's Work since the April 25 Earthquake

Houses and schools collapsed. Families and dreams were shaken. The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25th left the country deeply wounded and traumatized. Upwards of 10,000 people were killed, thousands were injured, and approximately 2.8 million people lost their homes.

While most global news headlines completely dropped Nepal a few days later, or at least after mid-May's second large quake, the quakes' impacts and dangers have not at all disappeared on the ground. People of all ages have lived in constant fear for weeks, as hundreds of aftershocks and tremors have arrived day by day. Further, Nepal's monsoon season is continually challenging rebuilding efforts, bringing frequent landslides and destroying roads to villages that need aid.

Many of our Life Vision Academy students and women from our Haushala cooperative are from villages that were completely wiped out. The dormitory building at LVA cracked, forcing our students and staff to sleep outside for weeks. We set up camp on our basketball courts, gathering together materials for makeshift tents. Our kids were forced to spend many nights outside in the rain, but we were fortunate that everyone was alive and safe.

Life Vision Academy students were forced to sleep outside in the cold after the earthquake.

Life Vision Academy students were forced to sleep outside in the cold after the earthquake.

CYF immediately started looking for ways to provide shelter for our students. By mid-May, we had installed our first prefabricated house, thanks to the prefab housing company that prioritized our children and gave us a year to pay off the price.

CYF's first fabricated house provided our children a temporary shelter from rainy nights.

CYF's first fabricated house provided our children a temporary shelter from rainy nights.

Quarters were cramped, but we were able to fit enough beds for our junior students (ages 3-7) and all our girl students. Unfortunately, the older boys remained outside in the tents. Our priority has been to get them inside as soon as possible - but, as boys will be boys, they say they've been having fun camping out!

Haushala and the children in our first fabricated house

Haushala and the children in our first fabricated house

In August, we were able to set up our second and third prefabricated houses. Thanks again to our incredible donors and a loan from the company, all of our children and live-in staff have a roof over their heads. We are so grateful for the support we’ve had so far!

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We put a roof over our children's heads thanks to the support of our donors and the fabricated house company.

We put a roof over our children's heads thanks to the support of our donors and the fabricated house company.

This also wouldn’t have been possible without our friends and staff members on the ground, literally building these houses from the ground up. Because the earthquake has caused such extreme labor shortages, we pulled together our own labor team to pour the cement, lay the bricks, and set up each entire house. From LVA staff members to our women’s cooperative didis, from older students to friends from Kathmandu, we had pairs and pairs of selfless hands determined to make a safe, comfortable home for our kids.

Our staff members helped us build our houses from the ground up.

Our staff members helped us build our houses from the ground up.

Our earthquake relief work didn’t stop with our school. Children and Youth First has worked with other community organizations and formed the CYF Collective, a network for earthquake relief that was featured on CNN. Together, we have actively coordinated earthquake relief work in numerous villages. We delivered daily necessities including food, medical supplies, clothing items and tents to villages where relief efforts had not reached yet. We reached villages in remote areas of Lalitpur, Sindhupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Nuwakot, Gorkha, Sindhuli, and Dhading districts. We set guidelines for distributing the supplies to respect the ownership and responsibility that local community organizations have in their village and to ensure the proper monitoring of our work.

The work has not been easy, but we have carefully and collectively powered through.

We have also partnered up with four government schools that were destroyed in the earthquakes, to help them build temporary shelters and classrooms. We provided metal sheets for reconstruction work, school supplies and toys for the kids, and more. Our kids also traveled to these government schools to perform for their students, spreading smiles through art, music, and friendship during this difficult time.

Children and Youth First believes education is the most important institution in a community. The earthquakes, however, have rendered it impossible for many to continue running a school. UNICEF estimates that around 24,000 classrooms in Nepal were damaged, leaving 950,000 children out of school.

The earthquakes turned many classrooms into rubble.

The earthquakes turned many classrooms into rubble.

Children are vulnerable to tragic disasters and need to have a place to learn, grow, heal from the trauma, and be supported by their peers and teachers. We want to provide as much help as we could give to the devastated communities. We selected the four government schools we support based on the destruction they endured, the amount of resources they received for support, and political affiliation of the village. We took political affiliation into consideration because villages with political ties can easily receive help while those without ties experience difficulties getting support.

