March 12, 2009
"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.