Motherhood

15 Surprising Things About Parenting in Nepal

Maggie Doyne and her family in Nepal

Today, our Motherhood Around the World series takes us to Nepal to visit Maggie Doyne. For the last 11 years, Maggie has lived in Surkhet, Nepal, where she runs BlinkNow, a nonprofit foundation with a children’s home, school, health clinic and women’s center. She is also the mother and legal guardian to more than 50 children. Here, she shares 15 surprising things about parenting in Nepal…

Parenting in Nepal

Maggie’s backstory:

In 2006, Maggie Doyne first traveled to Nepal at 19 years old, as part of a “gap year” following her high school graduation. While there, she met a six-year-old girl named Hima, who was breaking stones in a dry riverbed to earn money to feed her family. Maggie helped Hima enroll in school, paying for her tuition, books and uniform. Seeing what a difference it made for just one child, she wondered, could she help more?

Maggie convinced her parents to wire her the entirety of her $5,000 life savings, earned over many years of babysitting, and purchased land in the Kopila Valley. Over time, she became the parent and legal guardian to more than 50 children. Her nonprofit foundation, BlinkNow, has grown to include a children’s home, a school, a women’s center, a girls’ safe house and a healthcare clinic. Maggie and her children live in the Midwestern part of the country, about an eight-hour bus ride from the capital city, Kathmandu.

Nepal is a small country — about the same square footage as Louisiana — and located in the Himalayan mountains. “I was so young when I came here, and I didn’t realize there had been a 10-year civil war,” she says. “Over the last decade, we’ve been finding our way to peace, drafting a constitution, and becoming one of the youngest democracies in the world. Nepal just had its first big election. It’s an exciting time to be here.”

Parenting in Nepal

On food: Rural Nepal is one of the most food-deficit regions in the world because it’s so rocky and mountainous. With monsoon season, it’s difficult for a family subsisting off farming to have a reliable sense of food security. In most villages, you grow your own rice and corn; many people have a goat or cow, and you’ll see goats and cows in the street. We eat rice and beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dahl, a watery soup with lentils, is also a staple here. When women have extra money, the first thing they do is buy vegetables or fruits, which are considered a delicacy here. One of the very best gifts you can bring to someone is a mango.

Every night after dinner we do satsang, a family circle where we sing a song and talk about the day. Then we do prasad, which is a traditional practice, where after giving thanks you get a little treat. The kids get a slice of fruit, like lychee or banana or cucumber or whatever is in season. We’re so lucky to be able to provide this, since many Nepalese mothers cannot afford to feed their families fruits or vegetables every day.

Parenting in Nepal

On a lack of boundaries: In Nepal, there is no such thing as an appointment. You can walk into anyone’s house — at any time! As an American, I really struggled with this. People would walk into my bedroom without any notice! But it makes your days so interesting and spontaneous; you don’t get as much done, but you’re so in touch with the village. There are always neighbors chatting around the fire, or a bunch of uncles across the street playing cards. You can also walk right into your neighbor’s house and take some salt or anything you need. Everyone shares everything. I’ve never seen a Nepali kid with any issues around sharing. They learn at an early age that everything is communal.

Parenting in Nepal

On naming: You can’t call anyone by his or her given name; it’s very taboo. Instead, you refer to them as a member of your family. So, you’ll call people in the village ‘mother,’ ‘father,’ ‘grandmother’ or ‘grandfather.’ If they’re younger, you call them ‘son,’ ‘daughter’ or ‘little one’ or ‘little sweetheart.’ For women my own age, I call them ‘sister.’ It’s so familial and makes you look at people differently. Imagine walking down the streets of NYC and calling the guy at the coffee shop ‘big brother,’ and it changes the relationship right away. Names are considered more of a formal thing used for documentation.

Parenting in Nepal

On makeshift toys: All over the streets of Nepal there are unsupervised kids playing outside. There may be one old bike and you’ll see four kids riding it at once. There are no toys, but they’ll play jacks with rocks. They’ll take an old bottle and pretend it’s a car. They’ll put tape around a rock to make a homemade ball. They cut old tires into pieces and make hacky sacks. They’ll use sticks to make a jump rope. The schoolyard is so much fun to walk around because they’ve created built toys and made up eight different games. I’m always amazed by what they can create with minimum resources.

Parenting in Nepal

On giving birth: In the villages, women give birth at home, and there are complications that come along with that. There are no ultrasounds or access to prenatal vitamins. In the remote villages, it is also still customary to practice chhaupadi, where girls and women sleep outside the home in a hut, like a cow shed, while menstruating. The huts are often poorly constructed, and you hear about girls dying from the cold or snake bites or being more at risk for sexual assault. Chhaupadi is also practiced for new moms — for the 13 or 14 days after a new mom gives birth, while her body is still bleeding and recovering, she will sleep outside. After those 14 days, there is a ceremony to celebrate the baby. Chhaupadi was just outlawed, but it might take another, say, decade to put it into practice. At our home, we give the girls sanitary pads and don’t practice chhaupadi. The aunties who work with us had a really hard time with this at first. They would say things like, ‘Maggie, there isn’t fruit on the trees, and it’s because the girls are sleeping in the house.’

On breastfeeding: For babies in Nepal, breast milk is everything, since it’s a nutritious form of food that is free. Women often breastfeed children until the age of three, four or five. You’ll see moms sitting in the sun together breastfeeding babies and taking care of all the children in the village. When a baby is orphaned and comes to our home, we either switch to formula or use a wet nurse in the village. When the child turns one, we’ll do cow’s milk since we have our own cows.

Maggie Doyne

On arranged marriage: There is no such thing as dating here, and marriages are frequently arranged. If you do get caught dating, you have to marry the person. This brings up difficult issues around rape and sexual assault, as there have been circumstances where children were raped and were forced to marry their rapist, because the belief is that you’re ruined. Overall, you are expected to marry young and be with that person forever. Some of our students have gotten married at 16 or 17. Under Nepali law, the minimum age of marriage is 20 years old, but although the government is working on this, it can be hard to enforce.

On in-laws: Part of the marriage process is that as a woman, you’re given to the male’s family. You’re typically expected to work, almost as a servant would, for your in-laws. It can be very isolating for women, who are removed from the comfort of their homes and what they know. A lot of the men go to Dubai and the Middle East to work, and the women are left alone to care for the children. On the good side, you’re living with multiple generations, and sometimes you’ll have a good family structure, with aunts and uncles and grandparents.

