It’s been a November to remember. (Edge of Seven is in the process of becoming a car dealership.) We completed our first project, kicked off our second project, continued to fundraise away, and shot our first video. And, we did it all with a record few showers.
I initially visited Jarang, Nepal, the site of our first project, just over one year ago. I took the craziest bus ride of my life, hanging off of cliff edges, to visit a primary school. This school, not unlike many others in Nepal, was on the verge of collapse. In Nepal, the miniscule national education budget goes almost solely to teacher’s salaries. Even so, class sizes are 50 or more and community organizations like PTAs have to raise money to hire appropriate numbers of teachers. Many schools, like Shree Bhawani Primary School, are on the verge of ruin without hope for the future. This summer, we brought 21 volunteers from the U.S. to support local building efforts to build a new school as quickly as possible. The last stage of construction, the roof, has been completed and now the community has the tools and resources to educate their next generation of leaders.
This fall, we launched our second project in a different part of Nepal: The Solukhumbu. We began construction on a hostel for girls. This hostel will house approximately 40 women from rural parts of the Everest region who do not have access to higher education. There are 34 districts in the Solu but only 1 “college”, grades 11 and 12, in the district headquarters of Salleri. Many girls are forced to drop out of school after 10th grade because the college is 1, 2, or 3 day’s walk from their home and the financial burden of boarding in Salleri is too great. For those who have managed it, they are living in slum-like conditions in crowded rooms, without amenities like water or a toilet, in fear since their rented rooms are above the local watering hole. Our hostel is more than just a dorm. It’s a symbol of hope for a community of women that understand that an education will actually change not only their own lives, but the lives surrounding them that they will lift out of poverty.
As one project was ending and another was beginning, Edge of Seven Superfans continued to raise money to support our efforts in Nepal. Alison and Nathan Hargreaves threw a Thanksgiving Fundraiser in London, England and raised almost $2,000 in one evening. They hosted a quiz night at a local Nepali restaurant, raised awareness about our cause, and from the email chain that I’ve been copied on, had a blast bringing in each charitable dollar. We are currently in the process of raising $22,500 to build the girls’ hostel in Nepal. As a result of the fundraisers and donations online, we just surpassed the $17,000 mark. Thank you to Al, Nathan, and every other person who has creatively delved into the Edge of Seven mission to support change (and had laughs while doing it).
Finally, we just shot the footage for our first major motion picture! Lauren Schneck, talented videographer extraordinaire, donated two weeks of her time to shoot on location in Salleri, Nepal. We interviewed girls, educators, and volunteers alike to connect those at home with what is happening abroad. We will air the video online, at fundraisers, and at other events to generate awareness about the challenges that face girls in Nepal. The connection with these women has changed the course of my life and I’m certain that with Lauren’s editing expertise, this video will deeply affect many others.
If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser in your city, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in making a donation, you can visit us at http://www.crowdrise.com/helpgirlsinnepalsucc/fundraiser/edgeofseven.