My holiday favorite

I’ve just returned from Nepal, where I had the privilege of traveling alongside the staff of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Having seen their extraordinary work on the ground again, I am more committed than ever to helping them in their quest to protect, educate and empower children and their families. I encourage you to read some of their favorite transformative stories of the year in this blog post. I hope their love, care, commitment and effectiveness will move you to learn more and, if possible, join me by purchasing a holiday e-gift card today. I promise, you will get much more than you give when you join their family of supporters.

Earthquake Disaster Relief

nepal 3As an advisory board member of Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) in Kathmandu, I trust them to know where the greatest needs are in Nepal right now. Already NYF is delivering mattresses and surgical supplies to hospitals, and has established a shelter for patients who are ready to be discharged from the hospital but have no place to go because their homes are destroyed, there is no transport, and their relatives can’t come for them. Looking ahead to the massive demand there will be for skilled construction workers, NYF is leveraging its experience in job training and construction projects to train 1,000 people in construction skills that incorporate seismic safety, mostly in villages where the majority of the destruction occurred. Using its 25 years of experience building schools and classrooms, NYF will be rebuilding 50 devastated schools. NYF is by no means the only group that has sprung into action to help in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake, but they are the one I most trust to address pressing needs in a cost-efficient and effective way. In addition to emergency relief through the Red Cross, please consider supporting long-term rebuilding efforts through NYF’s Earthquake Disaster Relief Program.

May I be even a little like her


Photo by Lori Barra

I am so grateful that I have, after 14 years as a volunteer and donor, been asked to serve on the Advisory Board of Nepal Youth Foundation –an organization providing freedom, health, shelter and education to Nepal’s most impoverished youth. It is a tremendous privilege for me to serve my role model, 89-year-young Olga Murray, and executive director in Nepal, Som Paneru. Thank you Olga for keeping me up all night all those years ago dreaming with you about your audacious plan to free 30,000 indentured girls and allowing me to be even the smallest part of your success.

International Day of the Girl

intl day of the girlToday is International Day of the Girl, established by the United Nations to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Inspiring stories and videos are arriving in my inbox from all over the world, including this op-ed about child marriage in Yemen by Rothna Begum, a women’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch and this fantastic 1 ½ minute video from Krishna Chaudhary, a girl who was freed from child slavery by the Nepal Youth Foundation. The U.N. says, “The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative…yet girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers.” Education is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization. To learn more #dayofthegirl