The 19-year-old who opened an orphanage in Nepal
Plight of Nepali children inspired her to take action
- Rich Polt for Mercator.net
- October 25, 2013
One morning at the age of 18, fresh out of high school, Maggie Doyne awoke with the feeling that she was not yet ready to move into her freshman dorm. Instead, she wanted to defer college for a year to travel and discover her “inner-self.” It was a decision that would change her life in ways she could never imagine.
Four countries in and thousands of miles later, Maggie found herself in the midst of a remote, war-torn village in Nepal. She watched in despair as the Nepalese children would break down rocks into gravel and then sell them for one dollar a day just to buy food. Maggie was compelled to take action. One young girl in particular had touched her heart, so Maggie paid seven dollars to enroll her in school. That was the beginning.
One child quickly became two and then two turned into five. Soon, simply enrolling the children didn’t feel like enough. With a lack of resources but a huge sense of hope, Maggie was determined to provide these young refugees with stability, and a real foundation for life. At age 19, she convinced her parents to wire her entire savings of $5,000, in order to buy a piece of land in Nepal. With the help of the local community, Maggie spearheaded the creation of the Kopila Valley Children’s Home for Orphans. At age 23, Maggie also opened a school, which today (three years later) serves more than 300 students from Surkhet and surrounding regions.
Maggie was only 19 years old (and 8,000 miles away from home) when she launched this project, but she never let her age impede her from reaching goals. In fact, Maggie believes that it’s essential to maintain a youthful, idealistic, and optimistic attitude in order to accomplish something seemingly impossible. In a presentation three years ago for Do It Lectures, Maggie pointed out that people have the tendency to become doubtful as they age, and focus on things they don’t have. People might say, ‘I could do this if I had more money or if I had my Master’s Degree.’” Maggie assures her audience that you don’t need to be comforted by those things. “You already have everything you need," she says.