Parenting in Nepal

Parenting in Nepal

On educating women: It used to be that only the son was seen as valuable — since the son will stay with the family but the daughter will go off to another family once married. But in the last 10 years, there’s been a very successful push across Nepal to enroll young girls in primary school. People are beginning to see that it’s valuable for women to be educated. Our female students work really hard; in the next decade, we’ll see these women out in the world, and that’s really exciting.

Parenting in Nepal

On treating boys and girls equally: At our school, there are more than 350 children, and many are the first in their families to attend school. The teachers practice a culture of equality, and all our students are told that they can do anything. But sometimes they’ll get a different message at home. People look at our female students and tell me, ‘But one day she’ll be a wife and daughter-in-law and be expected to serve the family,’ and that haunts me. I want their reality to be that they can do anything. I hope it is.

Parenting in Nepal

On celebrations: My favorite holiday is Holi, the color war. You go onto the streets and it’s like a massive water fight, but with color. You mix water with colored powder, then throw it with water balloons or water guns or buckets. People will even smear a handful of colored powder all over your face. You can’t leave your house without being covered in purple and pink and orange. It shows love and joy and celebration. The streets are filled with music. It’s playful and beautiful. In October, there is the kite flying festival, and you’ll see all the kids scattered across rooftops making and flying kites, and trying to cut each other’s kites down. October is the windy season and also the harvest, and everyone is really happy.

Maggie Doyne

On chores: A lot is expected of you as a child in Nepal. Kids run to the store or act as caregivers for siblings by the time they’re five or six. They can cook a full-course meal and carry water and cut grass and chop firewood at six years old. My kids can scale a mountain unlike anything you’ve ever seen; they’re like billy goats! I remember the day my five-year-old climbed up a tree with a machete and knocked a papaya down. There is no coddling or babying, because it’s necessary for the kids to help. We have ‘Saturday deep clean,’ and on weekend mornings the kids cook breakfast. I wake up to music blaring and a dance party in the kitchen!

Parenting in Nepal

On raising more than 50 children: You think, how can you love that many kids? How can you be close to that many? But you somehow are. My relationship with each is different. You’ve got one who makes friends easily and one who doesn’t know who to sit with at the cafeteria. You have the overachiever and the one who doesn’t study at all; the super athletic kid and the one who can’t catch a ball. You have to parent them all differently; I had to learn as I went along. I think that’s what parenting is — you build up your toolkit and just do the best you can.

Nepal

On appreciating the little things: My kids have taught me resilience. Many of them have gone through hard and tragic things — the death of parents, extreme poverty — but I’ll see a transformation happen. They’re so joyful and strong. When my son saw a light switch for the first time, he woke up the next morning at 5 a.m. and ran around the house flipping on all the lights because he couldn’t believe it! Watching them enjoy a warm glass of milk. And seeing them feel secure in the world again, and how they give that back a hundred fold.

Maggie Doyne and her family in Nepal

On staying forever: Nepal is a forever place for me. Part of me grew up there. When my children are grown, I’m sure things may shift in terms of how and where I split my time, but when I envision my life, I see myself here when I’m old. I love it here, my life’s work is here, and I want a life where I’m surrounded by children. Someday I’ll be a grandma, and I often think about how many grandchildren I’ll end up with… at this rate, sheesh!

Thank you so much, Maggie! If you’d like to learn more about Maggie and her work, you can read more about BlinkNow here, including ways to get involved.

P.S. More Motherhood Around the World posts, including Iceland, Congo and Japan.

(Photos via Maggie Doyne/BlinkNow/Instagram. Mud hut photo via CNN. Dahl photo by Taste Space.)

  1. Anaïs says...

    For anyone still following this post and who would like to learn more about white saviorism and be part of meaningful conversations regarding what is problematic about this story, I encourage you to follow the @NoWhiteSaviors instagram account. They sent Maggie an open letter to which she has so far responded positively, and seems open to a conversation. Lots to learn and share!

  2. Tricia says...

    I have not been able to stop thinking about this post since I first read it. I’m realizing that there’s something unsettling about the story and it’s left me with so many questions. For example, the children’s home sounds great, but why does Maggie need to claim the children as her own? I wish we had gotten a more clear picture here. This is not a simple story of parenting in Nepal.

    • Jessica says...

      The FAQ on her website says:

      Who has legal guardianship of the children?
      The children in the home consider Maggie as a mother figure and each other as siblings. It is a true, loving family. In some cases, Kopila has legal guardianship of the children. In other cases, their legal guardian is someone outside of the Children’s Home or an auntie or uncle who works and lives at the home or school.

      It also states that none of the children may be adopted.

  3. Spark says...

    Whew, the COJ community is really showing out with some of these comments. I’m SUPER interested if the folks who are so blown away by the bravery of a woman raising children in this context who are calling her a saint are marching for black lives or advocating for black and brown mothers who are raising children in often horrific circumstances with the constant threat of state-sanctioned violence.

    One commenter noted that this made them realize how blessed they are to live in a country with clean water and electricity. While this is true for lots of areas of the country, Flint still has no clean drinking water. There are mothers here who cannot afford to feed their children healthy food or fruit. And there are many, may mothers of all socioeconomic statuses who have to raise their children within a state that is inherently violent to the existence of their children (and them).

    This is not to pull a “we have problems here, the problems anywhere else don’t matter”. But I do have a lot of questions about the compassion and heart the commenters here are shouting about for Nepal (when we have Nepalese folx contesting the picture painted) and what we care about that’s right in front of our face, just without a framework of white savior-hood.

  4. Sarah says...

    There are so many different types of mothers in this world. Maggie, I’m inspired by your life’s work and life’s LOVE. Thank you for doing what you’re doing.

  5. Lisa says...

    Just wanted to say that this is literally the ONLY place on the internet where I read the comments to see thoughtful and respectful discussions like this one. The comments section of Cup of Jo gives me hope for humanity! Thank you all for creating and fostering a place where that’s possible.

  6. Cheryl says...

    A great Indian saint once said:
    “You must not die with the symphony of your life unfinished.”
    Paramahansa Yogananda meant that each of us has a beautiful contribution to the world. Many of us are so busy working for ourselves and our own dreams we forget to include others.
    How beautiful is this symphony? Thank you so so much for making music for 50 perfect souls in Nepal!

    • Nan says...

      Putting her episode of Call Your Girlfriend podcast on my queue now! Thank you for the suggestion!

    • C says...

      YES! Another voice for Rachel Cargle.

  7. J Ray says...

    1. I love the expat perspectives of this column
    2. I love the native perspectives of this column
    3. I thought this Nepal one was interesting but it stuck out to me bc her fam is so big and she runs the non-profit. The story couldn’t drill down to the parenting aspect bc there were so many other hats she’s wearing!

