2005 HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Nepal Youth Foundation
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 Nepal Youth Foundation (formally called the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation) to give impoverished children in Nepal the rare opportunity to learn and grow. Through NYF, children receive housing, scholarships, education, food, medical care and loving support. Murray and NYF have directly helped nearly 5,000 children in Nepal, while indirectly benefiting their families and communities.
NYF 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 NYF, 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.