Kirstin Yanisch (Nepal)

Kirstin Yanisch graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Political Science and French. During her time at Wellesley, she spent a January term studying women and the political economy of Ghana at the University of Ghana Legon. Following this experience, she conducted field research on women’s leadership and empowerment initiatives in local microfinance groups in the Siddi community in rural Karnataka India before spending a year studying French in Aix-en-Provence, France. During this time, Kirstin interned with the Red Cross Migrant service in Marseilles, assisting asylum seekers with filing their applications. She was named a Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs fellow during her senior year of college and interned with the United Nation Foundation’s Every Woman, Every Child initiative following graduation. She then taught English in southwestern France for a year. Afterwards, she interned with the American Refugee Committee’s headquarters office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Currently, Kirstin is enrolled in Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program. Upon returning from working in Nepal with the National Network for the Families of the Disappeared(NEFAD) Kirsten reflected, "I am very grateful to the Advocacy Project for the opportunity of a lifetime. Through my time with the fellowship, I was challenged to translate humanitarian principles into action and was surrounded by people who became incredible friends."

Reflections after Return

12 Sep

Swayambhunath Stupa

I’ve returned to Washington D.C. after an unforgettable summer in Nepal, and I think I will be reflecting on it for a long time to come. I am so grateful for the friends and relationships forged through NEFAD and for the opportunities I had there. It was a true gift.

On Vicky’s last night in Kathmandu, we were sitting at a local restaurant and I asked her to name top five memories from a summer that was so chock full of adventure. After she left, I kept trying to think about my top five memories from the summer.

So here for my last post, are my Top Five favorite memories of Nepal.

5. International Giving

In such a difficult time in the U.S.’s history, when impulses of protectionism and cynicism are strong, I watched friends and family members rally to support people they didn’t know, who lived in a place unfamiliar to them.  My work in Nepal was possible only because of your care and support. You funded a project to launch a business. You read my posts. Many of you sought to learn more about a crime that doesn’t often make the newspapers back home. When headlines in the news make me wonder some days whether or not we have forgotten how to support one another, you gave. You gave financially, you gave of your time to learn, and you gave me hope.

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4. Learning about Nepal’s cultural and religious traditions


Boudhanath Stupa

Nepal is full of natural beauty and a multitude of cultures and religions. From Hinduism, to Buddhism, to local holidays and celebrations, I was fortunate to learn a bit about the diverse traditions and cultures of Nepal.

3. Adventure

From getting stuck in a bus behind a landslide to paragliding in Pokhara, my time in Nepal was never short on adventure.


Paragliding in Pokhara


2. An incredible team

From Prabal Thapa, our NEFAD associate to the incredible cohort of AP fellows based in Nepal, the shared laughter and hard work made this summer possible.



Nepal’s AP Fellows: Vicky, Cynthia, Rachel and Me


Prabal Thapa

1. The courage of the Bardiya Women’s Conflict Group Cooperative

I will never forget their stories, hard work, and perseverance. From enduring hardship to launching a business and empowering one another, you all amazed and inspired me.


The Bardiya Women’s Cooperative

Thank you to the Advocacy Project, Georgetown, family, and friends for making this experience possible. To my friends in Nepal, I miss you already.

Posted By Kirstin Yanisch (Nepal)

Posted Sep 12th, 2017

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