Full Transparency

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

by Maggie Doyne

I took over the BlinkNow Instagram story a few days ago and tried my best to do a "day in the life" series of stories. But at the end of each day, I felt conflicted. Inevitably my story turned into the cutesy-rosy-adorable moments and not much else. I hadn’t Instagrammed the moments working at my desk, or in long, drawn-out meetings or phone calls. On Instagram, there are no moments of drama, conflict, problems, or internal worries.

Sometimes I can’t Instagram the hard things because it would be an invasion of privacy for one of our children or team members. Other times it’s just because in the mundane or difficult moments, you don’t think to pull out your phone. But what I realized from those days sharing our Instagram story is that it’s easy to show the successes, but harder to show the struggles and the difficult things we're up against to get to that success.

A scene from Surkhet.
Photo credit: Jeremy Regimbal/MPWR Change

At the children's home, we've recently taken in some new children. You see them laughing and playing but you haven’t seen their tragedies, and you’ll never know about the unthinkable things that have happened which got them here. You see the women in the Women’s Center weaving and sewing and in their workshops. They're smiling and laughing and they exude confidence, but you don’t see what it took to get them there, nor what they endure on a daily basis. You see our students up on stage performing, brushing their teeth, eating lunch, and learning in their classrooms. But you don't see the reality that they go home to each day, their losses, and the challenges that they are truly up against. 

It’s the nature of social media, and I know everyone here realizes it only shows one part of the picture, but still, I feel the need to say in full transparency that there is always more happening behind the scenes. In these past few days alone, a young teenager came asking for help because her uncle was trying to marry her off to someone in exchange for a payoff of his $7,000 loan. She swallowed a bottle of medicine in an attempt to end her life. The forestry department opens up the local forest every few weeks in Nepal and one of our staff members went this weekend to bring back wood for his family and leaves for their animals. He fell 30+ feet from a tree and had to be rushed to the hospital, where he's in critical condition. There was a disagreement in our board meeting that took 7 hours of mediation. Up at the construction site, we're dealing with a land dispute over a recent property acquisition and it has been incredibly stressful.

Maggie and Ruby
Photo credit: Jeremy Regimbal/MPWR Change

There are other things too, like the fact that I leave Ruby for work in the morning and often don’t see her until the evening when it’s getting dark. I feel conflicted about being a mother to her while working so much. I feel torn about coming home and needing to nurse her and spend time with her and balancing that out with enough time with my other kids. 

There is garbage burning on the streets here every morning and evening everywhere I look. The other day my kids and some program directors went to go play a game of ping pong and literally got smoked out by our neighbors' garbage. We’ve been fighting bedbugs all summer… Ohh how the list goes on and on.

The realities of life.
Photo credit: Jeremy Regimbal/MPWR Change

Long story short, there is so so so much beauty and magic here. You see it on social media, it’s a beautiful window into our world and I love sharing it.  But I want you to know and see every day, that despite our best efforts, it’s filtered.  And often times, many of the things that don’t get Instagrammed are usually stories worth telling. Our organization struggles with how we tell them while protecting privacy and the rights of our children, our organization, and the people we serve. I wish there was a better way to share it all.



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