Backpacker Uses Life Savings To Fund Home For Orphans She Met In Nepal

A woman who spent the money she saved babysitting in high school to save children half a world away is one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of the Year.

Maggie Doyne decided to take a year off before college in 2006 to backpack around the world. She only got as far as Nepal when she called home and asked her parents to send all $5,000 of her life savings.

The New Jersey teen wasn’t in trouble. She just wanted to help the kids she met who were in desperate need–the refugees and orphans from the country’s decade-long civil war.

She used the money to start the Kopila Valley Children’s Home in Surkhet. In Nepali, “Kopila” means flower bud, and during the last 8 years the orphanage has blossomed like that, bringing new hope to 50 resident orphans.

Through her nonprofit, Doyne’s Blink Now Foundation, the side-tracked backpacker, now 28, continues to fund the home, along with a primary school she built shortly afterward which educates nearly 350 local kids.

(WATCH the CNN video below)  Photo: CNN video