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Nepal Youth Foundation

Overview

The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) is a U.S. based nonprofit organization devoted to bringing hope to the most destitute children in the beautiful but impoverished Himalayan country of Nepal. With a personal touch, we provide them with what should be every child's birthright - human rights, education, health care, housing, and loving support. Empowered to reach their potentials, these children blossom, enriching the world we all share.

Our partners in this work are private foundations and individuals around the world and non-governmental organizations in Nepal. Because dollars go far in Nepal, we can literally change lives for pennies a day.

Olga Murray founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation in 1990. She continues to lead NYOF's efforts to help extremely disadvantaged Nepali children.

Mission

NYOF transforms the lives of impoverished Nepali children by providing them with what should be every child's birthright – education, housing, medical care, and loving support.

NYOF's projects include:

The Indentured Daughters Program, which rescues girls from spending their childhoods bonded into virtual slavery and enables them to get an education.

Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes, which provide health care for severely malnourished Nepali children. While the children are restored to health, their mothers are trained in nutrition and child care.

J and K House, NYOF's excellent children's homes which provide loving environments for some of Nepal's most destitute children.

Scholarships for students from busy Kathmandu to rural and remote villages. NYOF supports the education of children in primary school, boarding schools, and college, as well as disabled students. NYOF also funds the construction of new schools and trains new teachers.

Psychological counseling and vocational training for children in need.

History

When Olga Murray first saw the terribly impoverished condition of the children in the villages, she resolved that she would return to help them. She began giving scholarships to disabled children who had no way of getting to school in their villages, and needed to come to Kathmandu for boarding school. As the number of scholarships grew, she decided it was time to start a foundation that would help these kids in an organized way.

In 1990, she founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) to provide the most impoverished children of Nepal with what should be every child’s birthright - education, housing, medical care, and loving support. NYOF leverages the monies from developed countries to maximize the aid for these children. Olga still leads NYOF, spending half of each year in Nepal overseeing the organization’s projects, and the remainder at her home in Sausalito, California, raising funds for NYOF’s programs. The scope of her outreach and the number of children she helps have increased dramatically every year.

Program

Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes

Imagine a child seriously malnourished – unresponsive and pitifully frail. Jump to six weeks later; picture a bouncing, happy child with a parent now educated in child nutrition, hygiene and care. NYOF funds and manages residential rehabilitation centers for severely malnourished children throughout Nepal, which have rescued thousands of children. The children and their mothers come to live at these centers, where we restore the child’s health while educating the mother in child care, including preparation of nutritious meals, using foods readily available in rural Nepal. Our field workers later follow up in the villages.

Liberating Girls from Indentured Servitude

Unable to make ends meet, thousands of families in rural Nepal have been forced into a desperate trade – selling their daughters, some as young as six, to work in faraway cities as bonded servants. The situation is tailor-made for abuse. Many of the girls never return home, some of them forced into prostitution. Very few of the girls attend school. The fathers receive an average of $50 a year for their daughters’ services, and the girls get nothing. The families don’t want to sell their daughters, but they can’t do without the income.

NYOF helps parents bring their daughters home from the city and provides a tiny piglet or goat which the families can raise and sell for the same amount their daughters would have earned. We then pay all expenses for the girls to attend the local school. These girls are usually the first females in their families to receive an education! This program also has a micro-lending component, which instructs the mothers on starting their own businesses. Thousands of girls, newly freed and empowered, now attend school under NYOF’s auspices. There are thousands more we want to rescue.

J & K House

NYOF operates two homes for 40 children: J House and K house. These children are the most vulnerable among those we help. They were orphans, living on the streets, or were abandoned by their parents. Others are disabled. We shower love and attention on these kids and provide their living, educational, and medical expenses. We commit for the long term and give them what is usually the first real sense of security in their lives. Most of the children are sponsored by donors, who often become quite close to the child, even from afar.

Scholarships

NYOF intervenes at critical points to make education possible for children who have no other hope. We support thousands of youngsters from kindergarten through medical school. Our students attend private and government schools in busy Kathmandu and in rural villages that are often more than a day’s walk from any road. We also train teachers and improve schools.

Impact

The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation brings together the best of two worlds—the professionalism and financial resources of generous donors in the "developed world," and the opportunity to dramatically improve the lives of destitute children in the "developing" world.

NYOF is a non-profit organization based in Sausalito, California, on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. From there we raise funds and provide fiscal and other oversight for our programs in Nepal. Hundreds of individual donors and volunteers, private foundations, and local businesses support these efforts. Thousands of children benefit.

We stay small and flexible. Our programs are carried out in Nepal by a highly qualified Nepalese staff. Olga Murray, the founder and president of NYOF, spends half of each year in California, and half in Kathmandu. In Nepal, we work closely with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), communities, families, and, of course, lots of kids—who astonish us every day with their ability to overcome their difficult pasts.

CEO

Olga Murray graduated with honors from Columbia University and received her law degree from George Washington University in 1954. Although there were very few women lawyers at that time and most law firms would only hire a female lawyer as a secretary, Olga was offered the first job for which she applied - as a staff attorney to the Chief Justice of California. She worked for the State Supreme Court until her retirement in 1992. During her time there, Olga helped write important decisions in the areas of children’s issues and women’s rights.

Olga first visited Nepal in 1984. After seeing the terribly impoverished condition of the children in the villages, she resolved that she would return to help them. She began giving scholarships to disabled children who had no way of getting to school in their villages, and needed to come to Kathmandu for boarding school. As the number of scholarships grew, she decided it was time to start a foundation that would help these kids in an organized way.

In 1990, she founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) to provide the most impoverished children of Nepal with what should be every child’s birthright - education, housing, medical care, and loving support. NYOF leverages the monies from developed countries to maximize the aid for these children. Olga still leads NYOF, spending half of each year in Nepal overseeing the organization’s projects, and the remainder at her home in Sausalito, California, raising funds for NYOF’s programs. The scope of her outreach and the number of children she helps have increased dramatically every year.

Board

Totton Heffelfinger (Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer) was vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Kaiser Cement Company, as well as an adjunct professor at the law schools of the University of California and the University of San Francisco.

Yale Jones (Secretary) was a partner in Jones, Clifford, McDevitt and Johnson in San Francisco. In 1967 and 1968 he taught high school in Kenya with the U.S. Peace Corps. He has taught for the California Continuing Education of the Bar.

Ian Coats MacColl is Vice President of Research and Design at Wham-O. He was the managing director of IDEO San Francisco, and was the founding president of Inventures. Ian is also an associate professor at the California College of the Arts.

Lori Perlstadt is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at M2 Inc. Lori has also acted as Sr. Director of Business Development at Pacific Telesis and as Director of Marketing for Royal Robbins, Inc.

Mike Preiss (Chairman) currently works at Cisco as Director, Corporate Development. He has spent nearly 25 years as a management consultant, advising major corporations on how to improve their operational performance.

Steve Fox (Treasurer) has more than 15 years experience helping companies operate more efficiently. He is the Controller of Zocalo. He is on the board of directors of Imago Products. He has performed volunteer work in Kenya, Africa and Thailand.

Haydi Sowerwine worked for IDEO, with her husband David. In 1991, she and David moved to Nepal, where they formed their own company, EcoSystems in 1996. Their products include a bridge for the rural areas of Nepal and a human powered generator and electricity distribution system.

Countries of Operation

Nepal

States 

California

Contact 

3030 Bridgeway, Suite 123

Sausalito, CA 94965-2810

Phone: (415) 331-8585

http://www.nyof.org

EIN: 68-0224596


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