  8. Emma says...

    I can see and appreciate all sides of this conversation, and think they are all worthy of holding space. However, I personally am choosing to take away from this a profile of one of the many, varied, different and wonderful types of motherhood that exist in our world. I feel that the intention behind this was nothing but well intentioned, and the resulting conversation respectful and enlightening. Thank you CoJ for yet another wonderful, respectful post and discussion.

    • Lesley says...

      Same with me. This motherhood around the world series seems to be about many different kinds of mothers around the world, whether they’re American or native to their country, or single or married , or working or staying home with their kids, or with special-needs children or not.. they have been a wide range. Maggie is also a mother around the world and her story is worth telling. Some of these posts feature native mothers and some don’t and it is all a mix. Thank you to cup of jo for all the work you do and the community here for the thoughtful discussions and conversations. It’s my favorite place on the internet for these reasons and more.

  9. Erin says...

    after reading this post, i kept thinking about how meaningful it would be to have a series that highlights women who run/work for organizations that are doing good in the world. it would be interesting to hear about the work they do and to learn more about some of the great organizations that exist out there – like Maggie with BlinkNow.

  10. Leslie says...

    I’m fascinated by the comments on this article. Obviously, Maggie isn’t claiming to be a Nepalese mother but is just talking about her extremely unique family and work situation. To put it simply, she’s an expat who recognized a need, and filled it, on repeat. Can you imagine a world filled with Maggies? One in which people valued all children to the extent of bringing them into their own family? Women like her make me so proud to be a woman. Bless you Maggie!

    • Rishi says...

      I have to respectfully beg to differ here. The post is specifically called “parenting” in Nepal. The article refers to Maggie as the adoptive mother or legal guardian to more than fifty children. She refers to herself as their mother. That seems fairly specific. And while no one is doubting Maggie’s intentions or great work, central family units are very important to a child’s upbringing and development. That is why people are expressing questions. I won’t get into the complications (or demand for) adoption, but I think that they’re questions worth asking.

  11. What an amazing and fascinating place to visit. I really didn’t know much about this but after reading this post I will surely visit one day. Thanks for sharing such an amazing post.

  12. alsononwhitewoman says...

    I’ve been thinking about this post for the last 24 hours, and while I was also extremely let down and uncomfortable by the story and the photos, I’d just like to reiterate the sentiment that no one is saying Maggie isn’t doing good work—she is. But that’s the issue: it’s *work*. She’s running a certified nonprofit organization with a school, women’s center, health clinic, staff, sponsors, and publicly listed financial statements. This is a post on international development work in Nepal, not Motherhood in Nepal. What could have been a really amazing opportunity to highlight an actual Nepali mother and her family from a place that doesn’t ever get positive exposure here in the US, instead turned into the same old story reinforcing postcolonial attitudes about a white teenager who went to a poor country to “find herself” and then stayed to save the poor people she met. In addition to embodying the harmful complex of white saviorism , it’s also a really hurtful, sad erasure of Nepali motherhood and family. Its demeaning and exhausting that instead of the normal peak into a native or part-native family’s unique, sweet, genuine, intimate daily life offered in every other post in this series, when it comes to countries like Nepal, all we get is an American woman’s nonprofit for her 50 brown orphans. The equivalent in America or Europe would never be specifically featured as a “motherhood” post.

    On a broader level, it’s of course not the school or health clinic or nonprofit that’s uncomfortable here, it’s the underlying current of white women claiming brown children as their own because they have the resources to do so. How is her staying in America to be her husband and biological child not parental neglect of her 50 other “children”? You can’t have it both ways.

    One more thought—series like Motherhood Around the World hold a certain ethical responsibility to the communities they depict, and as a long-longtime reader, I think CoJ has been able to hit that mark really well by knowing what to tackle and what to set aside. There’s always risk in bringing up the darkest, most negative parts of another culture, but the most diligent way to approach that is by talking to someone who understands that issue or phenomenon firsthand—some who’s from there, grew up there, has native observations and things explained to them by generations of people around them who are also from there, grew up there. It’s reporting basics—primary vs. secondary sourcing. Maggie might have lived in Nepal for 11 years but she is still a secondary source and it’s dangerously easy for non-natives to reduce something as complicated and layered as chhaupadi to absolute violent evil, when there is a deep history and background there they’re naturally likely to miss. Ditto arranged marriage or in-law culture—I couldn’t believe the generalizations in sentences like “Part of the marriage process is that as a woman, you’re given to the male’s family. You’re typically expected to work, almost as a servant would, for your in-laws.” COME ON. Not only is that offensive, it’s as absurdly sweeping as someone stating that every child in America is proudly handed their first semiautomatic weapon on their 5th birthday to use as they’d like in the name of freedom.

    After centuries of invasion, colonialism, war, natural resource obliteration and economic destruction, the dreaded cherry on top would be, in 2018, to also not let Nepali people tell their own stories themselves, with the actual nuance, perspective, and agency that they deeply deserve.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for this note, i really appreciate it.

    • ALSONONWHITEWOMAN says...

      One more actual last thought—I’ve been reading CoJ for 8 years, and it’s been a constant, steady source of wisdom, comfort, and aspirational guidance for a young woman figuring things out in life, big and small. I relate so strongly with nearly every post, every story, and every call to build a kinder, more inclusive society. If the issues brought up over this post are something you’ll decide to address and tackle (which I obviously hope you do!), some gentle unsolicited feedback from a longtime admirer—it’ll be a far more productive endeavor with a more representative core writing/editorial team to help at the helm; it’s so much more important than ever.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, viveka. thank you so much for your thoughts. i really appreciate it. i agree with you that it’s more important than ever to foster a diverse team of editors and writers at the helm, and i’m working on this and hope you will stay tuned. thank you so much to everyone for these thoughtful comments.

    • Emme says...

      Yes, yes, yes, this!

    • Subechya S. says...

      THIS! The fact that few of us who are from Nepal had similar reaction to this post is telling. I was deeply disturbed by sweeping generalization made throughout this article. No doubt each one of our are entitled to our own perspective and opinion but given the context of this post it was so hurtful to read.

      I’ve been living in America for past 15 years. I’m raising a bi-racial son in America. There are so many things that I find odd that is part of life here but I try hard to learn from my husband and understand his perspective.

      COJ please reach out if you want to connect with Nepali mom raising a family in Nepal.

    • Sasha L says...

      I don’t see the difference in *work* and in *mothering* here. I think the only ones who could really judge whether Maggie is an aid worker or a very real mother, are her children. It would be lovely to ask them what Maggie means to their lives.

