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education

Back to School

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Back to School

With Season 4 underway, our Youth Empowerment Program, led by Alyson Sagala, was kicked off by hosting empowerment sessions at both the Nawalpur and Aiselu Kharkha secondary schools.

We are building upon our established Girls’ Empowerment Program to include boys as well, and held our first co-ed sessions. These sessions provide space for boys and girls ages 13-17 years old to connect and grow in areas of self-awareness, identity and community relationships. Our youth programs have been working with local children and teenagers for over 3 years, and we have been able to build strong relationships with our school communities.

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We are excited to announce that we are currently looking to hire a Nepali educator who will serve as our permanent youth program coordinator. We believe this addition to our staff will enable us to deepen our youth programming in the area and build upon our past successes. We are endlessly grateful for all the hard work, dedication, commitments, and connections made by so many volunteers that have contributed over the past three years. We are looking forward to this next chapter, and to strengthen our relationships with the young people of this community.

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Youth Program Update

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Youth Program Update

Namaste from the Conscious Impact camp! We have some wonderful updates about what's been going on with the Youth Outreach program so far during Season 3. 

Long term volunteers Polly Gunton, Kendra McGowan, and Meghan Fox led by community partner Kumari Bomjam led the charge on building a garden and cob play-bench at the orphanage in Asilah Khakar. The aim of this project was to introduce a nourishing and natural element to the children's living space, and having them actively participate in the construction of their garden and play area. The garden project was commenced in November 2017, and the cob bench is on its way to being completed, with only a few more plaster layers needed in the coming weeks. 

With the return of Youth Outreach director Alyson Sagala in early March, Girls Empowerment programming was able to commence for 4 short sessions before the beginning of exams and time off for Nepali New Year. A highlight of the sessions included having groups of volunteers teach the girls how to make dreamcatchers, which were then sold for profit for a micro-business planning project. They also held a session for International Women's Day, and had a school-wide Sexual Reproductive Health day where core Girls Group members taught girls from other classes about menstruation, sexual anatomy, and self-defense.

As soon as school recommences in mid-April, the Youth Outreach team will continue environmental awareness and waste management workshops at the primary level, and will expand Girls Empowerment Programming to include young men at the secondary level, with the intention of inviting them to positive masculinity workshops. 

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Youth Outreach Program Update: End of the Year Summary

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Youth Outreach Program Update: End of the Year Summary

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2017 is coming to an end and our Youth Outreach program is excited to share with you an update on their 2017 projects! Here is a summary of the major projects and programming we led thorughout the year.


Shakya Jenisha and Alyson Sagala teamed up to start the Girls Empowerment Program at the Nawalpur Secondary School, where they met once a week to run workshops and classes around female identity, expression, safety, and sexual health education. Alyson and Jenisha received materials from the organization Days for Girls to help aid in teaching reproductive health in the secondary school. The girls were nervous yet excited to learn more about their bodies, a conversation that is not common throughout schools in Nepal.


Co-Coordinator Ellen Stewart created and facilitated a series of workshops at both the primary and secondary level at multiple schools in our area which focused on waste management and environmental sustainability. The curriculum centered around teaching concepts like biodegradability and climate change, as well as engaging students with hands-on projects like building cob waste bins at their schools. 

As an initiative to create an inclusive community between volunteers and locals we invited local students on field trips to the Conscious Impact camp. We held field trips for the students at Bimire and Takure Primary, where students visited the camp and learned about the nature of Conscious Impact's work with sustainable rebuilding and regenerative agro-forestry. Students planted trees alongside our agriculture team, learned about compost, and watched the CSEB brick making process.

Co-Coordinator Lily Foster helped facilitate and organize art classes at Nawalpur Secondary in the mornings before regular classes. Students were thrilled to learn watercolor painting techniques (using donated paints!), basic sketching, and paper maché!

Volunteers continued to visit both the Takure and Bimire Primary School to hold play-oriented learning classes with students ages 3-11 years old. Many volunteers over the course of the season helped to paint classrooms at Takure Primary and Nawalpur Secondary School. We worked alongside students to paint and decorate their classrooms, turning their once dark classrooms into an engaging and playful learning environment. 

Thank you to volunteer Yotam Machat and Joshua Umesh who led a playground design project using recycled materials. Volunteers and students worked together to build a caterpillar playground structure made from cement and recycled car tires.

Thank you to volunteer Laurie Tobia who led projects in painting murals around the community. Laurie, with the help of some students and volunteers, painted a beautiful mural at the Bimire Primary School.


