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Part II of the interview with Olga Murray digs in to her pioneering development work in Nepal. From the beginnings of MSPN, NRH, and J&K House, this segment takes a look at a unique approach to development from a truly unique individual. Check it out!
Ian: Can you tell me a little bit about the Nepali Youth Foundation, how it started, and what methods it uses to help Nepal?
Olga: The foundation was established in 1990, but even before that me and a partner were giving scholarships to children, to orphans, to disabled kids, to blind kids, to street kids, the most disadvantaged children. About 1989, we decided to root our donations through another non-profit, so that our donors could get tax-deductions. So we started J House first in 1992. We sent the kids to good private schools, and then we took girls and started K House in 1995.
One of the things we used to do was go to the hospitals here, because many poor people here did not have money for the care that they needed. The basic care was provided, but if they needed money for any expensive procedure or medication, and they couldn’t afford it, they just had to take the consequences. We used to go to Bir Hospital, which is the big government hospital, and Kanti Children’s Hospital, and ask the doctors, “is there anybody here who needs an expensive procedure here like a scan or expensive medication that the hospital won’t provide,” and if they said yes, we would pay for it. Otherwise they would just yank the kids back and take them home and some of them would die.
So in 1997, we were at Kanti Children’s Hospital, which is still the only children’s hospital in the country, and there was a little five year old girl there. She was severely malnourished, and she weighed ...
A volunteer in Fiji had the opportunity to go scuba diving at Pacific Harbour. It wasn’t just any ordinary scuba diving where you go see corals and fish, but she experienced shark feeding. This happened in the exact location where the Shark Conservation project will be held, starting in January 2014.
“I have become quite adjusted to the 6am wake-up and 930pm bedtime as this makes the most sense with the flow of life here in Nepal.” - A Physiotherapy volunteer in Nepal explains what life is like living with a local host family and working at a Nepali hospital.
“My time in Thailand is coming to a tragically inevitable end. The time I've spent here has simply been eye-opening. I feel that I've achieved so much and made so many people happier just by purely saying hello with a meaningful smile. To me this was the most important thing, being able to change young lives for the better, teaching them and watching them learn from what you do and say is overwhelmingly rewarding.” – A volunteer in Thailand looks back on his time volunteering and what he will take away from the experience.
“As I told a friend the other day, apart from trekking the Himalayas, I could leave Nepal right now and feel completely satisfied with my experience. The week was full to the brim and I can only imagine what the next 12 weeks here will have in store for me.” – A volunteer in Nepal explains what life is like in Nepal from living with a host family to waking up at 4am to do yoga at a Buddhist temple.Photos of the Month
A volunteer’s experience at a Care Project in Vietnam working with orphans.
A medical volunteer in India ...
Thursday: breakfast- toast. Lunch: noodles. Dinner: spinach falafel.
Friday: breakfast- toast and pancakes. Lunch: noodles potato roti. Dinner: Shepard’s pie.
Saturday: breakfast- toast and eggs. Lunch- rice and chicken and pork and paulsami. Dinner: rice and paulsami.
Sunday: breakfast- toast and rice with gravy. Lunch- curry noodles. Dinner: rice and fish in coconut milk… (whole fish with the tail and eyes still attached, caught in the village).
Monday: breakfast- toast and rewa butter(I have it every morning, but I figured you should all know it’s the most amazing butter and the world and I am getting some shipped to America). Lunch- rice with beef and green beans. Dinner: Spaghetti.
Tuesday: breakfast: toast. Lunch: egg sandwich. Dinner: rice and beef and gravy.
Wednesday: breakfast: toast. Lunch: rice and curry beef and beans. Dinner: shepard’s pie.
