Education is the only real ticket out of poverty for destitute, disabled, or orphaned children in Nepal. But education in Nepal isn't like it is in Western countries. Imagine not even being able to go to school or learn the basic skills needed to participate in society, to get a job, to create a better life for oneself. Without an education, a child in Nepal is destined to lead a life of extreme poverty and backbreaking labor.
An education is the only way to break the bonds of poverty, low caste, and disability. This is especially true of girls, who are often illiterate, married off before they are 14, and spend the rest of their lives bearing children and working endless hours. The literacy rate is very low, especially among women, and there is little assistance available for school expenses.
We are committed to support impoverished children until they are able to stand on their own feet. From the first five college scholarships given personally by NYOF's founder, Olga Murray, to boys from an orphanage in 1985, the number of students in our scholarship program has grown to more than 4,000. In fact, the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation is now one of the largest non-profit providers of scholarships in Nepal.
Why don't many Nepali children go to school? Government schools are often insufficient and the families cannot afford such simple items as the school uniform, supplies, and the small school fee. Private schools cost more than most families can afford. Often the family needs the money the child can earn by working. Abandoned children, of course, are forced to beg instead of study. Where schools do exist, there are often few trained teachers.
NYOF makes education possible for Nepalese children who have no other hope. We currently give scholarships to students from kindergarten through medical school.