Magazine article The World and I

'Mother of Mercy' Aids Nepali Children

Magazine article The World and I

'Mother of Mercy' Aids Nepali Children

Article excerpt

The founder of the Sausalito, California-based Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) is as unique as the organization she created. Olga Murray knew that she would work with kids someday, but little did she know exactly how it would happen.

Some might say it was her destiny.

Olga entered law school at a time when most women stayed home to raise families and women lawyers were few and far between. The journey from a career as a research attorney to the head of NYOF began with a broken leg. While trekking in Nepal, she fell and had to be carried for days up and over mountains on the back of a porter to Kathmandu.

While laid up in the capital, Olga consulted an orthopedic surgeon who had just opened a small hospital for children, and what she saw in that hospital broke her heart. She met kids so badly disabled they couldn't walk to school. Others were abandoned at the hospital by parents too poor to feed them. Still others had to deal with horrible situations at home.

It was Olga's third trip to Nepal.

On a previous visit to the country, she spent time at a boys' orphanage, where an American friend was working as a volunteer English teacher.

Impressed by the boys' intelligence and concerned about the fact that they would be turned back on the streets upon finishing tenth grade--the end of high school in Nepal--she decided to offer a scholarship to any boy who passed the college entrance exam. That first year four boys earned scholarships. …

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