This week’s chosen hero is 26 year old Maggie Doyne who perceived her dream in the midst of her gap year straight after high school. Whilst her friends headed off to college, Maggie decided to take some time out and defer her entry into university to explore and discover a direction in her life.
A backpack, four countries and 20,000 miles of travelling took her to Northeastern India where she started volunteering with Nepalese refugee children, all whom had come from no family, no education, no money and very little hope. This experience had her packing up her backpack again and taking a bus through the Himalayas to venture into “war-torn Nepal” with scenes of poverty and deprivation where she met with 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.”
Maggie continued her travels and ended up meeting children from all walks of life, many who were doing child labour to make a living, and she soon discovered that there were 80 million children in the world living in the very same way.
She decided to start making a difference with a girl named Heema who she put through school and then tracked her progress. This little girl’s life had changed for the better.
“If you know what happens when we educate young girls and women, the stats are unbelievable. It’s not about it’s just the right thing to do to put a child through primary school, the world will change when our children and our women are educated.”
After seeing the change in Heema’s life, Maggie decided to enrol another 5 girls into school. This led her to the idea of building an entire school for the local community where she was residing. Using her life savings of $5,000, she purchased her first property, a plot of land where she envisioned a home for the local children.
With no money in her bank account and no resources, Maggie decided to head home to raise more funds. She shared her dream to build a safe home for these children with her hometown in New Jersey and received an outpour of support which helped her to lay down the bricks and accomplish her dream. With the help of the local community in Nepal, Maggie built what is now home to 40 beautiful children of whom she has formal custody of.
In 2010, Kopila Valley Primary School was opened – a beautiful build from locally harvested bamboo which has now over 300 children from Surket and surrounding regions. The team of 23 also provide health care and a daily nutritious meal to ensure that these children are well cared for.
“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 sustain, grow, and support Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School in Nepal, and serve as a vehicle to share 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.”
If there is one lesson we have learnt over the weeks whilst researching these amazing heroes, it is that the world itself is an inspiration and travelling takes you straight to it. As you might have noticed, most of our weekly series of heroes changing the world stories have had travelling as their starting point.
So get those backpacks and hiking boots ready and start exploring the beauty that is this world. If you like what you see, share your experience for all to learn just like you might do, if you don’t like what you see, change it and let us know how it goes!