Maggie, who left her hometown of Morristown, New Jersey at just 18 years old with the intention of a backpacking trek during a gap year, is now a mother to 40 orphans and the founder and Principal of the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School in Surkhet, Nepal.
Cara Valentino’s passion for the region came later in life. It began with her website, Mia Amicas Globally, which sells handicraft made by underserved Nepalese women, and resulted in the establishment of The Kopila Women’s Center.
Now the two have partnered to address the community’s sanitation and energy needs with the help of a biogas digester. The digester will convert human waste into the clean, safe methane gas used for cooking and gas lanterns. Subsequently, the school will no longer experience the frequent gas shortages prohibiting cooking, and left over energy waste, to be used as fertilizer, will increase the harvest of the Kopila Garden. The toilet system will also improve a dangerous waste water condition, and provide members of the women’s center with the means to create products requiring cooking; ultimately, leading to additional income. Food safety and cooking classes are also on the horizon.