Thursday: I played hooky. No, not really… I was having some stomach problems in the morning. I think the coffee Ron made me at the office had way too much milk powder in it, and my stomach doesn’t really do too well with milk anyways, so I was just done for. I laid in my bed all day and didn’t move once because it felt like someone was stabbing my stomach anytime I did… my toast I ate that morning made me nauseous, which was also annoying. So I just got kind of scared to eat after that. I had a small bowl of noodles around 3 so I didn’t eat dinner at social that night which was sad because Bad Dog’s is my favorite… I just didn’t think I could stomach it. But I went to another Talanoa, my 5th one I think, when you only have to do 2. I like hearing the new volunteer’s initial reactions though. And it’s weird to be ...
Thursday: breakfast- toast. Lunch- diwali celebration which made us have foods that I cannot spell or properly identify. Dinner- crostini’s and pasta.
Friday: breakfast- toast. Lunch- tuna sandwhich with the chicken flavored peas. Dinner- chicken flavored peas and rolls.
Saturday: breakfast- cinnamon pastry, pawpaw, pineapple, banana, and toast. Lunch- tuna sandwich and chocolate chip cookies. Dinner- shrimp poboy.
Sunday: breakfast- pawpaw, pineapple, banana, sticky bun, and toast. Lunch- pizza. Dinner- rice and roro and chicken, and then curry pumpkin, peas, etc and roti at the Diwali party.
Monday: breakfast- toast and PANCAKES. (I’m so tired of bread at this point) lunch- ham and cucumber sandwiches. dinner: lamb chops and rice and sausages.
Tuesday: breakfast- eggs and toast. Lunch- tuna sandwich! Dinner: spaghetti and salad with RANCH.
Wednesday: breakfast- toast and cream bun. Lunch- tuna sandwich. Dinner- rice and chicken and gravy and roro in coconut milk with corned beef.
Thursday: Lara’s first day of school! I had a walking partner for the first time in almost 2 months now, it was great! We got to school, did our devotion, and went to the big room for our Diwali celebration! We started by reading the story of Diwali, then the Indian teachers said a prayer in Hindi which was really interesting to witness… I didn’t understand it at all, but hopefully it’ll bring them blessings this year! Diwali is like the new year for the Hindus. They go crazy… There have been fireworks for the past month leading up to it and it’s not even till this Monday the 4th… After that, we all went out to the main area with the table and ate the Indian sweets and snacks and I was surprised by how much of it I actually ...
Thursday: breakfast- toast. Lunch- rice and curry. Dinner- steak sandwich.
Friday: breakfast- toast and eggs. Lunch- chile chicken and noodles from Joije’s. dinner- bbq at isabella’s with lamb chops, and sausage, and kasava, and salad, and rice.
Saturday: breakfast- toast and rice with paulsami (daro leaves in coconut milk cooked in the traditional earth oven[lovo]). Lunch: sandwiches and cake and chicken from the lovo and delicacy of rewa (prawns stuffed in daro leaves), and stir fry and rice and fish with the skin and tail and face still on it. Dinner- rice and paulsami and chicken.
Sunday: late breakfast/lunch: toast with noodles. Dinner: New York Pizza Kitchen’s Buffalo Chicken Pizza!
Monday: breakfast- toast. Lunch- leftover pizza. Dinner: fettuccine cabanara at bad dog’s.
Tuesday: breakfast- toast and eggs. Lunch- egg sandwich…. Dinner- Spaghetti and meatballs!
Wednesday: breakfast: toast with peanut butter and banana! Lunch: leftover spaghetti. Dinner: rice and daro leave with mutton and chicken with carrots.
Thursday: It was another boring, rainy day L it’s a sad situation… it’s always raining in Suva, and none of my kids come to school then… There were 10 kids total. We combined all in the big room to do devotion and then did some music and did sports… We really just let the kids run around outside for a while. And play with some balls. It was Isabella’s last social night… Before dinner though, we had an Indian dance workshop where we learned some dance about how smoking is bad for you? Except I didn’t understand it because surprisingly, I haven’t picked up much Hindi since I’ve been here. Just some Fijian. We went to this nice little café for dinner ...