Save the Date! Community Shopping Night at Ten Thousand Villages on Nov. 20

Save the Date and get your holiday shopping done early!

Edge of Seven will be the beneficiary of a Community Shopping Night at Ten Thousand Villages’ Cherry Creek Store on Wednesday, November 20th from 5 to 8 p.m.

Fifteen percent of the proceeds of all goods sold that evening will go toward helping girls in Nepal through our Community Development Program! The Cherry Creek Store is located at 2626 E. 3rd Avenue in Denver.

Hope to see you there, and please bring friends! If you have any questions, please email tamara@edgeofseven.org.

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Click to enlarge flyer image!

Edge of Seven and LUSH Charity Pot

We’re excited to announce a new partnership between Edge of Seven and LUSH Cosmetics! Recently, Edge of Seven was accepted to become part of LUSH’s Charity Pot program, which supports grassroots organizations across the globe who are working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights.

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This partnership will allow us to create even more access to education for the girls and women we work with in Nepal, and we’re honored to have a partner like LUSH who possesses such a strong commitment to social justice. In the past five years alone, LUSH Charity Pot has donated more than $4,000,000 to over 350 grassroots organizations in 31 countries.

We’re happy to be one of them and look forward to bringing you more news about this terrific partnership in the months to come!

Stay tuned – Edge of Seven’s very own Charity Pots will be available at a LUSH store near you this September!

Educated, Empowered and Unstoppable: First Class of Girls at Our Salleri Hostel has Graduated!

This month, we are celebrating the amazing achievements of the 38 girls at our Salleri Girls Hostel who recently graduated from higher secondary school, fulfilling their dreams of achieving a higher education. These girls were the first to move in to our hostel when we completed it two years ago, and it is truly remarkable to see how far they have come since then. A big congratulations to these inspiring young ladies!!

 

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To fully understand the challenges these girls were facing in their lives before they came to the hostel, consider that seven out of every 10 girls in the Everest region of Nepal don’t get to attend higher secondary school. This high dropout rate is attributed to several cultural and societal factors. Many girls cannot continue onto a higher education due to household obligations and early marriages. In rural areas, commute times are lengthy, and there is often a shortage of adequate schools nearby. Most girls cannot spare the time it takes to commute to and from school. Finally, many parents don’t see the value of educating their daughters since they themselves are uneducated.

In November of 2010, Edge of Seven collaborated with our local Nepalese partner, The Small World, to construct a hostel in the Everest region of Nepal in order to house college-bound girls from rural areas where higher education is not available. We completed construction in the summer of 2011 and continue to run vocational, leadership and language programs for the girls who were accepted.

This week the Salleri Girls Hostel also welcomes 40 new girls with similar ambitions, dreams and hopes who are excited to take advantage of the opportunities offered at the hostel. In the words of Karma Sherpa, founder and director of The Small World: “The girls will learn to live their lives to the fullest and multiply the power of education within their community to create opportunities for those who can make best use of it.”

Thank you to everyone who supported Edge of Seven, The Small World, and especially the girls in reaching this milestone!

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Completed hostel

 

We would also like to mention that there were two girls who could not complete their higher education at the hostel, as they were married at the ages of 17 and 16 a few weeks prior to their exams last year. We wish them the very best and hope that their time at Salleri Hostel offered them valuable lessons an empowered sense of self!

A Retirement Party with Impact

By: Alli Tolbert, Marketing & Communications Intern

Last fall, Robert “Sparky” Millikin participated in Edge of Seven’s Trek with a Purpose into the remote rural villages of the Solokhumbu region of Nepal last fall. Since then, Edge of Seven and Sparky have become fast friends. He has become a passionate voice in raising awareness about the importance of girls’ education and sustainable infrastructure throughout his own community in Burlington, VT and beyond.

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An accomplished professional in design and construction, Sparky is now retiring as Managing Principal of TruexCullins, an architecture and interior design firm located in Burlington. In recent months, Sparky and TruexCullins have offered Edge of Seven pro bono design support around earthbag construction, as well as provided advocacy and fundraising support through local marketing and events.

A celebration of Sparky’s career was held last Thursday, May 9, in Burlington, VT. The celebration was a dual retirement party and fundraising event to support Edge of Seven work empowering women and girls through infrastructure projects in Nepal. Edge of Seven is overwhelmed by Sparky’s generosity and thankful for the great work and support of those at TruexCullins! Read more about Sparky’s career here: http://www.truexcullins.com/sparky/.

