2011 Bites the Dust…

by Tamara A.

It’s the year end. Time when everyone reflects on the highs and lows of last 365 days. Time to assess if our goals were met, our missions accomplished.

Personally, 2011 has been a great year. I’ve found a new home in Denver. My life has been filled with new friends, new opportunities, new loves, new goals. 2011, a year filled with little hiccups along the way, but ultimately, some amazing additions to my very blessed life.

One of these additions that I am most jazzed about is Edge of Seven. What started as such a random encounter has turned into such a brilliant light in my life. The organization, the people involved, the set mission, the projects accomplished and proposed, the dedication and perseverance, the growth…it is all simply wonderful. From a selfish standpoint, I love the growth and development that I have experienced through this group. From a non-selfish standpoint, I love the opportunity and confidence that we have allowed girls and communities in developing countries to gain.

The support that we have found over the past year has been so motivating. As a young group, we have questioned the best ways to reach out to the public and share our mission with everyone. We have been stunned. The response that we have received from family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers has been outstanding. The fact that so many people, who have not visited Nepal, who have not stepped foot in these communities, who have not met these girls, can show such a concern for their well-being is beautiful!

Here is what our team has been able to accomplish this year will all the support:

  • Contributed $70,000 to complete three infrastructure projects in rural Nepal. EVERY project we invest in is carried out in partnership with the local community or a local NGO to ensure that projects result from direct community needs and are executed in the most appropriate and sustainable way possible.
  • Placed thirty-one volunteers on projects in Nepal, India, Thailand and Cambodia. Volunteers return home more knowledgeable about the issues facing our partnering communities.
  • Produced a short documentary film exposing the barriers to education that girls face in rural Nepal. Together with the Peaks Foundation, we raised $12,000 in support of the film.
  • Finished construction on the Salleri Girls Hostel, which provides 40 girls from across the Everest Region housing as they attend higher secondary school. This project was completed in partnership with Edge of Seven’s implementing partner, The Small World.
  • Brought water to the remote village of Purdu, Nepal by building 2 tanks, 8 community water taps, and 3 kilometers of piping.
  • Began construction on the Phuleli Secondary School for classes 7 and 8. Construction will be complete in early 2012 and 80 students will move in during the first part of the year.
  • Built relationships with 6 local chapters of Architecture for Humanity and utilized chapter design support for the ongoing Phuleli project and upcoming Basa Higher Secondary School.
  • Completed the finishing touches of an Elementary School in Jarang, Nepal. The school will offer a quality education to 60 students. (The bulk of construction on this project took place in 2010, but we finished up a few final pieces in 2011).
  • Held 6 fundraisers across the U.S. increasing awareness and support for our projects.
  • Compiled a team of 10 runners to support Edge of Seven in the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon.
  • Raised over $50,000 to support women in rural Nepal through an innovative video campaign called the Pocket Change Revolution.
  • Conducted an earthbag demonstration as a part of the Smithsonian Sponsored Exhibit Design for the Other 90.
  • Hired 1 full-time Program Director, a part-time Development Director and a Lead Designer on the Solukhumbu Development Project.
  • Developed a strong base of volunteer supporters across the United States and abroad who continue to give their time and resources to raise awareness about Edge of Seven and our mission.

We are SO grateful—grateful for the amount we’ve been able to grow and learn in just 2 years of operation. Grateful for our return volunteers, our donors, our partners (especially The Small World), our advocates and, most importantly, the communities where we work. And with two days left in the year, we just want to say THANK YOU! To everyone, for everything. 2011 has been a great journey.

To be continued in 2012…

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