    • Claire says...

      Thank you so much for articulating these points—I had the same reaction and have also been thinking about this post since yesterday. I love this community and am grateful we can have a dialogue here on so many topics.

    • Ashley says...

      This is a thoughtful and much more articulate response than I could form. Thank you for this reflection.

    • mhs says...

      very much agree. thanks for expressing so thoughtfully!

    • Alex says...

      I’ve been mulling over this too and had written then deleted a few comments because nothing felt quite right. Thank you for putting these concerns exactly as I couldn’t.

    • So well put – thank you for articulating a lot of my concerns much better than I could!

    • Maggie says...

      Thanks for this!

    • nicole says...

      THANK YOU for taking the time to articulate, so eloquently, what I had been grasping at saying. CoJ community, listen to this commenter! The fact that we didn’t all have reactions like this shows that we all have plenty to learn.

    • Michelle says...

      It actually think Maggie’s role is very from work because you can quit or change a job. Maggie adopted over fifty children and committed her whole life to them. She lives with them and devotes herself to them. even though she has a very different set-up than we all do, she is their mother. There are different kinds of motherhood and this is one. It’s much more than a job. Have you read her love letters to her children on Instagram? Reading more about her situation and life may change people’s minds on this point.

    • kris says...

      Actually, she absolutely can quit and leave anytime she wants. This article she did says “Although the nonprofit, not Doyne, legally has custody of the children due to Nepal’s restrictions on international adoption, she explains she quickly began feeling like a mother to the brood” BlinkNow’s website confirms that. Feeling like a mother isn’t legal responsibility and when it comes to children, that’s a line that shouldn’t just be blurred because it makes us feel better.

      It might be clear that she loves these kids but it does feels dangerous to be like “wow this is amazing!” when there’s a lot of (important) missing information. Just because it reads as a heartwarming story for us as Americans doesn’t mean it’s right.

      The good thing is, we can all strive to be more judicial and diligent without getting mean or cynical, and I do think this community of women will aspire to just that.

    • S says...

      Thank you for this incredibly thoughtful comment and for articulating, so clearly and gracefully, the tensions that I felt when reading this piece. I am grateful for your insight.

      I think it is particularly telling that many of the dissenting voices on this post are from women of color or women of south east asian descent, who are bringing up incredibly nuanced points and are providing a critical analysis of the issues this piece brings up. White women- we need to take the time to listen to these perspectives, reflect on them, and learn from them.

    • Brianna says...

      Yes, this comment.

    • S says...

      Thank you thank you thank you for this comment. Another not US born woman of color checking in with the uncomfortable feelings here. Not questioning intent, but as others have said, there are issues to unpack. And I believe the COJ team is open and thoughtful enough to do some of that unpacking.

    • Leena says...

      Agree with all of this, thank you for being so eloquent and precise in identifying your qualms with the piece.

      – YetAnotherNonWhiteWoman (who has lived in Nepal)

    • Catherine says...

      Thank you so much for this comment. Perfectly sums up how I felt while reading this post.

    • Maggie says...

      This comment so eloquently reflects my reaction to and disappointment with this piece as well. Thank you for finding the words (and the courage) to express your thoughts.

    • Thuy says...

      Yes to all of this. I’ve been thinking about this post since Monday feeling unsettled by the way Nepal was described and depicted. I work for a nonprofit that serves communities that are low-income and we have been raising conversation about the white saviorism the organization is rooted in. It’s a hard look in the mirror met with a lot of defensiveness but necessary to take the time to listen and understand how certain actions and words that may seem well intentioned are actually extremely hurtful. Thank you CoJ to listening to these viewpoints.

    • +100 to this entire comment and thank you for writing it

    • DR says...

      As a child who was adopted by someone like Maggie, I can assure you that she is “mother” in every way imaginable.

    • Jen says...

      Thank you for this super well written comment, it absolutely captures my uncomfortable feelings with this article as well. — another Asia-born, non-white woman who appreciates CoJ.

  13. Denise says...

    By far my favorite in your series! What an amazing woman she is!

  14. Laura says...

    What an amazing mother!

  15. Maggie you are a light in this world!

  16. Kate says...

    Amazing. Just…amazing. Thanks for sharing this “nontraditional” parenting post.

  17. Megan Kongaika says...

    Holy. Shit. Amazing.

  18. Allison says...

    this was an incredible post – i immediately forwarded to my mom and sister. thoughts on a Cup of Jo mission trip to Nepal? :)

    • Meghan says...

      Agreed! I would love for our community here to help more there!

    • Rishi says...

      While the sentiment is beautiful, mission trips are a bit problematic. I have no idea what your background is , but unless we’re say .. bringing a new cure to a rampant disease, our presence as Americans does not inherently fix another country’s problems. That’s not to say that everyone doesn’t have a lot to offer this world, but it’s harmful thinking to think that by virtue of being American, we are somehow more enlightened than others. We’re also the only country in the world that has routine school shootings and $100k health bills WITH insurance, so there’s quite a lot to fix in our own backyard too.

    • Allison says...

      Rishi, thank you for sharing your perspective. I couldn’t agree more that we certainly have our fair share of problems to work through right here in America. I wasn’t at all suggesting that as *Americans* we have the answers, but rather as educated, empowered and empathic women, we can act as resources to Maggie and her mission and learn from these people and their experiences.

      Best – Allison

  19. K says...

    What an incredible human being! The world is lucky to have a person like Maggie doing SO MUCH good. Thanks for inspiring me to do better in my own little way.

  20. Liz says...

    LOVE this (and love Nepal!). Go Maggie! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Jessica R says...

    Wow! What an incredible woman!

  22. Julia says...

    Earlier today I worried about cooking a new dish since we seem to repeat our recipes…and now I simply feel grateful to have what lacks in Maggies country. Also the article makes me realize again that in the first place it is not different food or things we should give to our children, but time, warmth, tenderness. Thank you!

  23. Jane says...

    I think this was a lost opportunity to interview a mother born in Nepal. I think it’s time to shift focus from expats living abroad, to mothers living in different countries. It might be more difficult to reach them and there might be translation issues, but I think the educational value will be worth it.

    • Anna says...

      Totally agree.

    • erin archer says...

      i think the intention is that by focusing on expats, they know what we may find out of the ordinary. it’s hard to see what is of interest when you’ve grown up with it

    • Karen says...

      True but I could also see how native mothers from countries like Nepal or even where I’m from, El Salvador, may struggle with opening up and discussing taboo topics (God forbid my mother uses the word sex even as an older woman!). There’s a good chance that harsh realities may even be omitted or sugarcoated for safety. Although this may not be the case for more developed, progressive countries. The Cup of Jo team does a great job with the resources they are able to get a hold of. Remember that it’s hard to really showcase all perspectives and preferences!

