March 4, 2013
The Story of Olga Murray, Founder of the Nepal Youth Foundation
Olga Murray received her law degree 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 also worked for famed political columnist Drew Pearson. Olga worked at the California State Supreme Court for Chief Justice Drew Pearson and later Stanley Mosk, until her retirement in 1992. During her time there, Olga helped write important decisions in the areas of children’s issues, the environment, and women’s rights.
Olga Murray first visited the Himalayan country of Nepal in 1984. After seeing the terribly impoverished condition of children in the villages, she resolved that she would return to help them. She returned the very next year, and upon discovering that children at an orphanage were forced to leave at age 16 with no one to help them, gave five of them scholarships for college. She then began giving scholarships to disabled children who needed to come to Kathmandu for special schools. 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, Olga founded the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) to provide the most impoverished children in Nepal with what should be every child’s birthright — education, housing, medical care, and loving support. NYF leverages donations from developed countries to maximize the aid for these children. Olga Murray still leads NYF, spending most of each year in Nepal overseeing the organization’s projects, and the remainder at her home in Sausalito, California, raising funds for the projects. As NYF’s programs have diversified, Olga’s impact on impoverished children in Nepal has increased dramatically.