Punarbal Plus, a nonprofit NGO that aims to improve the condition of children affected by HIV/AIDS, opened Punarbal Shikshya Sadan (which translates as “Reinforce Education House”) in 2005.
They started accepting HIV-positive children from Kathmandu orphanages, ultra-poor families, untouchables and families who have become victims of the civil war from 1996 to 2006.
These orphans are thriving, learning, and getting the nurturing they deserve from the school.
The center currently has 65 children attending classes. The school has a successful track record of integrating them into the society upon graduation..
At Punarbal Plus the children are taught Nepali, English, math, science, social studies, environment studies, and health studies. In addition, a number of extracurricular activities such as dancing, drawing, story writing and quizzes are held daily to reinforce the children’s confidence and skills in a fun and cheerful way.
The teachers have experienced discrimination, and it was initially assumed that they were all HIV-positive, which caused the community to expel them and refuse to cooperate in any way.
This is now changing.
Recognizing the social ignorance furthering this prejudice and discrimination, PSS holds meetings and informational sessions to educate the public concerning the myths and common misconceptions about HIV.
Students’ parents also have access to various training sessions offered over the course of the year as a means of improving their economic and social status. The goal of PSS is full integration of their students into private and/or government schools without fear of expulsion due to HIV.