Change Yourself…Change The World.

The Famous Maggie Doyne
June 8, 2009, 6:08 pm
Filed under: Nepal

Maggie Doyne

A lot of books I’ve been reading lately about poverty-alleviation likes to lay much of the blame on the everyday person in the West. While I believe that there IS much that we, as people living in the West, can do to help alleviate poverty, I also don’t like to thickly lay on the blame that these books prescribe, and I don’t think it is right to guilt trip people into donating money. I think that a lot of people WANT to help- name one person you know that would WANT others to starve and suffer- but because they are not confronted with it in their everyday lives, they don’t think about it. Or there are those that want to help, but don’t know how.

We see ads and commercials all of the time to ‘feed the children,’ or to donate to a particular NGO or fundraiser. The problem is, if this is one of the only ways that Westerners can reach out and help make a difference, they are unfortunately being manipulated a lot of the time. Most of the money they send to these agencies will not help alleviate poverty- usually over half of this is going to ‘fundraising’ activities, or office supplies, or salaries. A lot of NGOs/non-profit organizations don’t even deliver, especially to the areas where it’s needed most. It is very frustrating to be a Westerner who wants to help the developing world, but who also doesn’t want to be manipulated or have their money and resources go to waste.

Well, fortunately, there are a few organizations in the world that are making huge differences in people’s lives. One of these organizations is Blink Now.

Maggie Doyne (who I would like to have the honor of calling a friend, or at least acquaintance- and who also inspired me to start traveling in the first place), created this amazing organization to help the children of Nepal. She has built an orphanage and has helped hundreds of Nepali orphans. She was featured in Cosmo Girl magazine for her leadership qualities, and just recently she won $100,000 from the Do Something! Awards. If there is anyone that I believe can make a difference in this world, it is her. So basically I am saying, if you are one of those people who are looking for ways to make a difference, or for a good organization to donate to- I give Maggie Doyne my highest recommendation. Every penny you donate will go to helping children in Nepal. Check out her blog for more details.

I am pimping her out because, quite frankly, she has been a huge source of inspiration in my life. I decided to travel to India with Carpe Diem because of her amazing experience with LeapNow, Carpe Diem’s sister program- which has been the jumpstart to all of my traveling. When I volunteered in Thailand and was looking for inspiration on poverty alleviation, I scoured her web site and found a recommendation of a book by Muhammed Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank. In a few weeks I will start interning there. I have tried to volunteer at her orphanage twice (both unsuccessful attempts), but I dearly hope to make it there someday. I also hope to have the strength, courage, and compassion she does to someday make a difference in other’s lives like she is doing.

Thank you Maggie, for being a constant source of inspiration to me. We are all so proud of what you are doing. And the only thing I can do right now to help is to spread the good news.

Much love friends,


P.S. Some good books I’ve been reading on poverty-alleviation, if you’re interested:

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty- Muhammad Yunus
Africa Doesn’t Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It- Giles Bolton
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities For Our Time- Jeffrey Sachs
The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good- William Easterly
In the River They Swim: Essays From Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty- Michael Fairbanks

4 Comments so far
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Great site. I really enjoy hearing stories about your travels. Quick question – I, too, am interested in volunteering at KVCH. IF you don’t mind me asking, why were you unable to go and volunteer there? Is it particularly hard to get an internship there?

Thank you!

Comment by sandy

Hey! Thanks for reading!
It is not hard to volunteer at KVCH. The reason why I couldn’t go was for two reasons- I came to Kathmandu and I was supposed to meet Maggie to go to Surkhet- but then all of the transportation outside of Kathmandu was shut down because of the government, so I couldn’t get there. This does not happen too often though so don’t get discouraged.
If I had REALLY wanted to find my way there I probably could have- but I also decided not to pursue it because during that time one of Maggie’s children, Juntara, passed away, and it was a very emotional and traumatic experience for her and for the rest of the orphanage. I thought that if I went at that time I would have been more of a hindrance than a help, so I decided not to go. However, Maggie has lots of people who volunteer there, so I’m sure she would welcome you with open arms.
Hope that helps!

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

Ah ok, thanks so much!

It’s really a great blog, especially for someone like me who has never traveled outside of the country. Actually, if you have the time, I’d love to ask you some questions about traveling.

Comment by sandy

I most definitely have the time! Please feel free to email me at for any questions you have, or you can ask me right here. We can even set up a Skype chat if you’d like (though I we wouldn’t be able to talk until probably august, when I get home to the US). Let me know what you’d like to do 🙂

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

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