We have also set up two new hubs of our Haushala cooperative in villages for long-term business opportunities. Like much of our earthquake relief, this entire project is led by Kamala didi, our incredible leader in the Haushala women’s cooperative. Under Kamala’s leadership, we have installed sewing machines and will be teaching women and men how to stitch, sew and knit.

Kamala didi is leading long-term relief projects.

Kamala didi is leading long-term relief projects.

These newly trained members will take orders that are outsourced from our cooperative’s home base. Through these hubs, we will also train women in skills such as carpentry and metalwork. These skills will help the women lead rebuilding efforts, take control over their lives and their communities’ obstacles. Our training will also allow the women to earn independent income in a sustainable way and challenge traditional gender norms and stereotypes.

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The earthquake has left Nepal in great damage, but we see hope. We are doing our best in supporting our own kids, the local community, and various villages through relief work as well as long-term school reconstruction and business projects. Our endeavors to recover from the disaster has been joined by many donors, local people, and other organizations. We would like to give our sincere thanks to all of our donors who have generously supported all of our work. Your dedicated support is helping us build a new future for Nepal.

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Safe Havens: Why Homelessness and Slums make LVA Important

The dusty streets of Kathmandu are home to countless homeless street children. In the alleys leading to Kathmandu slums, families live under a thin plastic roof, crowding over a small space that does little to protect them from harsh weather. Poverty forces these people into the bleakness of the streets where living each and every day is a struggle.

Poverty and homelessness affect a huge number of people in Nepal. According to statistics from UNDP Human Development Report, 25% of people in Nepal live under $1.25 a day. More than 250,000 people are homeless, and 2.8 million (an entire 10% of the Nepali population) live in slums. With the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal last April, the number of people without homes is only going to increase.

Countless homes have been absolutely destroyed by the earthquake, tremors, and landslides.

Countless homes have been absolutely destroyed by the earthquake, tremors, and landslides.

Going to school is often a dream that cannot come true for marginalized children living in the streets and slums. They are prone to be victims of child labor, having to work many hours for their households. Some are even sold off as child slaves or sent to orphanages. Little is done, however, to help lift these children out of poverty. With limited access to education, the children’s future remains dim; they are blocked from opportunities to improve their lives and strive for what they want to achieve.

Binita Kuluhang did not speak Nepali or English in 2012 before she came to Life Vision Academy. Now she can speak, read, and write in three languages.

Poverty, drugs and homelessness could have been the daily routine for Nabin, who is now a well-respected leader amongst children at Life Vision Academy. Nabin was a victim of severe domestic violence from his stepmother. The unceasing violence forced him to live in the streets until Children and Youth First rescued him. With the safe shelter and supportive environment that Life Vision Academy provides, Nabin became a positive young man who is eager to learn new things, from English to sports. He completed Nepal’s notational SLC exam with distinction and is now enrolled in a mechanical engineering program. He’s smart, confident, and eager to help others who live how he used to live.

Nabin has collected various honors in his academic work, culminating in placing into the highest level of distinction on Nepal's national SLC exam after Grade 10.

Before being brought to Life Vision Academy from the streets of Swayambhu, Sabina wanted to read a storybook. But, she couldn’t find any around her, and this four-year-old hadn’t been introduced to the alphabet. Sabina’s parents could not afford to send their daughter to school. Both parents suffered from illnesses, and the increasing medical expenses of Sabina’s mother forced the family to sell their house and live in the streets. A thin plastic roof was all that they could call home. Sabina’s eagerness to learn was collapsing under homelessness and poverty. With the help of Children and Youth First, Sabina can now spend hours doing what she had longed for— reading, learning, and growing.

Before coming to LVA, Sabina's only home she knew was on the sidewalk.

Life Vision Academy provides a safe, supportive home as well as educational opportunities for marginalized children. We believe that a safe shelter and positive environment are essential for children’s growth. Homeless children like Sabina and Nabin are vulnerable to threats such as drug addiction and child labor. Providing access to education and safe home for these marginalized children helps them unlock their amazing potentials. We are changing the cycle of poverty that limited our children’s futures: we’re transforming it into a cycle of positive change and bright horizons. 