    • Courtney says...

      Pretty much all the posts in the motherhood series from this season have featured women who are from the country they are featuring. (vs previous seasons of the series, which were expat focused.) This one is an exception.

    • Vicki Fraser says...

      I disagree – the whole point is to show the differences in motherhood around the world, and a native mother wouldn’t know how her form of motherhood is different from that of an American mother. I think the best installments are from Americans living abroad because they see the differences best and know which traditions to point out, ways of life that readers would be interested to hear about, etc.

  24. Scarlett says...

    WOW. I don’t even know what to say. She truly is a force. I’m amazed by her! What an incredible person!

  25. Akc says...

    What a beautiful woman. My heart is touched and in awe– speechless. Thank you for shedding light on her story and her work. It is so obvious to see how much she loves her children, and how much this love is reciprocated.

  26. Laura C. says...

    This woman is the living proof that you can do whatever you want in life. Such an inspiration and so deeply in awe.
    Thank you Maggie and CoJ.

  27. Michelle says...

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Loved this.

  28. Claudia Moralex says...

    I love this way of parenting. Especially how these women nurse their children together in a group & how they do extended breastfeeding which is a slowly growing trend in U.S. I have chosen to continue breastfeeding my 20month son. It warms my heart to read this article on the work your doing in Nepal. I worked for the Refugee Women’s Alliance in the U.S & it changed the way I view different cultures & the world. THANK YOU & MANY BLESSINGS TO YOUR FAMILY.

    • Lisa says...

      I just love that image (as someone who’s currently breastfeeding a nine month old). As much as I’ve loved watching all of queer eye while feeding my baby, hanging around with other mothers chatting would be vastly preferable

  29. My Aunt recently mentioned that orphanages should make a comeback in the US and this post made me think about this again. (Not that she’s running an orphanage but the idea that you could spread your love and create a wonderful life for so many kids) Where we live in central California would be an amazing place for a large home with a farm and room to run and roam. There are so many kids who need good homes here and I definitely look up to her and what she’s done. Thank your for this wonderful post!

    • Laurie says...

      There has been a lot of news recently about all the abuses that occurred in orphanages, like the one in Vermont documented by the buzzfeed reporter. Some details from news articles are so horrific they are difficult to wrap your mind around. Orphanages are breeding grounds of abuse and that is why they are no longer widely used in western culture.

  30. Abiola Obanla says...

    This is beyond amazing Maggie! Thank you so much for all that you do in Nepal.
    I couldn’t help smiling all through as I read this post.

    It is even more gladdening to know that children who must have lost hope due to tragic events at an early age in life can now reach for their future with at least a vestige of hope in them.

    One can tell by their smiles that indeed, a beautiful thing has evolved in Nepal.
    Thank you Maggie, God bless and keep you going.

  31. Courtney says...

    WOWOWOW! YES. This is beautiful. Thank you for casting light on unconventional parenting, and showing you don’t have to carry a child to be a parent. Maggie, you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your life…

  32. Annalise says...

    This is why I keep coming back to this blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing us Motherhood in many forms, for showing us that there are good people, doing good work, and we have much to hope for.

    Maggie, thank you.

  33. Amy says...

    Oh wow, my heart just grew three sizes! I can’t fathom how, at 19, Maggie had the maturity, grace, and generosity to start down this path. What an inspiration. Truly one of the best posts on Cup that I can remember.

  34. Steph says...

    Wow
    I feel like my brain just tripped and fell I am so amazed by Maggie and what she is doing.
    She is amazing.

  35. Megan says...

    It’s always so interesting to not only read the posts themselves but the comments! That’s what life is all about though right? It’s gray. Yes Maggie is awesome. No, white women aren’t saving the world singlehandedly. But you don’t lose anything by praising someone. It’s possible to cheer for Maggie and also appreciate the work being done by so many others. Thanks CoJ for many perspectives and shining a light on different parts of the world!

    • Amy says...

      Love your thoughtful comment Megan.

    • Sasha L says...

      I really appreciate this thoughtful response Megan. I also agree that we need to look critically at the white savior narrative, it’s so important to hear native voices and perspectives. I also agree that Maggie’s contribution to her chosen community shouldn’t be diminished. She has inspired many of us to think of ways we can lead more giving lives. It’s not black and white and I would hope we can all see the good and also keep our eyes wide open to the complexities of American women helping in other countries. My finally take is that she is respectful and giving and devoted to all of those kids.

  36. mollie oconnor says...

    Wow…inspired and in awe! Thank you for showcasing this amazing woman and her incredible story.

  37. elizabeth says...

    This is incredible – thank you for sharing.

  38. I really think this is one of the most important and informative profiles you’ve ever published. It’s so positive and amazing, especially how Maggie has embraced the Hindu culture and customs of Nepalese society . Thank you Maggie, and thank you for this piece Joanna. Xx

  39. Rebecca says...

    Love love love the incredible Maggie Doyne, and thrilled to see her on COJ! She’s a very special person indeed x

  40. Shannon says...

    WOW a hundred times over. What a strong woman and beautiful country.

  41. So very inspiring! I am amazed at the drive and purpose she possessed at a young age. The positive ripple effects of her impact on so many children’s lives and her community go on and on and on and on. A beautiful force to behold!

  42. Ashi says...

    Of all the stories that I’ve read in this series, this has touched my whole heart. What a generous, loving, warm young woman Maggie is and how wonderfully she refers to her children gives me hope for this world. She reaffirmed for me that children are born in all our hearts regardless of whether or not they’re born from our bodies. Brava!

  43. Malissa says...

    Nepal is such a beautiful country, full of hardship and love and joy and strength. It’s the most peaceful and wonderful place to visit – thank YOU, Maggie for making a difference. I’ll head to check out your work and make a donation, too. Thank you!

  44. Christine says...

    Wow, wow, wow. What a story. Loved this!

    P.S. I don’t know if you could turn this into a spin-off series, but I’d love to hear about Americans or other people who left their home country to serve in another country. It really is inspiring!

  45. cgw says...

    OHMYGOSH!!!!!!
    My heart just exploded into a thousand little pieces.

    This. This is by far, THE BEST PARENTING AROUND THE WORLD ever showcased.

    What incredible light shines from Ms. Doyne!!

  46. Marianne says...

    Namaste, didi (sister)!

