Living

Helping Nepali kids blossom

Updated 3:39 PM ET, Wed December 16, 2015
Share
01 cnn hero maggie doyne01 cnn hero maggie doyne
1 of 8
In 2006, New Jersey native Maggie Doyne purchased land in Surkhet, a district in western Nepal. She worked for two years with the local community to build the Kopila Valley Children's Home. VIVEK SINGH/Getty Images for CNN
Doyne witnessed the effects of Nepal's civil war. She met women and children who were suffering, struggling to survive. "It changed me," said Doyne. VIVEK SINGH FOR CNN
Doyne is now the legal guardian of 43 children. The youngest is 1 and the oldest is 16. VIVEK SINGH FOR CNN
Doyne started the BlinkNow Foundation to support and grow her efforts. From the very beginning, she has worked in tandem with the local community. "It's really important to me that this is a Nepali project, working for Nepal, for the community." VIVEK SINGH FOR CNN
In 2010, the group opened its Kopila Valley School, which today educates more than 350 students. They also receive books, food and medical care. VIVEK SINGH FOR CNN
Kopila -- which means "flower bud" in Nepali -- is home to about 50 children. "We're a family," Doyne said. "Everybody just pitches in and helps each other. They all have their chores. ... And everybody cooks the meals together and makes sure that they do their part to make the home run smoothly." VIVEK SINGH FOR CNN
"It's become a community," said Doyne, whose group bought a new piece of property to create a green and sustainable off-the-grid campus. VIVEK SINGH FOR CNN
Ravi is the youngest in the family. His name means 'sunlight.' He's the love of my life," said Doyne. VIVEK SINGH FOR CNN