Goodbye's and Hello's

Someone somewhere once said that hello's and goodbye's come together. This past week at CYF has been an exhausting one, filled with both of them. 

This weekend, Haushala cooperative member Bishnu Maya Bomzom passed away after a long battle with cancer. Bishnu didi is the mother of LVA students Anil and Anish. She was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer back in 2012; CYF supported her several stages of chemo, radiation, and surgery, bringing her to remission in 2014. Bishnu didi was an active member of the cooperative, knitting merchandise that was sold both in Nepal and in the USA. She was an active supporter of her sons' education, working tirelessly to provide for family in light of her husband's full-body paralysis. Despite her grace and determination, nothing could keep her cancer from returning this year. While it escalated to becoming terminal, Bishnu remained tough throughout her entire fight. We will always hold her close in the CYF, Life Vision Academy, and Haushala families, and we know Anil and Anish will always make her proud. This week we said goodbye to Bishnu didi; we will always remember her as a beautiful person, a strong woman, and a loving mother. 

But as that saying goes, every goodbye brings a new hello. And lately LVA has had its hands full with our newest addition: Tsering! As always, the kids have been great about welcoming in this new face and making him feel at home. And Tsering hasn't been shy... he's been keeping everyone busy with his boundless energy.

As hello's and goodbye's come and go, our LVA family is always transitioning. But, amidst this fluidity, there is a deep-rooted bond of love and respect for one another. We say goodbye with a solemn heart, and we say hello with open arms. And both times, we say Namaste: the Light in me bows to the Light in you.

Earthquake Update

Dear ALL

We would like to inform you that we are all safe . We were lucky it was a saturday and lunch time. But our hostel building is cracked and tilted and we cannot go back to our hostel. We have informed our landlord and he has shown no interest to repair or even advice us to go anywhere else. Thus we are moving out of the space , the building was of 4 floors. We are currently staying in the basketball court , we have camped out for a week now. Though we were lucky with our lives many weren. Many families of the children we support come from Sindhupalchowk the hard hit area and need alot of support , if you can help this would be great! We are fundraising to get 3 PREFABRICATED houses for our children and staff. Please help us if you can

We need help to also to get Prefabricated houses which children can shift into immediately. If you want to help please email us at cyf.organisation@gmail.com

CYF School Building Project

CYF SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECT

03/02/2015
12:00 am

 

When CYF’s Founder Haushala Thapa and her friends rescued 14 children in December of 2008 from an orphanage home in Balaju, they weren’t sure  what the future of these children would hold. Today in 2015 with the support of individuals, friends and family from around the world CYF has been able to support the education of 36 children and run a school called Life Vision Academy which is dedicated towards providing world class education for underprivileged children in Nepal.

With growing children, small spaces and paying rents our Founder Haushala Thapa realized that CYF/LVA needed to have something sustainable. We needed to build our own school! We cannot build our school just by ourselves but we need your help ! With the support from our CYF branch in Austria also known as CYF Oesterrich we have received donation from LOPOCA to buy our own land and now we need YOUR help to build on it!

Your support can be small but we will make sure it reaches the right place. Our plan is to finish building our school within 2017.

To know more please email us.

2020

22/09/2014 - 22/12/2014
All Day

 

2020 is a RICE CAMPAIGN to support CYF to buy 20 sacks of rice by 20 different individual. CYF needs 20 sacks of 30 kilo rice every month to feed 36 children supported by the organization. With the inflation and non stop rise in ration prices it has been very difficult to maintain the ration quota. Thus we have recently introduced 2020 campaign where we want an individual to buy one sack of rice every month for 12 months. Thus we are in need of people every month who want to buy sack every month or for 3 months or for an entire year.

Minnesota Rotary Club Visits CYF

10/03/2014 - 11/03/2014
All Day

 

Minnesota Rotary Club visited CYF on March 10 and 11th 2014. All participants are active Rotarians who believe in “service above self” and were US Nationals above 55 years old. The Rotarians were involved in painting our new school’s class rooms and a session of story telling. The Rotarians helped the children specially the girls by getting a year’s supply of sanitary napkins , text copies, sports materials and school bags for the children.