Lauren Purnell (Nepal)

Lauren Purnell

Lauren completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia in Anthropology and East Asian Studies in 2011. After graduation, she joined the international law firm of White & Case LLP as a practice assistant. For four years she assisted on cases related to white collar crime and international arbitration. However, after assisting on pro bono cases for asylum seekers she was inspired to change the direction of her life and focus on the development of safer societies. She is currently earning her MA in International Relations and Economics from John Hopkins SAIS, with a concentration on International Development. After her fellowship, Lauren wrote: "I am so grateful for the opportunity the Advocacy Project has given to engage with an organization doing such meaningful and fulfilling work."

04 Sep

The people making it all possible

I had an amazing summer at CONCERN-Nepal, in large part to due to my wonderful coworkers. Bijaya, Sundar and Prakash all made me feel very welcome and I think together we made very good progress for CONCERN. I spent the most time with Sundar. Sundar is a field officer at CONCERN-Nepal, who I have mentioned […]

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Posted Sep 04, 2016

09 Aug

Remittances, dreams or nightmares?

  Every time we interview a group of children, there is at least one child that has a father working abroad. Remittances make up 32.3% of Nepal’s GDP (World Bank Data), so it shouldn’t be surprising that basically everyone seems to know someone doing migrant labor. I have met people with family working in Malaysia, […]

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Posted Aug 09, 2016

01 Aug

Two Kinds of Contracting

During my trip to Ramechhap I interviewed two contractors. The contractors in the village in Ramechhap are responsible for finding as many workers as they can to come to the brick kilns near Kathmandu to work for six months. They use the lure of large advances in order to procure a commitment from these workers […]

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Posted Aug 01, 2016

22 Jul

What’s a Child Friendly Room?

This week I had pleasure of interviewing Meera Gurung, who is a facilitator at a Child Friendly Room in Kathmandu. The Child Friendly Rooms came about after the earthquake last year when many schools were closed. The closing of schools and destruction of homes, meant that many children had no safe place to go during […]

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Posted Jul 22, 2016

17 Jul

Already Adults at Thirteen

Tuesday was a long day of interviews which started with an extra long bus ride from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur. Our first interview of the day was with Muskan Tamang. She gave the impression of a quiet and serious young girl. Eventually it became apparent that most students 12 or older tended to have a more […]

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Posted Jul 17, 2016

10 Jul

Introductions are in order…

Now that I’ve sat down with 13 of the 25 students I’ll be profiling, I’d like to start introducing a few of them to you. First are the students that Sundar and I interviewed in Imadol, Sanu, Buddhi and Deepak. Not one of them was over 11 years old, and yet they had more work […]

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Posted Jul 10, 2016

01 Jul

Earthquakes and Floods a.k.a Business as Usual

  In the past two weeks, I think I’ve experienced what constitutes a fast-paced week at CONCERN and what would be a particularly slow week. The fast week came first. CONCERN staff were working jointly on a proposal with Change & Development for Our Rural Society (CDORS) which was due in five days time. Even with this rapidly approaching deadline, the […]

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Posted Jul 01, 2016

23 Jun

Dog Days are Underway and Other Stray Thoughts

  The streets of Kathmandu are littered with litters. The minute you step out on the street you are bound to see at least one dog taking a nap on the street or nosing through some trash in search of scraps. Now I don’t consider myself a dog person, and prior to Nepal there were […]

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Posted Jun 23, 2016

16 Jun

Not Quite the Hero, Not Quite the Villain

I’m visiting my first brick kiln and its obvious we wouldn’t be walking around if we hadn’t been given express permission. The guard on the premises allows us to pass, but keeps a close watch. There is no fence protecting the stock of bricks or factory itself. I guess thieves and trespassers aren’t much of […]

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Posted Jun 16, 2016

09 Jun

The Transition from Know-It-All to Human

                        When you’ve just finished your first year of graduate school, then you might know that while you may have spent the past year opening your mind to new ideas, you probably also spent it being a know-it-all. Because let’s face it, if you […]

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Posted Jun 09, 2016

27 May

My New Toolbox

This week of training with The Advocacy Project has provided me with a shiny new set of tools. Some of these tools are hammers and nails that I can use anywhere. Once I arrive in Kathmandu it should be easy to compose a photo or a blog post. Just like using a hammer and nails. […]

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Posted May 27, 2016





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