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A special thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who contributed their time and energy to the Youth Outreach Program this past season! Thank you to our education coordinators Alyson Sagala, Ellen Stewart, Lily Foster, and Shakya Jenisha for leading these amazing projects. Thank you to Jonathan Lee for photographing these projects.


The Youth Outreach program is always looking for volunteers interested in non-traditional learning and youth/girls empowerment! Those interested in staying long term will have the opportunity to develop and implement their own programming and curriculum if they wish to do so, with guidance from coordinators like myself and local teachers. 

We hope to see you in 2018!

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Sexual Reproductive Health Class

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Sexual Reproductive Health Class

On Friday April 28th, Conscious Impact’s Education Team held another meeting of the Girls’ Empowerment Program at Nawalpur Secondary School. The program has reconvened with the start of the Nepali school year.

We hadn’t been able to meet for almost 4 weeks as school was out on holiday, which gave the team ample time to plan for this extra informative session. The meeting focused on knowledge surrounding sexual reproductive health — reproductive organs, sexual health, and the science behind menstruation. The girls who participated in the meeting ranged from the ages of 12 to 17. Even though visiting NGOs had previously done presentations on the same subject at the school, they did not describe in detail the scientific processes behind sexual intercourse or menstruation.

The session started by asking the girls what they knew about their bodies, how they managed their periods, and misconceptions regarding why menstruation happens in our bodies. The girls seemed a bit shy at first, but the reality was they actually knew so little about their internal anatomy. It was intensely rewarding to have the girls slowly become more inquisitive and engaged as they began to ask questions, and gave input about what they thought was happening when they experienced their cycles each month.

We were amazingly lucky to have access to educational materials (in Nepali!) provided by Days for Girls Nepal, an international NGO that focuses on providing sexual reproductive health education and menstruation hygiene materials, such as eco-pads, to women around the world.

We ended the meeting by having the girls chant in a circle, “I love my body,” in Nepali and cheer as we celebrated the beauty and power of ourselves as women.

The team is excited to continue meeting as many times as possible until the end of the season.

Written By: Alyson Segala / Alysonnoele.com

Photography: Johathan H. Lee

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Cob Trash Bins in Nawalpur

Cob Trash Bins in Nawalpur

Ellen and Alyson came up to Nawalpur Secondary School to teach groups of students how to build with cob. After the environmental awareness workshop at the end of last month, they followed up the curriculum with helping the students to build trash bins on their campus out of cob. 

The intention of building with cob rather than buying a plastic trashcan, is that cob is a zero impact method of building that will not produce any more waste. The students had a fun, active day of mixing soil, sand, cow dung, clay, and straw to help construct bins that will hopefully reduce the amount of plastic and paper litter spread across their campus. 

Takure School Field Trip

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Takure School Field Trip

We hosted the Takure Primary School children at camp for a on-site field trip. In the tipi, we gave the children a short orientation about the history of Conscious Impact, and the reasons we focus on sustainable living. After a short lunch, we showed the students our composting system, talked about the importance of organic agricultural practices, and taught them how to properly plant fruit trees.

We then took the students to the Training Center, and showed the students how we locally produce CSEBs. We explained the importance of ethically sourced building materials, and how we hope to support the community by continuing to make and sell affordable bricks. 

The children clearly enjoyed all the ways they got to participate in daily camp activities. Hopefully it won’t be the last time they come to learn and help out.

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The First Sustainability Workshop at the Nawalpur School

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The First Sustainability Workshop at the Nawalpur School

Alyson and Ellen taught a workshop on environmental awareness and sustainability at the Nawalpur Secondary School with a group of 7th graders. The focus of the workshop was to go over basic environmental science concepts, like the carbon cycle and the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials.

The workshop was a great opportunity to engage local Nepali teenagers and ask them what they know about local waste management practices and allow them to brainstorm ways it can be improved. As our first time at the Nawalpur Secondary School, it was a great introduction to interacting with older age groups in our area, and inspiring future programming that promotes sustainability and green values in the next generation of young Nepalis. 

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Painting The Takure School

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Painting The Takure School

At the beginning of the new year, the Takure Primary School teachers invited us to help paint one of their new classroom buildings that was constructed by PLAN UNICEF last Spring. We came down in the morning with a large group of volunteers from our 10-day build and set to work! 

We allowed groups of students to take turns and help us so they could participate in making their place of learning a little more colorful! As you can see from these photos, the kids had a wonderful time engaging in a play-oriented activity that contributed to the beautification of their school. Our goal with the education program is to continue doing activities with children that promote creativity and independent thinking in traditional school spaces. 

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