Get a Yoga Bag from Nepal this February!

Did your New Year’s Resolutions include getting more fit and giving more back? If so, we hope you’ll join us this February as we celebrate love for girls and women across the globe with a special offer for our supporters.

Through a relationship with a very talented women’s collective in Nepal, we’ll be giving away a beautiful, handmade yoga bag to the first 9 people to donate $100 or more to Edge of Seven this month! All donations will go toward our Community Development Program and will help provide education and economic opportunities for girls and women in Nepal. Through our Community Development Program in 2014, we’ll break ground on a second hostel for girls pursuing a higher education at the local university in Nepal’s Everest Region, along with a secondary school in a remote village.

yoga bag

You know you want one!

Your donations will support these projects, and do much more! To get your yoga bag today, simply:

1. Go to our website donation page.

2. Make your donation of $100 or more. Be sure to enter the best email address at which to reach you in the Contact Information form.

3. Write “Yoga bag!” in the Dedication Field and submit.

Once we receive your contribution, we’ll get in touch with you to gather shipping details and allow you to select the yoga bag of your choice (colors will be chosen on a first come, first serve basis).

Happy February, and Namaste!

Meet Lauren: Our Community Outreach Intern

blog pictureName: Lauren Wright

Hometown: Chesterton, IN

Current Location: Denver, CO

What drew you to Edge of Seven?

I was drawn to Edge of Seven because the organization combines my two passions: helping others and
traveling. Ever since I was very young, I have been extremely interested in global issues. After spending
time in Tanzania in 2011, I realized that my passion for international development had grown. Edge of
Seven’s foundation, which focuses on bettering the lives of women overseas, represents all of my core
values and encompasses what I look for in an international nonprofit.

What type of work do you do with Edge of Seven?

I am the Community Outreach Intern and a member of the Events Advisory Committee. As the Community Outreach Intern, I focus on spreading the word about our programs, projects, and international volunteer opportunities in Nepal and Tanzania. Also, one of my main objectives as the Community Outreach Intern is to foster student relationships on college and university campuses and identify potential collaborations. As a member of the Events Advisory Committee, I am helping to coordinate Edge of Seven’s annual fundraising event in October and other community events in Denver and beyond.

EO7 Volunteer Jesse Young Working with Earthbags in Nepal! [Photos]

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

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!

Supplies are ready for the foundation!

On site with the community in Mankhu to lay the foundation.

On site with the community in Mankhu to lay the foundation.

Jesse tamping down the bags on the first course.

Jesse tamping down the bags on the first course.

Manisha from the Mountain Fund walks children from Mankhu around the building perimeter.

Manisha from the Mountain Fund walks children from Mankhu around the building perimeter.



Making some gravel for the foundation.

Making some gravel for the foundation.

Site work.

Site work.

Jesse takes a break to help with plowing the fields.

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!

EO7 volunteer Jesse and EO7 staff member Tamara take time for dal bhat in Mankhu!

Site work.

Site work.





Push Your Boundaries with a Trip Abroad in 2013!

“If a writer stops observing, he is finished.” – Ernest Hemingway

No matter our occupation in life, most of us can find a way to relate to Hemingway’s quote about how relentless observation helps drive personal growth. By exposing ourselves to new situations, ideas and cultures, we create the space for powerful transformations to occur.

That’s why we are excited to announce that Edge of Seven will be embarking on several new, boundary-pushing initiatives over the next year to create more educational opportunities for girls and women in the developing world than ever before. And we want YOU to join us on a trip!

 In addition to working with two amazing new international partners and taking on our very first project in Africa, we will continue to build on our previous work to bring holistic improvements to communities in rural Nepal where higher education is not widely available to girls.

 In 2013, our work will take us (and hopefully YOU) to:

  • Miririni, Tanzania: Help build a dormitory and school to offer education to local girls;
  • Mankhu, Nepal: Help construct a Women’s Community Center, using the earthbag building method, to provide displaced and abandoned women with vocational training and healthcare;
  • Basa, Nepal: Help create more earthbag classroom space at our higher secondary school and build a female-sensitive sanitation system to increase school attendance rates for girls;
  • Solukhumbu Region, Nepal: Calling all high school students for our “Bold Explorations” trip, aimed at delivering adventure, improving leadership skills and promoting cross-cultural understandings.