    I lived and worked in Nepal for 3 years – an while I lived a pleasant expat life in Kathmandu I found it the most beautiful and hard place I’ve ever been. I am in awe of you, Maggie, and wish you and your family nothing but love and prosperity. You kick ass! The country is finding its way as a new democracy and feminist issues are on the agenda – but the sheer lack or basic rights and opportunities for food, education and healthcare makes you and your organization a beacon of light!
    I found my husband in nepal and I will forever treasure my time there. It’s the most beautiful country and I encourage everyone to visit! I can’t wait to return with my own kids one day.

  47. Lea says...

    I’m in awe of her.

  48. Kavi says...

    Cheers to Maggie! What an incredible human being!

  49. Whitney Olson says...

    What a beautiful person she is. This has changed my day. Thank you.

  50. Mel says...

    THANK you for spotlighting BlinkNow and Maggie’s work, Cup of Jo team! I feel so much hope and awe for humanity — such a rare, precious feeling — when I read about Maggie. Also, I went over to BlinkNow’s website just now and saw the Cup of Jo community is already mobilizing! Check out the comments by those who recently donated :)

  51. Maggie says...

    I couldn’t NOT donate to this cause and was so happy to see in the donation reel that many Cup of Jo readers felt the same. I’d love to know how much we collectively raised for her amazing foundation.

  52. Laura says...

    What a woman!! Xxx

  53. Tiffany says...

    This is a powerful reminder of how far girls (and women) still have to go to be considered equals in many countries around the world. The idea of little girls growing up with the thought they are not as valued as they will later just be ‘given away’ breaks my heart.
    BUt it also shows the strength, love and force for change one woman can be when given those opportunities.
    Thank you for a beautiful story.

  54. A says...

    Actually crying over this. I’ve followed Maggie for more than 5 years now and she and her story is just incredible. I’m SO happy you featured her. She and her family and BlinkNow deserve so much recognition and support.

  55. Ramona says...

    You are a beautiful woman, Maggie. God Bless You. <3

  56. Teresa says...

    My new hero.
    Love in action.

  57. Brooke says...

    Absolutely incredible. What a beautiful example of what it means to be a parent and the many definitions of what parenthood can look like.

    I’m inspired. Currently pregnant with my first and was feeling very overwhelmed with the task of parenting. Maggie- if you can raise 50 empowered young people, I’m feeling more prepared to raise one. Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations on your baby news, brooke!

  58. Brittani says...

    Well, I’m done for. Between her inspirational story and that last photo, I’m a crying mess. Her and her children all seem wonderful.

  59. Amy says...

    I am so inspired! I just went online and donated to BlinkNow and was so happy to see so many donations from Cup of Jo readers! Yay team!

  60. molly says...

    Wow, so much respect Maggie.

    This post makes me appreciate the life I was born into. Fruit, vegetables and electricity are things I take very much for granted. Just when you feel down about the state of our country, its helpful to realize just how blessed we are to live here. Yes, we have a long way to go here too, but wow are we lucky to have the luxuries of a first world country. Truly grateful and this was a really nice reminder.

    With that being said, in every picture there’s radiating love and happiness from the children. A great reminder of how little we really need to truly be happy. Loved this post so, so much. Thank you Maggie.

  61. caligirl says...

    This was so wonderful to read. Thank you CoJ for bringing this amazing woman to our attention!

    There was a recent article in the NYT about the practice of casting menstruating women out of their homes and, heartbroken, I found myself fantasizing about the possibility of building a place for these women in each village, something like a clinic, where they could continue to respect tradition while also being together in a safe environment. In the fantasy, the existence of a respectable place to go would be a large step toward removing the negative stigma that perpetuates the practice and undoubtedly harms women’ and girl’s standing in the community.

  62. Kelsey says...

    This woman is extraordinary. I am so amazed by her grace and grit. Thank you, CoJ team! Wow.

  63. nonWhiteWoman says...

    CoJ I typically enjoy your motherhood around the world series, but seeing my own country so mis-represented makes my heart sad. Please consider (or questions) the continuing promotion of white saviour complex in mainstream dialogues and the many who will now jump to imagine this country being saved by one white woman. It’s not to deny Maggie does good work, but to plead with your readers to consider the many local organizations and people in any country doing far more impactful work at a larger scale. I’m so tired of this one sided narrative.

    • C says...

      I appreciate this comment. Thank you for sharing your perspective as someone from Nepal! My gut reaction to this story was also about the promotion of white savior complex, although I am inspired by the story at the same time. I know CoJ has tried to include not just American voices in this series, so I’m curious about the decision to feature this specific experience of living in Nepal.

    • Patricia says...

      Yes! Thank you!

    • Shannon says...

      I appreciate this comment too and want to lift it up!

    • Katie says...

      Thank you for saying this. This particular story didn’t sit well with me, and your comment helped me to realize why.

    • Elle says...

      Thank you for this comment! A little bit of framing or self-awareness about the white savior complex and colonial roots of this kind of charity work would go a long way. For those interested in a chewy read, the Egyptian anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod’s “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?” unpacks these issues so clearly. Maggie seems like a really kick-ass lady and is definitely making me feel inspired to find my place in the local activist ecosystem (if you’re reading this, a heartfelt thank you for the work you are doing). But as a fellow white woman living and working in South Asia long-term, I too feel like even one or two sentences would have made it clear that this article wasn’t just directed at white liberals in the Global North.

    • SSK says...

      I love Cup of Jo’s Motherhood Series, but this feature fell short for me. As an Indian American woman,” I was so excited to read about another feature highlighting a South Asian country.

      But I am wondering – why not highlight someone who is Nepalese? Regardless of the work Maggie is doing, her perspective and experience as a white American woman does not mirror those of us born without the same privileges. The white savior complex theme is everpresent and hard to read given Cup of Jo’s sensitivity towards issues like this.

    • LC says...

      Thanks for sharing. I felt that it was beautiful how this woman gave herself to this cause. But I agree that the narrative plays into a lot of issues and misrepresentations that plague service and philanthropy in developing places. I encourage CoJ to follow up.

    • Viet says...

      YES! Thank you for this. This is very white savior – and, as an Asian American who worked in rural Nepal for 6 months- I would add that there are many Nepali run organzinations who are doing AMAZING things (including in the realm of gender equity).

    • Em says...

      I felt really uncomfortable with this story and the accompanying photos for the same reason, and I would have felt really hurt if this was my country. 2018 and we’re still being colonised, over and over. Sending you love.

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      @Nonwhite Woman I hear you, I feel you. When I read this post, I was filled with dismay and I thought, “Oh no! A white saviour complex story on Cup of Jo of all places.” However, I admit that I’m torn about this because I admire Maggie and the work she’s doing. I hope we get to read a more three-dimensional perspective on Nepal here.

