We just wanted to send out a big thanks to our good friend Brian Rettelle for recently launching his “Helping a Flower to Blossom” fundraiser for Edge of Seven on Crowdrise!
Brian’s goal is to raise $2,500 for Edge of Seven’s Community Development program this spring, and last week he made the stakes a little more personal. See, Brian has been growing out his beard for the past four months. He’s decided to shave at the beginning of March and he’s letting the public weigh in on how it all goes down.
Donors to Brian’s fundraiser can choose whether he shaves his beard to look like Abraham Lincoln, Mr. T, or they can submit their own suggestions for a different style. Votes are submitted via Crowdrise and by next week the suggestion that gathers the most donations wins!
Edge of Seven will be on hand to capture the shaving process, so get your votes in today by visiting Brian’s Crowdrise page at: http://www.crowdrise.com/bmrettelle!
By Alli Tolbert, Communications and Marketing Intern
Photo by Rachael Weaver of Rachael Grace Photography.
It’s Valentine’s Day, and with it comes plentiful amounts of jewelry commercials, flower advertisements and chocolate sales. Yet, beneath all of this, many of us in the U.S. miss what should be the real joy of Valentine’s Day – the recognition that we are free to celebrate love and the right to choose who we love.
In many developing countries, such as Nepal, the prospect of a romantic relationship of one’s choosing is hardly the norm. Child marriage is a stark and prevalent reality for many girls. With a third of girls aged 15-19 already married, Nepal stands second among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of child marriage prevalence. Families arrange child marriages for many reasons, whether it be cultural tradition or poverty and an inability to support their daughters.
But studies show that if a girl has better access to an education, this cultural norm has the potential to shift. If more girls in the developing world become educated and empowered to contribute to their communities, families may begin to see that educating their daughters is an equally valuable investment to educating their sons.
Whether you have a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day or not, the ability to share love with friends and family is something to be grateful for.
Show our girls in Nepal some love this Valentine’s Day with a donation to support our work to provide more girls with better access to education!
Hometown: Wilmette, IL
Current Location: Denver, CO
What drew you to Edge of Seven? After graduating with a degree in International Studies and Spanish, I wanted to continue my work in international development, more specifically a start-up in Denver. I was drawn to Edge of Seven’s model of collaborative nonprofit work, and especially inspired by its mission of providing education access to girls. My recent research project in a rural village of Bolivia allowed me to work with a group of women weavers and study the potential markets for rural artisans. The toughness and determination of these women exemplified how much women make up the backbone of a society, yet lack educational opportunities. Being with Edge of Seven since August has been a great transition for me in that I can further contribute to the movement for girls’ education. Edge of Seven is truly making an impact in the communities they work, and it is very motivating as an individual to be a part of such endeavors.
What type of work do you do with Edge of Seven? As Marketing & Communications intern, I have recently worked with the Director to create a strategy for a revenue-generating handicrafts program, Sapana Bags, to sell and market handwoven bags from a women’s cooperative in Nepal. It has been very exciting to design, market and sell bags that benefit the women and their children’s education. I’ve also been working on general communications, marketing and public relations strategies and efforts, being particularly busy in talking with people about our upcoming trips to Nepal and Tanzania.
If you’re in Colorado, we hope you’ll join us for our upcoming “Travel with Purpose” series at REI locations in Denver, Boulder, and Westminster! We’ll be screening our short documentary “The Mountain Between Us,” talking about our work to create access to education, health, and economic opportunities for girls and women in the developing world, and sharing tips about how you can travel for good in 2013.
You can catch us at the following dates, times, and locations:
- Thursday, January 17th – REI Boulder – 6:30 p.m. – 1789 28th Street, Boulder, CO
- Wednesday, January 23rd – REI Westminster – 6:30 p.m. – 14696 Delaware Street, Westminster, CO
- Monday, February 4th – REI Denver – 6:30 p.m. – 1416 Platte Street, Denver, CO
We hope to see you at any and all of these events! If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In December, Edge of Seven volunteer Jesse Young, a landscape architect from Denver, spent three weeks in Mankhu, Nepal working with our partner The Mountain Fund on earthbag construction techniques. In order to help train the local community on the building method, Jesse helped break ground on a women’s housing structure being built by The Mountain Fund at a local farm.
In addition to his contribution to this housing, Jesse’s work was also being done in preparation for our upcoming “Earthbags for Women Build” this May, where we will be partnering with The Mountain Fund to build a four room earthbag Community and Education Center for marginalized women who live and work at the farm. The Community and Education Center will include a health post, classrooms for vocational trainings, and community space for the women to meet socially.
We are currently recruiting volunteers to help with this project! If you are interested in signing up or getting more information, visit or website or email us at email@example.com.
We are so thankful to Jesse for all of his hard work and will be writing more soon about Jesse’s experiences in Nepal and this exciting project! (And a huge thanks to Manisha Sharma of the Mountain Fund for sharing her photos with us!)
Supplies are ready for the foundation!
On site with the community in Mankhu to lay the foundation.
Jesse tamping down the bags on the first course.
Manisha from the Mountain Fund walks children from Mankhu around the building perimeter.
Making some gravel for the foundation.
Jesse takes a break to help with plowing the fields.
EO7 volunteer Jesse and EO7 staff member Tamara take time for dal bhat in Mankhu!
If you’re looking for some reading material to kick back with this holiday season, look no further than the Edge of Seven Annual Report! Full of stories from Nepal, as well as some pretty captivating financials, it’s an easy way to get caught up on the amazing impact your support has had on girls and women in the developing world.