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The party was a great success, raising $20,000 through a combination of individual donations the night of the event and a campaign leading up to the party. To top it off, the Heritage Automotive Group (Ford, Toyota, Scion on Shelbourne Road, S. Burlington) made a final donation, bringing us to a total of $20,000. An enormous thank you to TruexCullins, the event attendees, the Heritage Automotive Group and all other supporters for making this ambitious goal!! Funding will be used to support Edge of Seven’s Community Development Program, empowering women and girls in rural Nepal through infrastructure projects.

If you were inspired by Sparky’s experience, please visit his Crowdrise page and consider making a donation today!

If you are interested in having a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Nepal and to combine adventure, travel and service in one trip, look no further. Edge of Seven is embarking on two exciting trips this fall!

Everest Base Camp Trek: http://edgeofseven.org/Adventure.html

Basa Project: http://edgeofseven.org/VolunteerOpportunity.html

Inscribed with Love

By Alli Tolbert, Marketing & Communications Intern

In April, University of Denver’s Rotaract Club partnered with Edge of Seven for an event that featured Eo7’s documentary screening, free food, a speech from an Eo7’s Director, and a discussion on international women’s rights and education.

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Event participants had the opportunity to write well wishes on materials that will be used to construct new buildings in Basa, Nepal. Colorful drawings, phrases, and words of support decorate the exterior of the earthbags, creating a collection of encouragement and positive energy. Although these earthbags will be hidden upon completion of the buildings, the well wishes will be read before and during the building process and embedded in the walls forever.

The power of words inscribed onto earthbags from unknown allies miles away is an encouraging reminder to the women and girls of Basa that they have a strong support system.

For readers who are newer to Edge of Seven’s sustainable building practices, earthbags are an environmentally-friendly, cost-effective, and earthquake-resistant method of construction. In essence, earthbag construction uses a rice bag filled with dirt as the building’s primary building block. The bags are stacked in courses, much like bricks, and held together with a thin layer of barbed wire rather than cement. Once the walls are up, a roof is attached as in traditional construction and plaster is applied to the exterior. Since the walls are made of bags filled with loose dirt, they are able to absorb seismic shock better than traditional stone and mud construction, which is particularly relevant for Nepal’s rugged, mountainous geography.

Interested in trying out earthbag construction first-hand? Join Edge of Seven for the project in Basa, Nepal this fall. We’ll be building an extension on the Basa Higher Secondary School from Nov. 16th – Nov. 30th.

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From Denver to Nepal, inscribed with love!

For more information on Edge of Seven’s upcoming project to Basa, please visit here !

The New Face of Girls’ Education: Malala Yousufzai

 

By: Alli Tolbert, Communications & Marketing Intern
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The well-publicized story of the 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was targeted and shot by Taliban members on a bus ride to school in the fall of 2012 continues to stand as a powerful reminder of the obstacles facing girls education and its advocates. Malala was an open advocate for girls’ rights to education in her home country of Pakistan.

An excerpt from Shehrbano Taseer’s article in the Daily Beast describes Malala’s prior involvement in the pro-girl’s education cause:

“Malala was only 11 when she started blogging entries from her diary for the Urdu-language website of the BBC…Malala wrote about life under Taliban rule: how she hid her schoolbooks under her shawl and how she kept reading even after the Taliban outlawed school for girls…

…In three short years, Malala became the chairperson of the District Child Assembly in Swat, was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu, was the runner-up of the International Children’s Peace Prize, and won Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize. More recently she started to organize the Malala Education Foundation, a fund to ensure poor girls from Swat could go to school.”

As a young, promising pioneer in peace and education in her home region of Swat, Taliban members perceived Malala as a threat and a symbol of Western thinking. Her story is an inspiring one and many say it is a miracle that she has survived the gunshot wound to her head. The attack reflects the daunting task ahead for advocates and organizations determined to educate girls worldwide. Since gender equality and girls’ access to education is a paramount issue around the globe, Malala’s strength and courage is an encouraging message to those of us who support girls gaining access to education.

In this video, Malala speaks publicly for the first time since being targeted and shot in October 2012. Her composed, confident demeanor and thoughtful words are truly encouraging:

“I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated.” -Malala