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.

Expect the Unexpected… Nepal!

21 Aug

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 of my control.

My fellowship is now being redirected, and while my time with Vikalp is over, the opportunity and challenges have impacted me forever. Most of all, it is the people who have touched my life that will always be with me.

This brief moment of time spent with the women of Vikalp gave me the gift of invaluable experiences. Through challenges, disappointment, and close reflection came inevitable growth. I will strive to never take for granted the value of friendship, the power of strong-willed women, and that the profound gentleness of a stranger can move someone to carry on. I learned to accept that things do not always go as planned and that lessons can be learned in different ways, ways you may have never expected.

I have grown both personally and professionally and I owe this to the incredible people I have met. This experience has changed the way I want to approach life and how I respond to every challenge that will come my way. These women, their stories, and their struggles have taught me to embrace life.

That being said – I am thrilled to share I have embraced the opportunity to continue my fellowship with Concern for Children and Environment – Nepal. CONCERN-Nepal has been working for the interests of children’s rights in Nepal since 1993 with the objective of advocating children’s rights and improving the social and natural environment of Nepalese children. This is the first year The Advocacy Project has partnered with CONCERN and the Peace Fellow who has been here the past 12 weeks has built a very strong partnership and friendship that I am excited to be part of.

I will work with CONCERN in their mission towards the eradication of child labor, specifically for children working in dangerous brick kilns. CONCERN would like to focus on a rescue and rehabilitation program that would rescue children working in the brick kilns and provide them safe housing, education opportunities, and access to health and sanitation services.

In this field it is vital to be flexible, adaptable and embrace challenges as opportunities to grow. I am excited for this new, unexpected opportunity and look forward to the next journey of my fellowship!

Posted By Gisele Bolton

Posted Aug 21st, 2014


  • Linda Rushmann

    August 22, 2014


    Oh GG whatever you do and wherever you do it you will be WONDERFUL and helpful and inspiring. It is the fiber of who you are and where you have come from. It is all the women in your family behind you. I am so proud to know all of you.

  • Shannon Orcutt

    August 27, 2014


    Good luck Gisele! I hope you have an amazing time in Nepal and I’m sorry that things in India proved so challenging. These fellowships are definitely making us stronger!

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