SURKHET, Jan 27: American lady Maggie Doyne, who has been operating a school for poor and orphan children here, has been facing problems as the government has denied her a residential visa. For the past three years, she has been helping children of Nepal using a tourist visa.
Doyne runs the Kopila Valley School at Bhairavsthan, Surkhet, which she built on her own. She has asked the government several times to grant her a residential visa to no avail.
“My visa expires in three months. After that, I will have to go back to the United States and get a fresh visa,” she complained. Doyne said for the past three years, she has been going back to the United States every five or six months of her stay in Nepal to get a new visa. The 24-year-old has been operating the school with funds collected with the help of her friends and family in America.
Of the 200 children studying at her school, eighty percent are orphans or former laborers, according to the school´s management committee. For their studies, the school spends Rs 600,000 every month.
“All the cost is being managed with Doyne´s assistance,” said Top Bahadur Malla, chairman of the school management committee. “If it weren´t for her, all these children would have been denied education,” Malla added. According to Malla, only 40 students at the school, admitted through open competition, pay fees.
Doyne said the requirement to submit a plan to invest US $ 100,000 for being eligible for a residential visa has put her in a fix. “I have been collecting money from well wishers to meet the expenses,” she said, and shot a question, “How can I manage such a huge sum of money?”
Doyne, who was in India for her studies, met Malla four years ago and came to Nepal. She visited many districts in the mid-west and saw the plight of Nepalese children. That led to the idea of setting up a school for them. “My heart wept on seeing orphans and children working on the streets,” she said. “I started the school to ensure them a good future.” After setting up the school, with the help of Malla, she herself had to discontinue studies.
Malla said the school´s future will be uncertain if Doyne is not allowed a residential visa. Stating that the government of India gave her a visa for 10 years when she was there, Malla said, “Why is our government hesitating to grant residential visa to a person who has been putting so much effort to educate Nepali children?
This is disgraceful. The Nepalese Government should be ashamed of themselves. The very existence of the Kopila home and school is an investment in itself.
Give Maggie Doyne a residential visa without any further delay.
I wish the requirements for getting a residential visa were less stringent for the case such as this. Hats off to Maggie Doyne and team for your continued charitable efforts!!
It is obvious those in Nepal Goverment want $$$. If I was Maggie Doyne I would let the orphans and poor starve to death. That is what the Brahimin bureaucrats in Singhe Durbar want.
Dr. Jitendra Bajrac harya
This is really sad. But practically, this is quite a serious crime, from the side of the state. This is wrong and the Nepal Government needs to take stern actions to correct these flaws. The school´s future is not expendable, the school is the future for those kids.
Yet another example of selfish governance, Maggie is an exceptional social worker and to categorize her as an entrepreneur is just very embarrassing.
For once the politicians could think for the best interest of the country.