Please check out more details about our upcoming trips  on our website and contact us today if you’re interested in taking a life-changing trip in 2013 or would like to support these projects here in the U.S.!

Storytelling on the Big Screen: “The Mountain Between Us”

By Alli Tolbert

Edge of Seven is proud to announce that our recently completed documentary, The Mountain Between Us,   has been accepted into 7 festivals, and was also awarded “Best Documentary Short Film Award” at the 2012 Phenom Film Fest!!

This short film was co-produced by Edge of Seven and Peaks Foundation, as well as our very talented filmmaker Maria Fortiz-Morse. An enormous thank you to those involved in the filmmaking process!

The Mountain Between Us captures the obstacles facing girls in their pursuit of education in rural Nepal. This documentary follows the extraordinary experiences of two Nepali girls, as each becomes the first in her family to leave her village to attend higher secondary school. Facing the odds and demands placed on them by society, these girls demonstrate remarkable determination and optimism to achieve their goals. Check out the trailer for a sneak preview of the film!

As noted in the trailer, if you invest in a girl in a developing country, she invests 90% of her income back into her family and her community. Unfortunately, the option for investing in girls’ education is often replaced by cultural and societal demands.

One burden that girls face is child marriage. According to UNICEF, an estimated 51% of children in Nepal face early childhood marriage, and 60% are married by age 18. Having and raising children is another daunting responsibility that normally follows soon after. Click here to read more about child marriage and its risk to girls’ futures. The Mountain Between Us seeks to address this issue, and uses the power of the girls’ own stories to shed light on their lives, challenges and aspirations.

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The Mountain Between Us made its debut at the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival in July, and will be used for Planet In Focus’s school screenings and as part of their Green Screen.

Check it out at these recent and upcoming festivals around the world:

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival
Chicago, Illinois. Oct. 5-7, 2012

Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival
Flagstaff, Arizona. Oct. 10-14, 2012

Bergfilm Festival Tegernsee
Tegernsee, Germany. Oct. 13-21, 2012

Tall Grass Film Fest
Wichita, Kansas. Oct. 18-21, 2012

Show Me Justice Film Festival
Warrensburg, Missouri. Oct. 17-20, 2012

To learn more about the film and its upcoming screenings, please visit the official film site at

A Night to “Toast to the Girls”

By Josi Toothman, Edge of Seven Guest Blogger

Welcome- photo credit Anne Bannister

Over 100 people came out Thursday June 28th to Battery 621 in Denver for the “Toast to the Girls” event, raising $3,000 for Edge of Seven’s Community Development Program. After an initial welcome from Edge of Seven Director Emily Stanley and board member Julia Alvarez, those who attended mingled, shared stories of social impact, and ate delicious food. Sherpa House in Golden, Nepal India Oven and Lalas provided appetizers, while Great Divide, Funkwerks, and Infinite Monkey Theorem, Classic Wines, sponsored beverages.  The energy in the room was filled with both excitement and curiosity as attendants who had previously been involved with Edge of Seven discussed their experiences with those still learning about the organization. Phrases like, “Lifechanging”, “Absolutely Incredible”, and “So Beautiful,” could be heard as those who had previously volunteered with Edge of Seven described their experience in Nepal.

Delicious- photo credit Anne Bannister

In between the socializing and educating Edge of Seven drew tickets for winners of various raffle prizes. The raffle was a great success with individual prizes including one month free yoga from Core Power, gift certificates from Linger, skirts for outdoor girls from Jen-ai Skirts, and ski poles from Icelantic, to name a few.  The grand prize of the evening was a one night stay and dinner at the Oxford.