    • A says...

      As a South Asian woman (who works in impact measurement), I couldn’t agree more. I’m sure that the work that Maggie does is amazing, and I don’t want to undermine her dedication and effort in any way–but haven’t we seen enough photos of well-intentioned white people surrounded by poor brown kids? While Maggie might be running an incredible organisation (and Maggie, no offense to you–my objection is not personal), I have to admit that at its heart, this story reads like “white idealistic teenager goes on gap year adventure, ends up saving poor brown country”. It’s not about this specific story; it’s about thinking a little more critically about what it might represent for those of us on the receiving end of centuries of white-saviour wisdom.

      I was really excited by the change in direction of this series to focus on mothers raising kids in their own countries of origin, so I am also a bit confused by this post. Why not feature a Nepali mother? Or, in fact, one of the dozens of amazing organisations in Nepal doing similar work, home-grown and founded by members of their own communities? If the goal was to feature Maggie’s organisation, surely this isn’t the right series for it?

    • Anaïs says...

      I came down to the comment section to see if anyone had pointed this out, and I am glad you did. Like you said, Maggie seems to be doing great work and her commitment is for sure inspiring, but this post made me quite uncomfortable overall. I am not sure I see how this one case fits in the parenting around the world series. Maybe a different type of spotlight would have been more appropriate, but I don’t think this “white woman mother of 50 Nepali poor kids” is the proper use of this series. Development work is work, and running an NGO and a family are very very different things. I am sure there are countless local organizations and women who CoJ could be featuring that do excellent work, and could use the push in donations.

    • Nina says...

      This organization is a local organization, employing local Nepalis. And normally I would agree with you about the white savior complex as it’s usually outsourced organizations coming in vs. organizations founded and rooted in a country, but having followed her work for awhile now, I don’t think that’s a fair representation in this instance.

      And what is more impactful work exactly? Educating children isn’t impactful? Maybe some examples of said organizations and the work they are doing would be helpful.

    • K says...

      Just wanted to add to the chorus of voices expressing appreciation for this comment — and for the thread of comments that followed!

      Such an insightful, incisive, and measured discussion of an extremely important issue. I so appreciate the critical perspective shared here, and I love the way the people in this community exchange ideas. It gives me hope.

      (It would be so cool for Cup of Jo to follow up on this, or at least highlight the discussion taking place in the comments! Everyone can agree that Maggie and her extraordinary team are doing hard and good work, but that doesn’t diminish the validity or value of this line of criticism.)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for these notes. i appreciate your comments and am thinking deeply about the nuances here.

    • Yael says...

      My reply to this comment didn’t post, I’m not sure why. But I also wanted to say that as a non-white woman who has worked with local NGOs in Asia on issues related to women (trafficking, domestic violence, rape), I was dismayed to read the comments here that come off as saying “wow, I feel so lucky — we are so much more enlightened, well-off, and feminist than them.” It is a jarring in a postcolonial context to not unpack the host of assumptions behind such feelings. Culture is complex. There are many nuances of women’s daily lives that aren’t captured in such broad strokes, and I was happy to see Nepali’s comments about the postpartum practices. This is no criticism of Maggie, and I truly hope that she and all her children are healthy, thriving, and happy!

    • M says...

      I really appreciate these thoughtful comments, and would love to see COJ take this theme up and engage it more fully. I am a white woman whose work mostly involves mentoring younger white people who want to make a difference in the world. I find a lot of my energy and attention goes toward raising awareness of our assumptions, our language, our narratives because it can be difficult to not perpetuate savior complex, even as we celebrate good work and the desire to prompt change-for-good in the world. I’m glad that there are the Maggies of the world (and imagine many of the people I work with could be inspired by her story!), and yet I found this profile unsettling for the reasons mentioned here.

      All to say, thank you so much for this initial thoughtful comment, and for the thread that’s developed here, and to all those who do good work in their local communities. I hope COJ can engage with this more substantively in the future.

    • Ro says...

      Just adding to this – and again, like everyone said, Maggie is amazing and so is the work she is doing, she deserves this spotlight for sure – that as much as I liked reading about this, it missed the day-in-the-life of a typical family around the world that I like most about the other entries in this series.

    • Stephanie says...

      Interesting perspective but I don’t think she is trying to be a “savior.” These children are orphans in what sounds like a very poor area of Nepal. I think it was her conscience and her desire to help others that brought her here. I would be cautious of naming every white person who helps others in another country as a savior and promoting colonialistic practicies. It does not seem that she is forcing American ideals on her kids and is trying to follow the Nepalese way of life in the town they live in. Chhaupadi is also outlawed (not to mention terribly sexist) so it makes sense why she forgoes it. We need more people (of any race or gender) to reach out and do more whether it’s in our own country or in others.

  64. Jen says...

    A million WOWs.

  65. jill c. says...

    wow..i’m in total awe….what an amazing woman.

  66. Cynthia says...

    What an inspiration!

  67. Nepali says...

    Wow I’m from Nepal and don’t recognize the Nepal Maggie describes. Granted there is a deep urban/rural divide, my extended family still lives in the villages and I’ve never heard of chauppadi being practiced after birth for example. Instead women are treated like royalty during this period and feted with specially prepared meals to heal her post birth and help with milk production etc. While it’s a horrible practice, many women also treasure it as a time when they are free from household responsibilities and can just rest, something that is rare. So many of the aspects she describes in negative light to me are positives, and this negative portrayal of my country makes me sad. We’ve gone through so much as a young country (and one stuck in a very difficult geographical location) and it’s the people’s positivity and resilience that gets us through it. I guess these are the things being a foreigner doesn’t afford you the privilege to see, and why Maggie’s left the country to raise her own birth child in America.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note. i hear you that some aspects can be both difficult and positive, as with all countries. nepal sounds like an amazing place with truly incredible people. maggie loves nepal so much and wants to grow old there. she is waiting for her husband’s visa so they can return with their daughter to nepal. thank you so much for your note and for reading.

  68. Olivia says...

    This is amazing and basically mind-bending! Where does everyone sleep, though?! What does a house for 50 look like?

    ???

  69. Alexandra says...

    This sentence stuck with me most: “In the generation of women my age, it’s rare to see a woman who has gone to school and is able to write her name or read a sign or newspaper.” Wow. Maggie is at least 15 years younger than me. Thank you for sharing her story. Maggie, you are an inspiration. Will see what I can do to help.

    • Sampada says...

