When we walked into the Kopila Valley Children’s Home for the first time, the first thing I heard was children’s laughter. It was everywhere; no matter where you went, you couldn’t escape that wonderful sound. Within five minutes of sitting down inside, a little girl – Maya – crawled into my lap. Ever since that moment, there has always been a child running up to say hello, asking me what my favorite color is, holding my hand as I walk down the hall, crawling into my lap, giving me a big hug, or just flashing one of those big, bright smiles that says it all – happiness.
Bishal - the happiest 2-year-old I know
These kids are so incredibly happy. When Maggie arrived with the new car for the first time, I watched the kids’ faces. One boy, Nabin, screeched with delight as he was lifted up to look at the inside of the car. I can honestly say I have never seen such happiness on a child’s face before. Even after being here a week, I’ve only seen the youngest child, who is 2, cry once. It amazed me then, and still does now, how open, generous, caring, and loving these kids are. They are big bundles of love and will hold you tight until the end of time if you let them. This is a testament to the environment of Kopila Valley Children’s Home and what Maggie Doyne has provided for them here.
The main message here is peace and love. Yes, the kids have a roof over their heads, and their own set of clothes, and three meals a day, and they go to school. But this would be nothing without the importance that Maggie places on family, respect and caring for others. Everyone looks after each other (very necessary for such a big family) and is treated equally. The kids are incredibly self-sufficient too, and all pitch in to help with the chores. They share their feelings at the end of each day at “satsung,” a type of family meeting. And you can see in their eyes the genuine love that they feel for each other. This is a family unlike any other.
Nabin and Krishna painting the mural
It just goes to show you how providing a loving home and safe environment can open up a child and allow them to grow. These kids have been through so much already, many with tragic backgrounds and coming from seemingly hopeless situations. But here they are now, running around laughing, smiling, eager to learn, playing, and loving with all of their hearts. They are blossoming here each and every day and it’s because Maggie has shown them love.
Me and Shanti
Of course there are so many more children in the world who are in desperate need of such an environment, and it’s sad to think about the stats. But Maggie and her kids have given me hope and shown me that there is nothing more powerful for positively making a difference in someone’s life than a loving environment. The Beatles truly had it right – “All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”