The premiere of “The Mountain Between Us” photo credit Anne Bannister

Midway through the evening Edge of Seven debuted their recently produced short film, The Mountain Between Us, a documentary which gives a glimpse into the lives and struggles of women in rural Nepal and the opportunities created for them by projects completed by organizations like Edge of Seven. Everyone watched in silence as Junu and Purnima, two young women featured in the film, talked about their desire to continue their education and their dreams to help their villages.

At the end of the evening Katie Donahue, who has been involved with Edge of Seven for the past year, and who recently volunteered on Edge of Seven’s Basa project in Nepal, came to the stage to deliver the toast that had brought everyone together. Katie spoke of her experience working with children with big dreams who but faced many obstacles. Katie told how, like most people at the event, she was told she could be whatever she wanted to be when she grew up and was encouraged to pursue her dreams. It was a reminder to everyone that many children in the developing world, especially girls, grow up knowing that their dreams of becoming a ballerina, firefighter, or pilot may always be just that, dreams. It is by the efforts of organizations like Edge of Seven along with individual volunteers to educate and empower girls that they may be able to see their dreams become reality. With that, everyone raised their glass and gave a united, “Toast to the Girls.”

A Toast to the Girls – photo credit Anne Bannister

The Basa Higher Secondary School is Complete

Edge of Seven’s most recent project, the Basa Higher Secondary School, is complete! The school is the second earthbag project in the Solukhumbu region and was constructed in collaboration with The Small World, Edge of Seven’s in-country project partner. The two new buildings will serve students from classes 11 and 12 and enable more students (and girls in particular) in rural Nepal to achieve a higher secondary education. Thank you to all of the amazing individuals, volunteers and organizations that contributed to this project including the Peaks Foundation, Architecture for Humanity Denver, Edge of Seven’s May father/daughter team, the tremendous community of Basa, and all those who participated in both the For the Love of Earthbags and Pocket Change Revolution campaigns. As they say, it takes a village to bring a project like this to fruition. Thank you!

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Trek in Nepal’s Everest Region with Edge of Seven

Interested in trekking through the Himalayas, catching views of striking mountains, checking out local schools and Sherpa villages AND benefiting the local communities where you’re traveling? Edge of Seven is running a trek this fall (Oct 21st-Nov 4th) in Nepal’s Everest Region. While the region is best known for its popular trekking villages and peaks, this trip will also visit a number of off the beaten path villages, monasteries, and humanitarian projects. It is often these sites that offer the most culturally rich perspective of the region. The trip will culminate in a visit to Edge of Seven’s Salleri Girls Hostel, a project completed in 2011 that enables 40 Nepali girls to achieve a higher secondary education.

To give adequate time for preparation, we encourage participants to sign up before the end of June. For more information and/or to sign up, please email Emily Stanley at

For those of you in Colorado, we will be presenting on the trek and Edge of Seven’s model for blending social impact with adventure on the following dates:

May 15th, 6:30-8:00 pm – REI Westminster (Free)

May 24th, 8-9:30 pm – Neptune Mountaineering, Boulder (Free)

May 30th, 6:30-8:00 pm – REI Boulder (Free)

June 28th, 6-8 pm – Spyder Show Room/Icelantic Ski Gallery, Battery 621, Denver (Suggested Donation) – This event is a fundraiser for Edge of Seven. We will highlight the trek, celebrate our recently completed projects and be available to answer specific questions about our work in Nepal.

July 10th, 6:30-8:00 pm – REI Denver (Free)

A Catalyst for Collaboration – Meet Kassia

As part of a new series of blog posts, we are highlighting the work of Edge of Seven’s tireless, brilliant, and passionate volunteers, advisors, and board members. The work that we do empowering girls and building infrastructure abroad would not be possible without the network of support we have here domestically. Thank you Kassia for all that you’ve done for Edge of Seven this spring! Read Kassia’s inspiring story below on nonprofit collaboration, international travel,  healthy babies, and good communication …

Kassia in Nepal

Name: Kassia Binkowski

Hometown: Originally from Madison WI. Spent time in Africa, Latin America, the East Coast, and the Pacific Northwest, before “settling” back in Boulder. Next stop on my list: Cape Town, South Africa or Granada, Spain (it’s a toss up!).

