Our journey starts on a dry riverbed in the foothills of the Himalayas, where one young woman decided to help one young girl, hoping to make one small difference. In the blink of an eye – and with a lot of hard work from a lot of people – that hope turned into a home, a school and so much more. Kopila Valley was born and soon blossomed into BlinkNow, a nonprofit foundation serving an ever-growing, ever-inspiring community in Surkhet, Nepal. Our history is an unlikely tale. Our mission is to change the world by empowering Nepal's youth. Our team is built from within and getting stronger. We’ve already done so much together. Now is the time to get involved and add your voice. This story is only just beginning.
BlinkNow runs a monthly donation program that allows their donors to sponsor a variety of things at different donations levels to help BlinkNow's programs in Nepal. Monthly support goes to things like a child's lunch, educational support to students, empowering women from the Kopila Valley Women's center, or providing full scholarships to students. Monthly supporters ensure the women and children of Kopila Valley thrive.
Every child in Kopila Valley school receives lunch every day. That happens regardless of how many Roots members sign up at the $15 giving level. BlinkNow educates 400 kids a year, even if less than 400 people sign up to sponsor their scholarships.
Specific donations go into BlinkNow's general operating fund which supports their greatest need for all our programs, from the school and the Women's Center to thier health programs and their wonderful staff who make it all possible. Roots member support are crucial to the growth and sustainability of all BlinkNow programs. We hope that showing what it costs to feed and educate a child in our school, or support a woman in our Women’s Center, you’ll see that your gift has an amazing impact. Every single month.
By Dhana, Kopila Valley Women’s Center Graduate, as told to Crystaline Randazzo
The BlinkNow Foundation provides schooling and a home for orphaned, impoverished, and at-risk children in Nepal. It also runs the Kopila Valley Women’s Center, which provides life-changing job training and education to empower women in our community to lead better lives. Founded by Maggie Doyne, the organization provides community services to reduce poverty, empower women, improve health, and encourage sustainability and social justice. This post was originally posted on Medium.
I used to work eight hours a day doing physical labor. I carried stones to help build houses. It was really hard work for me and I was often in pain. I was married when I turned 14 years old and had my first child three years later. Then I had three more children. My husband has been sick for the past nine years and is unable to work. He stays home and I take care of him and our children. I am sad that he is sick, and it has been difficult to find ways to earn enough money to care for our family.
When I heard about the Kopila Valley Women’s Center, I ran there and filled out the application form. When my name was selected for the first training group, I was so happy. I learned how to sew, how to communicate with other people, and I received counseling that has helped me. Sewing is easier on my body than laboring was. I can make everything — pants, shirts, kurtas. But my favorite part of working here is being surrounded by other women.
I can now cover most of my household expenses with my salary as a tailor. BlinkNow also put one of my daughters into the Kopila Valley School — she was 4 years old when I started working here, so she was enrolled in nursery class. It is my wish that all of my children could have attended KVS because I still struggle sometimes to cover the costs of uniforms, shoes, and school supplies for my other children.
I am an uneducated woman. My family didn’t have enough money to send me to school, so I worked from a young age. I cut grass for the animals, found wood in the forest, and cooked food. I want my children to complete their education and become teachers, nurses, or doctors. I don’t think my daughters should get married as young as I did. I want them to go to school and have a better life than me.
My life was very tough before I got this training. I feel proud that I am now able to support my family and put all of my children in school. I want to thank BlinkNow for giving me such a beautiful life and the opportunity to work here.
The Kopila Valley Women’s Center is working to close the gap in gender equality in Surkhet, Nepal and provide women with opportunities to feed and educate their children. We believe that when women are educated and empowered, they can make steps to alleviate poverty and foster a thriving community. Support women like Dhana at www.blinknow.org/donate.