Olga reflects on Kamlari Freedom Day

Celebration march-608px

Dear Friends,

The day of the Maghe Sankranti festival this year, January 15, 2014, was a very special one for the daughters of the Tharu community of Western Nepal. Unlike past festivals, they didn’t have to worry that their parents would sell them off as “Kamlari,’ or indentured servants.

“Kamlari Freedom Day” — celebrated with a march, and many speeches by government “thulo manchhes” (big shots) — was also special for me. It was a once-in-a-lifetime-I-never-thought-I’d-see-the-day event!

NYF ignited a movement
Since 2000, NYF has been working to eradicate this pernicious custom by liberating over 12,000 girls from bondage and bringing them home to live with their families, providing their parents with a piglet or a goat to make up for the girls’ wages, placing the liberated girls in school, and carrying out an energetic awareness campaign to turn the Tharu mothers and fathers against the practice. This, along with lawsuits against employers who persisted in enslaving their little girl servants and heavy lobbying with the government, has brought freedom not only to the present generation of child servants, but to their daughters and their daughters’ daughters as well.

As I sat on the stage for what seemed hours, I harkened back to the time of my first visit to Dang thirteen years ago, almost to the day. That time, the context was entirely different. I thought of the little orphan girl I saw that day sobbing relentlessly by her uncle’s side, begging not to be sent back to work for her callous employer — while her uncle told us, without shame, that he had sold her and her sister to pay for the cost of his son’s wedding.

Freedom for future generations
I was similarly clueless about what was being said by the many speakers on Kamlari Freedom Day, but I knew with certainty that that little girl did not spend the rest of her childhood as a kitchen slave, and that this was true of other Tharu girls of her generation and generations to come. The proof was before my eyes, as I looked down at a sea of faces of freed, assertive former Kamlari, including 30 who had just passed their college entrance examinations and were headed for higher education.

Olga receives letter of appreciationWhen it came my turn to speak, I wish I could have just shouted the Tharu equivalent of “You go girls!”

Thank you everyone, for supporting NYF through the years and helping to make this amazing new freedom possible.

With appreciation,

Olga Murray
Founder & Honorary President


Learn more

Watch the CNN Freedom Project video about NYF’s work to free girls from slavery.

Read the Time Magazine article about NYF’s work to rescue the last Kamlari slaves.

NYF news: Victory! Kamlari Child Slavery System Ends


Thanks for your vote of confidence!

Thanks for your vote of confidence!


Thanks to glowing reviews by our supporters and the children we serve, NYF has earned a GreatNonprofits 2013 Top-Rated Award.

We are proud of this ranking because it assures you that we are efficiently doing the work of educating, nourishing and caring for Nepal’s neediest children.

GreatNonprofits is the leading provider of reviews and ratings of nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. Top-Rated Award winners are selected entirely by people who have had direct experience with the nonprofit. Only 1,400 nonprofits received this award out of an estimated 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Here is a sampling of some of the things people had to say about us:

“I met Olga Murray some years ago and was immensely impressed with her and her charity. That one woman should change the lives for the better of all these children is truly remarkable. I shall very happily continue to donate.”

“Olga, Som, Chori and the rest of NYF team are a great inspiration! Our foundation is proud to support NYF and the project “counselling services for freed indentured girls” since 2011 (especially the activities related to the psychological counselling center in Western Nepal). Our field visit and meetings with the girls last year will always remain in our memory!”

“I am one of the students who survived and did something good by the unforgettable help of Nepal Youth Foundation. I have been taken care from the grass root level until now and my achievement up to now is all attributed to NYF. I would like to thank from my heart inside and would like to help at any point of my life if I am given a chance.

To the point, NYF is one of the former row social organizations working for welfare of needy and helpless citizen in Nepal and should be honored for such a great contribution.”

Thank you for your support! Namaste.

Slavery in Nepal – A New Film highlights Nepal Youth Foundation

Slavery in Nepal – A New Film highlights Nepal Youth Foundation


Slavery in Nepal impacts the people and communities of Nepal in horrific, but there is hope.  Nine-year old Vivienne Harr and her Make a Stand Lemon-aid have already inspired millions of people to join the movement to end child slavery and slavery in Nepal. Now the message will reach millions more around the world through a hauntingly beautiful and compelling feature documentary, #standwithme.

In addition to Vivienne’s story, the film also educates viewers about child slavery through the work of acclaimed photographer, Lisa Kristine, and two organizations with a global reach: Free the Slaves and Fair Trade USA.

#standwithme opens in February 2014 with a 30-city tour of North America, and there’s no doubt that this powerful film will earn broader distribution and reach a worldwide audience.

Slavery in Nepal - A New Film highlights Nepal Youth FoundationFilm highlights NYF’s work to end slavery in Nepal

Midway through #standwithme is a poignant scene showing a meeting between Vivienne and our very own Olga Murray, NYF’s Founder and Honorary President. Nepal Youth Foundation is one of six organizations selected to receive a portion of Make a Stand’s gross revenue. It’s heartwarming to see 9-year old Vivienne and 88-year old Olga talk about their shared passion for ending child slavery.

A simple call to action: Do something
“Central to the theme of our movie is the moment each of our main characters learned that slavery still exists in the world, and the action they took once they knew,” explains Co-Director Patrick Moreau of Still Motion, the innovative production company that created #standwithme. “Until we met Vivienne, we didn’t know the degree to which slavery exists in our modern world — but the moment we were made aware, we had to do something. This movie is our something.”

We’re honored that Nepal Youth Foundation is included in the film helping to shed light on slavery in Nepal, and we congratulate Still Motion on their remarkable accomplishment.

Learn more about Nepal Youth Foundation
We’ve rescued over 12,000 girls from indentured servitude and ended the system of Kamlari in Nepal. Now we’re working to empower the newly freed young women through vocational training, leadership development and economic opportunities.

Read why Make a Stand Lemon-aid is supporting NYF.

Watch the CNN Freedom Project video about NYF’s work to free girls from slavery.

Read the Time Magazine article about NYF’s work to rescue the last Kamlari slaves.

NYF news: Victory! Kamlari Child Slavery System Ends

Help us meet the Make a Stand Match