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!!
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!
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!