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Introducing myself and my journal: How pigs can rescue young girls being sold into slavery!

About Me:
"Nothing rekindles hope in the human condition like witnessing the transformation of children."

After retiring from her 37-year position as a research attorney for the California Supreme Court, Olga Murray realized her life’s work had just begun. While visiting the Himalayan Mountains, she discovered a world of overwhelming poverty. Millions of Nepalese people live with little electricity and few paved roads. Medical care is extremely limited, and the average income for a family is only $200 a year. Two-thirds of the people are unable to read and half are without jobs. Murray immediately responded by giving scholarships to a few Nepalese children who otherwise could not have attended school. For Murray, this simple act of kindness began a 20-year legacy of caring for Nepal’s desperately impoverished children. She founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) to give impoverished children in Nepal the rare opportunity to learn and grow. Through NYOF, children receive housing, scholarships, education, food, medical care and loving support. Murray and NYOF have directly helped tens of thousands of children in Nepal, while indirectly benefiting their families and communities. NYOF has helped thousands of children receive an education through scholarships and new schools. Hundreds of these students have completed college and graduate school, including many doctors who go on to serve in some of Nepal’s poorest areas. In a country where handicapped children are considered curses and young girls are sold into slavery, Murray is a welcome provider of help and kindness. She spends half the year in Sausalito, California, raising funds for NYOF, and the other half 10,000 miles away in Nepal working directly with the organization. Murray has received much recognition for her work with children including a guest appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show and a medal from the King of Nepal. For more information, please visit www.nyof.org.

My Passions:
Making a difference in the lives of children

My Challenges:
Raising sufficient funds to increase the number of children served

My Vision for the Future:
Completely eliminate the practice of selling young girls

My Areas of Expertise:
Seeing the big picture and be able to develop innovative, self sustaining and replicable programs that will benefit desitute children

Comments

Dear Olga Murray,
Accept my greeting "Namaskar".
I admired you so much. I am sunita from Nepal but currently studying in AUW in Bangladesh. I admired the way you helped us. I am returning back to my country on 17 July and thinking to organize an informal meeting in Kathmandu to discuss about "How to educate all girls in the context of Nepal". Your attent to my informal meeting will show me the direction to find the solution. If you wish to meet me please reply my post and let's begin our conversation.
I will tell you detail about it later.
Thank you
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

jaygher's picture

Inspiration

Hi Olga,

You are an inspiration. I hope to one day do something similar - create an organization that assists those most oppressed around the world. I would love to chat with you in person some day. Keep up the great work.

Warm Regards,
Jaime

Jay4Rights

Anna Lag's picture

role model

Dear Olga,

You are an inspiration and a role model. Please keep up the amazing work and I hope that myself and many others will follow in your footsteps. -a

anna lag

JaniceW's picture

Namaskar

(Sunita has taught me some Nepali)
Olga, it is such an honour to have you as a member of our community. I have always had a strong affection for Nepal as Sir Edmund Hillary (first to climb Everest) has always spoken so fondly of the Nepali people, and then went on to create a foundation to build schools and medical clinics for the Sherpas in the Solu Khumbu region. He is our most famous citizen (I am from New Zealand) and someone I greatly respect.

I hope you will be able to contribute to Sunita's gathering and look forward to hearing more about your work in Nepal. If there is anything I can help you with or if you have any particular interests, please let me know and I will try to steer you in the right direction. Best wishes,
Janice

JaniceW's picture

San Francisco Chronicle article

Olga, I wanted to post the article about you from the San Francisco Chronicle as it so clearly illustrates how a pig or goat can save a young girl from a life of servitude. I hope you do not mind me posting this but I have such great respect for the work you do and want to increase awareness of the issue of kamlaris in Nepal.

==OLGA'S GIRLS==
Surrounded by more than 1,000 girls she freed from domestic slavery, 83-year-old Olga Murray of Sausalito marched through this rural town, chanting in Nepali for an end to bonded servitude. ...

In a form of trafficking concentrated among ethnic Tharu farmers, destitute families sell their daughters for $75, the equivalent of a third of their annual income, to work as live-in "kamlari" servants in the homes of higher-caste families.

Girls as young as 6 are forced into years of menial labor, cooking, cleaning and babysitting in the homes of strangers. Kamlaris typically work from sunup to sundown, eat leftovers and sleep on the floor and, in the worst cases, are beaten and raped. ...

Brokers from cities throughout Nepal come to the Tharu villages to negotiate or renew one-year kamlari contracts, fathers are making deals and advocates like Murray are trying to stop them.

Murray has a unique way of doing it. She offers a pig or goat to parents who promise not to sell their daughters. Families can make more than they get for their daughter by breeding or butchering the animal. If they accept, Murray will also pay the girls' $100 annual school expenses.

Click on link to read full article:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/07/MN7P15HD60.DTL

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