Education: Master of Public Health from University of Washington, BA in International Development & Health from CU Boulder

MY STORY IN A NUT SHELL:  Motivated by the time I spent living and working at children’s homes in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, I am committed to  keeping mothers alive to care for their families. Plain and simple: with mom’s around fewer babies will die. That’s what I want.

While pursuing my MPH, however, I realized that determinants of health far exceed access to medicines and vaccines. More powerful than any prescription are the social determinants over which we have very little control: education, socioeconomic status, environment, etc. As it so happens, education and sanitation are more powerful predictors of nutrition than food distribution. For me, this realization was a game changer. Suddenly the success of my career could be measured not only by the clinics built or babies vaccinated, but also by scholarships distributed and hands washed, if you will. They playing field had been blown wide open!

So upon finishing my degree and moving back to Boulder I began pursuing a career to influence the social determinants of health in our world’s most marginalized communities. Some days that means I organize benefits for midwifery training programs, other days I design marketing materials for socially responsible tourism, and still other days are spent building constituencies for conservation projects. In the past five years I have contributed to programming, communications, and fundraising efforts of international development programs around the world; I have designed projects in Malawi, lived with orphans in Tanzania, studied with traditional healers in Ecuador, led fundraising efforts for Ugandan health workers, coordinated urban clinics in the United States, and researched maternal behavior in Guatemala.  Each of these experiences has only enriched my understanding of the complex choices facing mothers in resource constrained settings, and led me to work more creatively towards promoting health in these communities.

Kassia in Tanzania

WHAT DREW ME TO EDGE OF SEVEN: I am an international health professional, with a huge itch to travel and a need for constant adventure. With experience across Latin America and Africa, it should come as no surprise that I was drawn to Edge of Seven’s work in Asia combining experiential education, developing world adventure, and community development. Contributing to Edge of Seven presented the perfect opportunity to build out my existing skill sets in community development and creative communications in a brand new environment, Asia. What isn’t to love? Besides, I believe the organization is on the cusp of a very exciting growth spurt, and I’m excited to contribute to the identity development and constituency building that are requisite for success.

HOW DO I PLAN TO MAKE AN IMPACT: More than anything else I’ve seen, I’ve been infuriated and motivated by the isolation of individual organizations in the international development industry. Day in and day out we compete for grants only to accomplish the same goal: end poverty. If we all want the same thing, I believe there has to be a more efficient way to operate collectively, mobilizing individual strengths and leveraging our great networks to create more monumental and sustainable change in marginalized communities. I don’t know what the answer is, yet, but I think it’s 40% innovation, 40% collaboration, and 20% rigor. We need to think creatively but act effectively, and we can only do that if we put our minds – and moneys – together. Recently, I took a tiny step in that direction. I founded The Righters ( as an online forum for the voices of workers at the front lines of social movements. At just the beginning of a very big thing, right now The Righters is a place to swap stories and inspiration, and hopefully soon it will be a place to connect and learn as well. That’s what I hope to be remembered by – as a catalyst for collaboration in this industry so that we can finally keep all the mothers alive to care for all the babies!

In Morocco

It’s Fundraising Friday – Pass it on!

By Emily Stanley

It’s Fundraising Friday and today you have the opportunity to make change happen at the price tag of just $10. 

Heather Mansfield, the blogger/entrepreneur behind Nonprofit Tech 2.0, has challenged her followers to donate $10 every Friday to a nonprofit of their choice. I’ve been following her blog for quite some time and can credit her for a number of different things from Edge of Seven joining Pinterest to beginning to understand how to navigate nonprofit social media.

Today, I donated to Women LEAD and Edge of Seven (how could I not?). My donations were in celebration of girls and innovative, startup nonprofits with lean operating budgets and immense power to impart social change.

Check out Heather’s blog and share where you plan to donate:

If (on each of the next 2 Fridays) 40 people donated $10 to Edge of Seven’s current campaign, we’d be able to offer 2 students a higher secondary education in the Basa School in rural Nepal! To contribute to girls, education and sustainable building, check out FLOE – For the Love of Earthbags!