Gisele Bolton (Nepal)

Gisele Bolton

Gisele Bolton (Vikalp Women’s Group in India and CONCERN in Nepal): Prior to her fellowship, Gisele earned a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MA from City University London. Gisele volunteered in Honduras and Kenya, where she taught English and developed a connection to children with special needs. She also interned in the US with The Advocates for Human Rights and The Nonviolent Peaceforce. After working with transgender people at Vikalp, Gisele wrote: “One size doesn't fit all and we must always remember that.” About her fellowship at CONCERN she wrote: “(It was) enriching both professionally and personally! I always felt very supported and learned so much more about grant writing, fundraising, communications and development. I feel that is an area I'd now like to work in.” After finishing her fellowship with CONCERN, Gisele accepted another job in Nepal.

15 Dec

A Family Bound by Bricks

Janak Shrestha, his wife Gurans, and their six-year-old son have traveled from Kavre, Banepa to Bhaktapur to work for Brahmayam Mahabir to make bricks for the next six months. The Shrestha family innocently took a 20,000 rupee ($200 USD) advance from a middleman five months ago. Like thousands of families throughout Nepal, Janak gave in […]

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Posted Dec 15, 2014

20 Nov

Changing Seasons, the Brick Kilns Begin

The rain has ended. There air is now cool. Rice fields have been harvested. Dasain and Tihar festivals have come and gone. For thousands living in Nepal the changing season means work begins in the brick kilns. For children of brick kiln employees, the changing season means leaving behind their homes, schools, and a feeling […]

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Posted Nov 20, 2014

12 Oct

Brick kiln employment and recommendations from CONCERN

How are employees recruited for work in brick kilns? The first weeks of October when the monsoon season ends brick kiln owners send their middle men, brokers, to recruit workers from small, impoverished villages throughout Nepal. There are over 500 brick kilns in Kathmandu Valley and 90% of brick kiln employees are migrant workers. Brokers […]

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Posted Oct 12, 2014

16 Sep

One month in Nepal

The past month at CONCERN has been extremely eventful! I have been busy familiarizing myself with CONCERN’s past work, current projects and their goals for the future. The team here is an engaging, energetic group that I feel so fortunate to work with. I have already learned more than I could have ever imagined in […]

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Posted Sep 16, 2014

05 Sep

Income Generation Program

“I didn’t want to study anymore” says Ramesh, now 18, about dropping out of school at the age of 13. He then traveled from his home in Nepal to India to work with his parents. He worked in a candy shop for a few years where the employers treated him badly and kept most of […]

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Posted Sep 05, 2014

21 Aug

Expect the Unexpected… Nepal!

My five weeks volunteering with Vikalp Women’s Group has been a challenging journey that compelled me to grow in ways that I could never imagine. Although I anticipated a life-altering experience, it happened in a way I never expected. My time with Vikalp taught me to adapt to unforeseeable changes and to accept situations out […]

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Posted Aug 21, 2014

04 Aug

Strength Through Community

I recently visited the Vikalp field office in Chhotaudaipar, a rural area located three hours from the Vadodara main office. I spent the weekend getting to know the lively staff and dynamic community while learning about the different programs Vikalp facilitates. The programs and activities at the Chhotaudaipar office focus primarily on HIV/AIDS prevention and […]

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Posted Aug 04, 2014

20 Jul

Adventures in Laundry

It was a busy week at the office hammering out details and plans for the rest of the summer, drafting proposals, and training a new volunteer – which we are very grateful for! Wrapping up the week and having a day off was certainly welcomed. Sunday is the one day off in the week and […]

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Posted Jul 20, 2014

14 Jul

First Day At The Vikalp Office: A Special Case

The Vikalp office is a busy place constantly humming with energy – people coming and going with various questions, concerns, reports, or to just stop in and visit. One of Vikalp’s main charges is to support the village women in continuing to hold court cases that allows marginalized women access to the legal system On […]

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Posted Jul 14, 2014

02 Jul

Video Diary 1.5 VISA!

While waiting for my visa, I shared the work that Vikalp does to promote women’s rights in India with the women in my family. It is a beautiful connection; a bridge between strong women from Wisconsin and strong women in India. I asked all of the women in my family to share one word that […]

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Posted Jul 02, 2014

26 Jun

Video Diary #1 Chippewa Edition

Check out my first video blog! 

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Posted Jun 26, 2014

18 Jun


Since leaving training in Washington D.C  I have been back in my hometown Chippewa Falls, WI. I have been back for three weeks now still waiting for my visa but I have made good use of this time! I have been fortunate experiencing an enormous amount of support and excitement from family, friends, and the […]

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Posted Jun 18, 2014

31 May

Better late than never!

What an incredible (exciting, adventurous, overwhelming, amazing) opportunity I’ve been given! I discovered just two short weeks ago that I was accepted as a Peace Fellow for The Advocacy Project working with Vikalp Women’s Group in Gujarat, India. Is this real? In those two weeks I had to prepare (leave my job, move out of […]

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Posted May 31, 2014





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