Build them a school, and then another one

Eight years ago, Doyne was traveling through Nepal when she was touched by the plight of rural orphaned children in the rural Kopila Valley. So she ponied up, “I bought a piece of property in Nepal and decided to build that area’s first-ever children’s home.” It was the last thing that 18-year-old Doyne expected when she set out to trek through the Himalayas on a gap year after high school. But when she ended up meeting hundreds of Nepalese orphans (the country is home to an estimated 1 million), she was driven to help them.  She ultimately returned from Nepal and raised money in her hometown of Morristown, New Jersey, eventually raising enough to build the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School. As word spread, more money flowed in. Today, Doyne’s school is ranked No. 1 in its region. Doyne and two local Nepali couples live with and care for 40 of the students, all of whom call Doyne “Mom.” A total of 330 students (including Doyne’s 40) attend the school on full scholarship, and a medical clinic attends to their health needs. Thanks to Doyne and her staff’s own creative additions to the government-mandated curriculum, Kopila Valley students now rank first in their region academically. The next step is expansion, “My goal for the past 8 years was to create a sustainable and really successful model for orphan care and educating kids who would not have the chance otherwise,” she says. “We’re at a place now where we’re ready to take the services we’re delivering from our kids where we can scale and help as many kids as possible.”What is the big picture goal? Building a generation of educated leaders who can make their country a better, safer place. “Nepal is a war-torn country that’s coming out of a civil war, and I think the only way to make a change is through education.” As Doyne would say, change happens one child at a time.

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A committed young woman