Although Maggie Doyne was born in the United States, this did not make any difference for her so far as serving the poor and oppressed children living in the remote parts of Nepal was concerned.
For her dedication to the cause of children, Maggie Doyne, who has been working for the welfare of Nepali children and women in Surkhet, Midwestern Nepal, was named the CNN Hero of the Year 2015.
Born in New Jersey, Doyne, who came to visit in Nepal, saw, first-hand, the state of suffering that women and children were facing. This changed her life. After realizing that there was the need to do something to protect women and children, Maggie and her nonprofit organizations BlinkNow Foundation provided education, in addition to supporting and encouraging a community to orphaned, impoverished, and at-risk children.
BlinkNow has been operating children’s home, school, health clinic, women’s centre and sustainability programs for Nepali children and women. She has been running Kopila Valley Children’s Home since 2007 where she has been giving shelter to more than 50 children between 1 and 16 years of age.
Doyne was chosen from this year’s Top 10 Heroes in an online vote by CNN’s audience. She received $100,000 for BlinkNow Foundation in addition to $10,000 that each Hero received for making it to the Top 10 list, according to CNN.
“If you had told me when I turned 18 that I was going to be the mom of 50 kids, I would have told you that you were totally crazy …and I am … and to my kids … I love you so much. Don’t ever forget how much I love you,” Doyne said. “And, to the country of Nepal, thank you so much for loving me and accepting me as a daughter welcoming me into your country,” she said.
Maggie Doyne, 28, is the third person from Nepal to win the prestigious award. Anuradha Koirala won the award in 2010 and Pushpa Basnet in 2012. Maggie came to Nepal after her high school in 2005 and instantly fell in love with the country and the people.
“I am super excited. This is the best day ever of my life! I cannot believe my name will come along with Anuradha Koirala and Pushpa Basnet,” said Maggie after winning the award.
"I simply could not believe it! I told my children how much I love them. I thank Nepal for welcoming me as one of her own daughter. We can make Nepal a much better place together," she said.
"Two of my girls were with me today. They are currently spending a semester in the United States. They can’t stop smiling tonight. I am proud of them."
When she was in India in 2006, Nepali children’s plight there had encouraged her to come to Nepal. She had come to Nepal with Top Bahadur Malla of Kalikot.
While accepting her award, Doyne said, “There is no time to waste. If you are educated and free, empowered and safe, you have to use your strength, your power, and your gifts to help the rest of our human family,” said Maggie Doyne, CNN stated.
"The situation in Nepal is quite depressing, and you brought smiles in the face of millions of Nepalis. My boys in Surkhet are lining up for cooking gas. We are all suffering. I just hope this award will also help bring awareness about Nepal’s situation at international levels."
With the aim to make Nepal the country that we can be, Maggie said she would keep helping build a brighter future for Nepali children.