Maggie Doyne is a 31-year-old American lady who has built a children’s home, women’s center, and a school in Surkhet, Nepal. She was awarded the CNN Hero of the Year Award in 2015. Maggie grew up in New Jersey with her parents and two sisters. After she was born, her father quit his job as the manager of a natural food store to be a stay-at-home dad, while her mother worked in real estate. She attended West Morris Mendham High School.
In 2005, after completing her high school Maggie took a gap to travel with the organization LeapNow. During that trip, she volunteered at a children’s home in northern India. In India, Maggie Doyne made a friend who was a refugee from Nepal. During a cease-fire in the Nepalese Civil War, she went with her to visit her home village.
“It changed me, there were children with mallets that would go into the riverbed, pick up a big stone and break it into little, little pieces (to sell). And they were doing that all day, every day.” Maggie Doyne
In Nepal, Maggie saw a six-year-old girl Hima. She was surviving on the few rupees she earned by breaking stones in a dry riverbed and selling them. Maggie Doyne helped Hima go to school, paying for her tuition, uniform, and books, and expanded her efforts to help more kids like her. Maggie used her entire savings of $5,000 she made from babysitting to help more kids.
With her own money and funds from her supporters worldwide, Maggie purchased land in the Kopila Valley. Top Malla, a Nepali that Maggie Doyne met in India, joined her as a project partner. Her project in Nepal runs a school, children’s home, women’s center, and girls’ safe house.
The BlinkNow Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Maggie in 2007 that provides financial support and management oversight to the Kopila Valley School, Children’s Home, Women’s Center, Health Clinic, Big Sisters’ Home, and New Campus in Surkhet, Nepal. The Foundation is the sole provider of funding and is the only recipient of BlinkNow funding. The BlinkNow is an official 501 organization with a US-based board. It has headquarters located in the United States and Nepal. BlinkNow works at the grassroots level and highlights sustainability and self-reliance in the Surkhet community.
In Kopila Valley Maggie’s project funded by The BlinkNow Foundation consists of a school, a children’s home, a women’s center, a girls’ safe house, and a health clinic.
Maggie felt the education kids sponsored by her were receiving was of poor quality. So, to give them and other kids in the area high-quality education she opened the Kopila Valley School with 220 students in 2010. Many of the kids getting an education in her school are the only ones in their families to attend a formal school. The school provides students with health care and food. The kids are taught the Nepali national curriculum along with knowledge of literature, art, theater, music, and sports. In 2018, over 380 children are enrolled in Kopila Valley School in Nepal.
In 2007, Maggie opened the Kopila Valley Children’s Home opened and, became the legal guardian for more than 45 children. Maggie lives at the home and takes care of the children assisted by some Nepalese staff.
In 2013 Maggie opened The Kopila Valley Women’s Center providing literacy and vocational training to the women of Surkhet. It has a store to sell goods created by women to the local community and provides the uniforms for the Kopila Valley School.
In 2011, Maggie opened the Kopila Valley Health Clinic. It offers primary care, dental care, and mental health services to the Kopila Valley children and staff, as well as the larger Surkhet community.
The Kopila Valley Big Sisters’ Home opened in 2017 in order to provide a safe environment for girls studying in Kopila Valley School. It is home to 10 girls and offers counseling, love, and support as they prepare to reintegrate with their real families or guardians.
Maggie Doyne shows what a single person can do if he decides o do something for the society. For her great efforts and initiatives, she has received a number of awards and recognition. In 2008 she was awarded CosmoGirl of the Year. In 2009 she was the Grand Prize Winner of the Do Something Awards. In 2012 she was the Speaker at Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy. In 2013 Maggie was the Speaker at Forbes Women’s Summit: Power Redefined. She received the 2013 Forbes Excellence in Education Award. In 2014 she was awarded by the Dalai Lama Unsung Hero of Compassion. In 2015 she became CNN Hero of the Year.
Maggie is truly a wonderful woman leading the world by her example. We wish her all the best for all her future endeavors. Love you Maggie Doyne.