Olga D. Murray (1925-2024)

In Memoriam - February 20, 2024

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved founder, Olga Murray. She passed peacefully at her home in Sausalito, California, on February 20, 2024. Olga leaves behind a tremendous legacy in the Nepal Youth Foundation—over 34 years of work that was made possible through your belief in her vision and your support for this worthy cause. She will be deeply missed by the entire NYF Community, including our global staff and board of advisors, as well as the thousands of students, individuals, children, and community members she served and partnered with in Nepal.

In this time of mourning, we invite you to celebrate Olga’s life and legacy on this memorial page, where you may view photos, share memories or condolence messages, and read about her incredible impact. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to update this page with information as it becomes available, including other ways to honor Olga’s legacy.

In keeping with Olga’s wishes, services will be private. Nepal Youth Foundation will be hosting a celebration of Olga’s extraordinary life and commitment to the children of Nepal as part of Founder’s Day on May 30.


Olga Murray was a beloved humanitarian, activist, and changemaker. Founding the Nepal Youth Foundation in 1990, she devoted her life after retirement to partnering with Nepali communities to educate and empower youth in Nepal.

In honor of Olga's work & incredible legacy:

Tribute Wall

Olga Murray leaves behind a tremendous legacy—both within and beyond the Nepal Youth Foundation. Take a look below to see how Olga has touched the lives of so many of our community members.

Do you have a story, photo, and/or message you’d like to share in celebration of Olga’s life? Join us in sharing your tribute here.

Write A Tribute

Olga’s wish was for her life’s work in Nepal to continue. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to support the longevity of NYF’s core programs.

Biography: The Remarkable Life of Olga Murray (coming soon!)

Olga, known to many Nepali children and young adults as “Olga Mom”, had already led an extraordinary life before founding the Nepal Youth Foundation in 1990, in her 60s.

Born in 1925 in Transylvania, Olga came with her parents and siblings to the U.S. when she was six years old, settling in the Bronx in New York City. She attended Columbia University and graduated cum laude in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Olga then began law school at George Washington University in 1951.

Read Olga’s full biography (coming soon!) to see how her remarkable life led to her pivotal promise to Nepal’s children.

Photo Gallery: Olga's 34 Years of Impact

Since 1990, Olga Murray’s work and partnership with communities across Nepal helped to transform the lives of thousands of children, young adults, and families.

We invite you to visit our beautiful photo gallery (we’ve curated over 100 photos!) which highlights Olga’s 30+ years of extraordinary impact in Nepal. We hope you’ll join us in honoring Olga’s memory through this gallery.

A special appreciation goes to Sanjoj M., Alison W., Lori B., and other wonderful photographers whose photos are featured in this gallery. Thank you for capturing these beautiful moments.

In Her Words: Quotes from Olga Murray

“Some women fall in love with men—I fall in love with countries. In 1984, approaching the age of retirement as a research attorney at the California Supreme Court, I visited Nepal to go trekking in the Himalayas. Totally unexpectedly, I discovered a country and a cause to which I would devote the rest of my life. I was almost 60, and perhaps subconsciously, I was searching for something worthwhile to do following my retirement. After returning to my sleeping bag one night, in a flash, I knew for certain what it was—somehow, I would find a way to educate Nepali children. American dollars go a long way in Nepal, and I realized that for the price of a good haircut back in the States, I could make a significant difference in a child’s life in Nepal.”

“And then I think of my first trip to Nepal and the astounding, unexpected discovery of what would become my life’s work—and the intense joy and sense of fulfillment resulting from that insight. As I nod off to sleep, I think to myself, ‘How lucky can an old lady get?'”