Although the new school year started just slightly over a month ago for students at Kopila Valley Children’s Home in Surkhet, Nepal, the school has been filled with a flurry of activities! The “newest little kopilas” – as they’re affectionately called by the school’s founder, Maggie Doyne – are enjoying classes, playtime and making new friends. Seven new teachers also joined the school and big plans are on the horizon for Kopila Valley’s school and health clinic!
Though the school grounds are filled with lots of smiles and back-to-school excitement, Kopila Valley has been dealing with water shortages and no electricity or Internet as Nepal worked to meet its May 27th deadline to finalize the country’s new constitution. According to Maggie, this left the school, and country, in shutdown mode. During Kopila Valley’s first full school week, the country was facing several days of political strike, meaning several days of school not being in session. Though the well has been a saving grace for everyone at the school, keeping so many children occupied for days of extreme heat and no power has proven to be quite a challenge. The students distracted themselves with an ultimate Frisbee match, scavenger hunts, singing during music month and of course, schoolwork.
As if all of this activity wasn’t enough, Kopila Valley made a huge announcement in mid-May. After years of searching, the school finally purchased their dream plot of land for the future and permanent site of Kopila Valley School! Tucked in a valley amidst fruit trees and fertile land, Surkhet’s first sacred temple, and a farmhouse, the location is perfect. The new construction will allow Kopila Valley to expand and offer 9th and 10th grade. In her blog post, Maggie writes, “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of big dreams for the future . . . I am so excited for Kopila Valley and honored that I get to keep living my dream each day, doing what I love and bearing witness to the children blooming before my very eyes.”