WHO WE ARE
WHO WE ARE
Conscious Impact believes that change takes time, and that only through long-term partnership can deep transformation take place. For this reason, we strive to develop relationships of depth with rural communities around the world. To do this, we have created our first “Camp” (local headquarters) based in Takure, Nepal and have begun to foster dialogue, trust, respect and understanding. From this foundation, we are building programs and projects that are inclusive, respectful, conscious and effective. We invite international volunteers of all backgrounds to join our Camps to offer skilled or unskilled labor, financial donations, and compassionate service to the local community. Currently, Conscious Impact is partnered with only one community, Takure, a small village in rural Nepal. Our hope is to grow our impact to support other communities around the world.
We strive to expand horizons and create community as we work together to learn, grow, and build. We believe that humanity must unite to meet global challenges with sustainable solutions. We understand that we gain peace, harmony & happiness through serving others, ourselves, and Earth. We are friends and family, from all nations and backgrounds, working together from the ground up to explore healthy and practical alternative solutions to challenges faced by rural communities, starting in Nepal. Our goal is to inspire, mobilize and train volunteers to serve others with compassion. We create cross-cultural collaborations and encourage selfless service. We share. We live and learn, together. We partner with the local community to ensure that our programs are truly helpful, relevant and driven by local leadership from within the community.
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNER
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNER
Thirty five kilometers and five hours northeast of Kathmandu, in the foothills of the Himalayas, the community of Takure sits on a ridgeline looking down into the valley and up into the snow capped peaks of the Langtang Range. Here, more than 200 households with over 800 residents, survive farming the terraced lands with rice, corn, millet and wheat. Almost every family cares for multiple animals - cows, goats, buffalo and chickens. For that reason, milk and composted manure are two of the areas most abundant resources. The mountains are quiet, with the horns of occasional passing trucks or the hollers of local men and women communicating across their fields. The children go to school in the local primary schools, and the older youth attend two local secondary schools. While there are a few local community college courses, most youth leave to the cities for higher education. In fact these days, many young children are also sent to boarding schools in larger towns and Kathmandu, and many families leave completely for better opportunities in education and work. Young men and women from around Nepal leave for the Middle East for work, and Takure is no different with many local young men seeking job opportunities abroad. Still, the community is vibrant, with an active cultural, social and economic life. Weddings are a common site, and often music blasts throughout the night. The culture is diverse and complex. More than 5 different major ethnic groups live within the community and nearby areas including Brahmin, Tamang, Newari, Chetri, Rana Magar, Dahal and more. There are three primary languages in the area - Nepali, Tamang and Newari - though Nepali dominates most conversations.
Conscious Impact is still new to this community, having just completed our third year of operations. We are only beginning to understand the complexities and intricacies of the local community, and each day is an exploration of language barriers, cultural misunderstandings and differing expectations. Yet, day-by-day we find ways to deepen our connection and to slowly and steadily build trust, respect and shared vision. This year we strengthened our relationship to the local government, to our local staff and to the community as a whole. We held an open vision meeting with more than 80 community members to discuss plans for future projects. And we continued our Household Visit program to allow volunteers and community members time for open discussion and connection.
Overall, we are excited to continue deepening this relationship, through the fun and the challenges, so that our projects continue to strengthen and our impact grow for generations to come.
We’re a diverse group of individuals from all over the globe, each with something unique to offer. We respect that we have our differences, but we also love how different we all are, and make it our mission to treat each other equally and fairly. It’s inspiring when we come together an use our unique abilities to achieve our goals.
But we don’t just work together as volunteers, we work together in and as a part of the communities that we serve. It’s a simple but powerful way of ensuring that we’re not only creating relevant solutions but also deep connections with each other.
Serving others and ourselves is what we love to do. We believe in serving wholeheartedly because that’s when the magic happens. When we’re serving, love pours from everywhere, positive energy surrounds everything we do, we have more fun and we attract like- minded people. It truly is a contagious way of life.
Giving everything also means we’re here for the long term. We’re committed to our local communities. Giving all of our time and energy to them and our projects guarantees that we can serve them and ourselves properly.
We believe in a world of countless opportunities, from a place to gain new knowledge about sustainable practices to developing new connections with others and ourselves to regenerating land that was once lost to even just using a compost latrine for the first time.
We’re creating empowering and safe spaces to help our volunteers and local partners achieve all of our (collective and personal) goals. Anything is possible, and we believe all it takes is an open mind and the freedom to pursue it.
We’re leading a new way of international development. And good leaders need to lead by example.
We take responsibility for our actions and acknowledge our failures. We lead with courage and are the first to walk through fire. Honesty is the best policy so we’re always truthful and open. And we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, whilst still taking care of ourselves and others. By walking our talk, we become people that others want to follow. Ultimately inspiring greatness in each other and our community.
We try to be aware in everything we do. Aware of the impact we have on each other and the environment around us. Aware of ours and the Earth’s limits. Aware of who or what we’re grateful for every day.
Being aware allows us to open ourselves to new ideas and knowledge, to live peacefully without violence and to help us grow into not only a better organisation but better people, too. It’s a constant pursuit and it’s not always easy, but when you open your mind and your heart, the possibilities are endless.
Co-founders Allen Gula, Orion Haas, and Juliette Maas started Conscious Impact in Nepal only days after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015. Coming down from Everest Base Camp, Gula and Haas felt the first quake on the trail. As they descended into the epicenter - the extent of the tragedy became clear. The next few weeks were spent delivering immediate relief materials to rural communities which helped them prepare for the approaching monsoon season. The need for a sustainable, long-term building solution became clear. After much research, the trio discovered Auroville Earth Institute and their Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEBs) which were perfect for developing communities in rural Nepal. During a CSEB and Rammed Earth training in Kathmandu, they met Dheeraj Mishra, a Nepali man recently returned from working abroad with a shared vision for his village. The damage in the small village of Takure was immense. Located close to the epicenter, all but one of the 245 homes had been destroyed. That fall they began building a volunteer camp and community relationships in their new home of Takure. A brick press was on its way and there was a lot of work to be done. The rest is history.