D365-w52-m12 — Thank you for a wonderful year

Thank you for a wonderful year at Edge of Seven. We have been consistently blessed by all our supporters, donors, volunteers, interns, friends, family and staff. All of you — Thank you so much. We’ve done great work this year and celebrating it with you all through email, social media, meetings, events, videos, blog posts, and phone calls is an incredible experience.

This year saw us evolve as we built classrooms AND communities. We supported new families and communities in Rwanda where we built a Training Center for a coop that needed space to train, to office and to store their crops. This vital space allows them to continue on their path of economic empowerment for the families and their community. This effort is exactly what we want to be doing — putting effort into building spaces AND communities themselves to succeed.

Our work in Nepal demonstrated this as well. We worked to support our on-the-ground partners in building classrooms while also building up “School Building Committees” to be vibrant agents of change in their villages and districts. This double-benefit effort creates systems that yield community ownership and empowerment by decreasing dependency. We continued our work in Naro Moru, Kenya on the Women’s Resource Center.

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All of you helped us to make that happen. Thank you. We will keep moving forward in 2017, with your incredible support in all the ways that you give it. To all of you who have already given gifts of time, support, encouragement and money — THANK YOU. For all of you who wait until hour 20-24 of day 365 to make your donation — THANK YOU TOO — and don’t wait too long 😉  http://bit.ly/2iAE0u5

If you have it in your plans for one last gift (or your first) this year, we are only $2796 from our goal on Global Giving. This special project helps us build new classrooms and communities in Nepal and you can also get a bonus by setting up a recurring donation here where your first donation will be matched 200% http://bit.ly/2iAE0u5  — should you wish to give generally to the organization please give through our Colorado Gives site: http://bit.ly/2ij40g0

On behalf of the staff, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, volunteers, interns and supporters have a great final few hours of 2016 and ‘here’s to the start of a wonderful New Year.’

— Peter Mason, Executive Director

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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.

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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!

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!

Completed hostel

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!

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

A Manly Fundraiser to Help Girls

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!

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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!

The Right to Romance

By Alli Tolbert, Communications and Marketing Intern

Photo by Rachael Weaver of Rachael Grace Photography.

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!

Donate herePink-Heart

Introducing Alli: Edge of Seven’s Marketing and Communications Intern

302039_2425050903073_1652103587_nAlli Tolbert

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.