After my senior year of high school, as my friends were heading off to college, my parents dropped me off at Newark Airport where I boarded a plane and set off to travel the world. It was just me and my backpack on my first solo trip away from home. Four countries and 20,000 miles later, I was trekking through the Himalayas in war-torn Nepal, where I began to meet hundreds of orphan children. I fell in love with their bright eyes and beautiful smiles, but was shocked to see them barely surviving without the most basic things that I had grown up with as a child.
As I shared my dream to build a safe home for these children, with my hometown in Mendham, NJ, I was astounded by the outpouring of support. Three years ago, I officially opened the frontdoor of Kopila Valley Children's Home, built brick-by-brick, by me and the local community in Nepal. There are now 40 children living in our home.
In the spring of 2010, another one of my dreams came true: Kopila Valley Primary School. Our new school (built out of locally harvested bamboo) is gorgeous and bustling with over 300 children from Surkhet and surrounding regions—many of our students are the first to ever attend school in their families. Beyond education the students are provided health care and a daily nutritious meal. I am fortunate to work with and amongst some of the finest people I have ever known: 23 Nepali faculty and staff who make-up the Kopila team. The children are thriving. I truly believe that if every child in the world is provided with their most basic needs and rights—a safe home, medical care, an education, and love, they will grow to be leaders and end cycles of poverty and violence in our world.
I have grown and learned more in these past years than I could have ever imagined and created The BlinkNow Foundation to share my ideas with other young people, especially children in the U.S. I believe that in the blink of an eye, we can all make a difference.
We are all truly limitless!
Kopila Valley "In the News"
- New York Times Sunday Magazine (cover story) Nicholas D. Kristof's Sunday Magazine piece on how to make a difference
- New York Times: Sunday Magazine "The D.I.Y. Way" SLIDESHOW
- HuffPost Greatest Person Of The Day: Maggie Doyne Builds Orphanage And School For Kids In Nepal
- PHOTOS: Alessandra Petlin + The New York Times By VAUGHAN HANNIGAN
- Not a Dry Eye In The House - Maggie Doyne Tells Her Incredible Story
- DO Lecture (2010) VIDEO Maggie's 2010 DoLecture
More on Kopila "In the News" here.