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Olga’s Promise Is to Give Children Loving Homes
J House and K House are the Nepal Youth Foundation’s excellent homes for Nepali children who are orphans, disabled, or abandoned. In these loving environments, kids are empowered to excel and fulfill their dreams.
The J and K House children have committed sponsors in the U.S. and other countries. Some sponsors have developed close relationships with their children, and many have visited them in Nepal. If you would like more information about children who need sponsors, contact us at som@ NepalYouthFoundation.org
The Nepal Youth Foundation has created two of the best children’s homes in Nepal. J House (for boys) and K House (for girls) each hold only up to 30 children. These children are the most vulnerable in Nepal. Some of them are orphans or were abandoned by their parents, some were child beggars, and some are disabled. Many of them have endured more suffering at a young age than some of us experience in a lifetime, but have found ways to triumph over their difficulties. We give these kids not only all living, educational, and medical expenses, but love and personal attention – just as a good parent would do. We commit to them for the long term, from childhood through college, and provide what is usually the first real sense of security in their lives.
To ensure that the impact of NYF’s programs endures, we focus on education. Education gives children opportunities for the rest of their lives, enhancing the society in which they live, and thus improving the world we all share. Additionally, we imbue the children we serve with a strong sense of social responsibility and encourage them to choose paths that enable them to uplift other people of disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of the graduates of J and K House are pursuing careers that enable them to give back to the needy, such as medicine and nursing, social service, and journalism (to raise awareness about social issues). Others are giving back to NYF financially, or helping put their younger siblings through school.
When NYF and its founder, Olga Murray, started J and K House (in 1992 and 1995), we didn’t have a degree in „orphanage management.“ While we might qualify for one by now, we believe that the most important component behind the success of the houses was establishing warmth and helpfulness as the norm. New kids slip into this environment and learn to trust one another and treat each other with respect and affection.
Each house has a resident Uncle and Auntie who are surrogate parents to the children, providing them with understanding, sympathy, affection and advice. When a child first arrives at one of the houses, he or she is shy and more than a little afraid. After all, these children have faced nothing but hardship, abandonment, and sometimes violence. This is when the children at the houses shine. They are tender and reassuring, remembering how terrified they themselves were when they first came to live at the houses. They help with the first hot shower these kids ever had, run to their trunks to provide clothes to the new arrival, and excitedly show the child the basketball court, the ping pong table, the playground, the television set, and his/her bed. And they tell the child how happy he or she will be in the new surroundings.
Kids are amazing in how quickly they can learn and adapt. Within a few days, these new children realize that they have at last reached a happy haven, where they will be cared for until they can stand alone. Any nuclear western family would be proud of the support, love, and help they provide to one another. They call each other “sister” and “brother” and they mean it. No one is mistreated. Gradually, and for the first time in their young lives, the newcomers begin to feel that at last they are safe.
A comment from a supporter of NYF who met the children at J & K House:
“Several girls… proudly led us on a tour of their house, showing us their artwork, the bunk beds they share, their garden, etc. It was clear that while the girls don’t have parents, they do have a very close-knit family. [They] were so affectionate and warm that it was impossible not to fall for them.”
And then – they blossom.
The culture of the houses is such that the kids help each other spontaneously, without being asked, and often without our knowledge. There’s always someone around to lead the blind kids by the hand if they can’t navigate on their own or to carry a child who can’t walk. We have been astonished at how fiercely the children love and support each other. Maybe it’s that these children simply appreciate family in a way that the rest of us take for granted. Every day these kids surprise, delight, and inspire us with their capacity to overcome their traumatic pasts. The world can learn much from them.
At the houses, the kids range from the highest caste to the lowest untouchable caste, yet they make no distinction among themselves because of this. So, in addition to receiving support, education and love, the children are learning lessons in tolerance and humanity. Come take a virtual visit to J and K House to learn what it’s like to live in these homes.