I watched NYF begin with vision of Olga Murray and have seen how it has expanded over more than 25 years to help more than 10,000 Nepalese children. The professionalism, integrity, and compassion of the Nepali team have made projects come to fruition where no one else could have helped. While not its core mission, NYF jumped in to help after the catastrophic earthquake and has moved back to more programmatic offerings in the realm of child health, education and nutrition.
I have been involved with NYF for over 7 years. The integrity and commitment of the leadership and staff is without comparison. With a program driven by its Nepal-based President, NYF has been able to build a range of services for children and youth that Nepalese families can rely upon both for acute relief from hunger and poverty and for longer term assistance in education, health and nutrition. And thanks to the deep knowledge of Nepal, NYF has also been able to respond nimbly and effectively to crises such as the devastating earthquake in 2015. While there are many worthwhile international NGOs, I cannot think of another where contributions have more significant impact on those in need.
For anyone who is aware of the many different needs in Nepal, and the deserving nature of its people, it is tempting to conclude that anything short of grand scale international government aid and drastic political reform is futile. Nepal Youth Foundation takes another view. In a country where needs are so great, the one sure way of making a difference is to focus on improving the lives of individual girls and boys, one child at a time. Through the leadership of its founder, Olga Murray, and now its President and Nepal native, Som Paneru, it has achieved remarkable and heart warming successes, even on a modest budget. This is what an international aid organization should be: driven by and responsive to local needs, committed to cost-effective programs, and guided by international expertise to help thousands of boys and girls who otherwise may have little in the way of hope. I would not have joined this Board and committed my time to it if I did not believe that Nepal Youth Foundation is making more of a difference in this world than any other charity of its size.
First impressions: We just concluded the orientation visits of NYF activities provided to the new Board Members of NYF. We had the opportunity to see first hand many sites and listen to direct beneficiaries and the dedicated staff of NYF. The orientation included visits to children's homes, counselling centres, HIV/Aids and nutritional rehabilitation centres in Lalitpur, education support programmes in Nuwakot area and a packed 3 day trip (with a drive of over 700 km) to see the former 'Kamlaris' (indentured daughters) programme in 3 out of 5 districts of our operation. It was indeed touching to experience what 'empowerment' does to the lives of the oppressed. We met so many dedicated people that reinforced our belief that it is possible to do wonderful things in Nepal, if we have committed people. Among them we were also proud to meet people of Man Bahdur ji's and Gyanu Thapa's dedication to be part of NYF and helping the former 'Kamlaris' as their own family. NYF is touching the lives of so many people and making them better! I am so glad to be part of this wonderful network created with the efforts of Olga Murray and Som Paneru. I hope to be able to contribute to the work of NYF as a member of its Board in the coming days. Bijaya Mallapaty
The Nepal Youth Foundation in its 22 years has accomplished life-changing transformations n the lives of tens of thousands of impoverished children in one of the most impoverished countries in the world. It has provided scholarships, health care, and freedrom from bonded labor to many thousands of youngsters. One of its most important projects is the Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes, l6 small hospitals scattered throughout the country which has restored the health of 10,000 malnourished children and educated their mothers so that the condition does not recur. It has rescued 12,000 children from bonded labor as kitchen slaves, brought them home to live with their mothers, and placed them in school through high school. Equally important, through its dynamic awareness program, it has been successful in almost eradicating the inhumane custom of indentured servitude of children in the Tharu communities of west Nepal, where the practice was prevalent. It has done this with minimal administrative cost and maximum attention to the needs of the wonderful children of Nepal.
Olga Murray and Som Paneru are truly inspiring people and leaders of this wonderful organization. They have given so much to Nepal and its children that I am both humbled and honored to be associated with them. Charities do not have to be big or bureacratic to have a meaningful impact, and the Nepal Youth Foundation is the perfect example: little overhead and lots of focus on helping disadvantaged children and their familes - all in concert with local communities and with help effectively negotiated from the country's government. Bravo!
I have been a supporter of NYF for over 5 years, a Board member for three years and Chairman of the Board for the past year. I have seen the organization mature from a founder lead not-for-profit, to a well-managed, results focused organization with clear reporting lines and a structure which allows for efficient and effective execution of high impact programs in Nepal. NYF’s mission is clear, its leadership team is exceptional and its impact on the lives of thousands of children in Nepal is life changing. The low overhead, high impact strategy focused on Nepali youth and the eradication of exploitive local customs, has been successful in touching and improving the lives of thousands. NYF is proud to have the highest rating possible from Charity Navigator, and is structured to support its long term commitment to Nepali Youth under the outstanding stewardship of its President Som Paneru, and the inspiration of its wonderful Founder, Olga Murray.
Olga's story is amazing -- dedicating her life to helping free, educate and bring children back to health -- but it is the story of the many thousands of Nepali children that NYF has helped that is truly fantastic. Starting with helping to send the current President of NYF, Som Paneru to school when he was young to rescuing young girls from being sold as slaves and providing them with an education, to teaching young mothers how to feed their children to stave off severe malnutrition. NYF not only takes on great projects where there is a huge need and it can make a huge impact, Som has figured out how to leverage the impact of this small organization by getting others to follow its path and to get the government to support and take over some of it successful programs. It is not just putting a program in place, but getting culture to change. Now, girls in Nepal protest against the Kamlari practice themselves. The government is providing funding and taking over the successful nutritional rehabilitation centers. Being from Silicon Valley, I really appreciate the vision that NYF leadership has in seeing problems, coming up with solutions that not only help, but bring additional outside resources to address the problems. It is a FANTASTIC group.
i feel so proud to be a part of NYF since last 18 years. I have witnessed the transformation of thousands of lives in Nepal with the direct help from NYF.
Grass root charity working to relief the root of the problem and eradicating bonded labour practises for example from within. And working itself out of business - what better way. Understanding the local culture and customs gives NYF an edge over any iNGO trying to better the country and its issues. Working with the communities and maintaining the relationships, using these to build on again, is crucial and the people NYF has in place from the most rural towns to the heart of Kathmandu, all understand the ethics of the organising and why we do what we do. Truly helping Nepal's future, one child at the time.