Making a Difference for Nepalese Children
In January my daughter and I visited Olga Murray in Kathmandu. H er story helps us all see that “ONE WOMAN CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.” We met her kids and saw first-hand the work she’s done at the homes for children.
It all started in 1984 when, on her first trip to Asia, Olga found herself captivated by the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. “I got off the plane in Kathmandu and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the land, the exotic surroundings, but most of all by the children. They were poor beyond anything I had ever experienced – dressed in rags and dirt, malnourished, mostly unschooled, but with an amazing capacity for joy. I thought that for the price of a good haircut, I could make a huge difference in their lives.’” So she returned to the USA determined, somehow, to do just that.
By raiding her own savings, and securing donations from friends, she returned to Kathmandu with the wherewithal to establish a home for the country’s throwaway children – street urchins, handicapped kids, orphans, or children who had been abandoned – often by parents too poor to feed them.
As word spread about her work, generous people worldwide wanted to help. In 1990, two years before she retired, Olga founded a non-profit organization, Nepal Youth Opportunity Foundation (www.nyof.org) NYOF, and just in time. The children’s home, originally for boys, had of necessity become coed, and was full to overflowing. NYOF rented another house, and a home for girls was born. Both homes provide children with warm beds, hot meals, a safe haven and security. NYOF provides these kids not only private education, living and medical expenses, but love and personal attention—just as a good parent would do. And the kids will be taken care of from childhood through college.
Since her retirement in 1992, Olga has divided her time between her home in Sausalito, California, and a new home in Kathmandu, devoting all her energy and ability to help her children. Olga is living proof that getting older does not mean slowing down. “I’m not that different than I was 25 years ago,” Olga says. “I’ve stayed active and interested in life. Regular exercise – walking, going to the gym, lifting weights for my knees and back – has helped me stay healthy. I haven’t had a cold in fifteen years. Also, I’m more positive and more confident. I know where I’m going and what I want to do, so I don’t get so involved in my own problems.”
READ MORE in my next blog about buying girls out of bondage: Indentured Daughters Programs.
About the Author: Marybeth Bond, the Gutsy Traveler, National Geographic author of 11 travel books, featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of the Online Travel Magazine www.GutsyTraveler.com She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to CNN, CNN Airport Network and CNN.com Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked two months across the USA, traveler to over 90 countries, media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.