      Alexandra, this is a gross exaggeration. As much as I applaud Maggie’s noble work in my home country, I am thoroughly disappointed in such misrepresentation of my fellow citizens in one of my favorite CoJ series. As per Nepal’s 2011 census, literacy rate of adult female (age 15 and above) is 48.8%. It’s even higher for youth females (age 15-24) at 80.207%. So, it not at all rare for a 32 year old Nepali female to be able to write her name or read newspapers.
      https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.ADT.1524.LT.FE.ZS?locations=NP&view=chart

    • Nina says...

      My parents worked in Nepal for a while and had many female colleagues and superiors. In Kathmandu, at least, educated women were not a rarity. Thanks, Sampada, for giving us some facts!

  70. Theresa says...

    What a wonderful post!! Bravo Maggie!

  71. Sasha L says...

    I’ll join the chorus and say too, best thing COJ has ever published. Bravo.

  72. Sasha L says...

    Just wow. Maggie, you are an INSPIRATION. The impact you’ve made and are making daily, what a wonderful life. COJ, thank you so much for sharing.

    I also really appreciate the realistic and non sugar coated picture of life in Nepal depicted here. I think Maggie has captured all of the wonder and beauty, but including the challenges makes the story so much more powerful. Cheering for Nepal, I hope they keep moving in the right direction.

  73. TJ says...

    Wow. This article should be titled ‘15 Surprising Things that ordinary people do just because they can and they care’. Knowing there are people like Maggie in the world, doing good, makes me feel so happy.

    • Maggie says...

      ❤️❤️

  74. Amy says...

    Wow this is so amazing, thank you to Cup of Jo for sharing! I have a question — how does Maggie handle conflict/discipline with her students? I’m curious to how Nepalis handle this issue vs her experience as an American, plus having so many beautiful kiddos to parent! <3

  75. Nicole Holman says...

    What an amazing and inspirational woman!! I will definitely be checking out the links you provided and hopefully can support her in any way possible :-)

    It’s so sad to me to read about the opinions on women and girls in Nepal; it’s quite upsetting, honestly. I believe this is another reason we must fight for global feminism! Women deserve opportunities, education, and a chance at a future, not being a servant to her in-laws and sleeping outside where she is incredibly vulnerable.

  76. Amy says...

    Deeply inspired.

  77. Karen says...

    Lovely post, thank you Cup of Jo team and Maggie! I’m deeply moved, per always.

    I will admit that I’m livid by the practice of chhaupadi. It’s a different and difficult culture/reality for me to wrap my head around. I, too, pray for Maggie’s movement to impact the lives of her children in powerful ways. Can you add a note in your calendar in ten years to follow-up on the impact she’s made on her children’s lives? I’m dying to know if any of the girls will work jobs outside of being domestic engineers and if the boys learned the power of respect towards women.

    • A says...

      Follow Maggie on Instagram and her blog and you’ll see some of the older students already out in the world! One of her daughters was studying in Amsterdam and is now taking a gap year. It’s incredible the difference she’s made in so many lives already.

  78. It is so interesting to see how other cultures work. I had no clue about the way women are treated around their periods and childbirth, and the arranged marriages. I pray that these are all things that will quickly change and evolve for the young women living there!

    Paige
    \

  79. Angela says...

    What an incredible person. I’m in awe.

  80. Nisha says...

    What an amazing person! Puts my hope back in humanity in these dark, trying times. I for one, can’t wait to see her be a grandma and totally ace that too.
    Also, who put all these onions in my office?!

    • Sasha L says...

      Yep, cried through the whole thing, felt like my heart was going to burst.

  81. Nurul Azura Shahimi says...

    Wow, just wow! I am really happy that she could bring change to the life of her children

  82. Lisa says...

    My favorite COJ post ever. What an inspiration.

  83. Alice says...

    Absolutely inspirational, an incredible woman.

    I worked in Nepal around the time Maggie first arrived around 11 years ago, It was torn from the civil war, especially in the rural areas, but stunningly beautiful and the people I spoke to were all warm, very welcoming, and soulful. While there I worked with many teenaged girls and young women, and with those conversations in mind it makes what Maggie is doing in terms of equality and opportunities even more staggeringly good.

    Thank you for sharing this and inspiring us and reminding us to be and create the change we wish to see in the world. Best EVER parenting around the world feature!

  84. gfy says...

    Wow! Such an instant commitment to action, that is impressive. Thinking about the immense impact she is having on those girls makes me hope she is also teaching the boys how to, and why to, respect women. People commonly forget how vital it is to include boys in the transformation~
    Namaste, big sister!

  85. Mel says...

    Cried through the whole darn thing

    • Sarah says...

      Same here

  86. Paige says...

    Such a lovely interview! Thank you for featuring it! All her children are beautiful!

  87. Renee says...

    I applaud Maggie Doyne for her work, we need more people in the world like her. I am however pissed that in 2018 girls and women have to sleep in huts while menstruating. Yes we still need feminism.

  88. Wow. Just…wow.

  89. June says...

    I’m blown away. Wow. Just…wow! Incredible.

  90. Melissa says...

    What an amazing human being!

  91. Anita says...

    What an amazing woman! I am really quite speechless over everything she does. Among all the stories I daily read, it’s one of the few that I will be remembering and will tell my own children about.

  92. Meg says...

    This brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful person living out her purpose in life. Thank you for being a light, Maggie! I was inspired by you today.

  93. Silvana says...

    She is a real saint! I am speechless……….there are no words to thank her enough! I am looking at those beautiful colorful pictures full of joy and happiness despite their circumstences (…..in our eyes).

  94. Maggie! You are INCREDIBLE. Wow. I’m awestruck and speechless at your loving, selfless, joyful, full, and satisfied life! May everyone find and love their life’s purpose like you. Thanks for sharing!

  95. Briana says...

    Maggie is incredible! I’ve been following her story for years and am so pleasantly surprised to see her pop up as part of this series. Every time I read about her, it’s like any feelings of helplessness or blocks around my own goals disappear…she’s such a warm example of just going out in the world and DOING. (I feel extra warmfuzzies about her now that I’m a mom, too.)

    Thanks so much for featuring her here!

  96. Lakshmi says...

    Oh, wow. I have no words, none at all.

    Here’s to Maggie and all the wonderful kids she’s raising!

  97. Paige says...

    So interesting! I follow her on instagram and she is inspirational! I am curious about one thing – there was no mention (or maybe I missed it?) of the biological child she just recently had. Again, I could have missed it in the interview but was curious about why her newborn daughter was not mentioned.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh not for any reason! because we’re focusing on parenting overall, we were talking about all her children here. ruby is such a sweetheart. thank you so much xo