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EDGE OF We believe that discovery happens when we leave our comfort zones.

We believe that empathy strikes when we walk in someone else’s shoes. We believe that important changes in our world often begin with one individual. We believe that change begins with her.


Letter Sarah Andrews, Chair of the Board of Directors



Mission What we’re all about as an organization


By the Numbers Our work as measured by schools built, volunteers recruited, and lives changed


Why Nepal




Supporting Girls Why Edge of Seven is committed to improving the lives of girls in developing countries


Looking Forward Letter from our leadership - Erin Guttenplan & Emily Stanley - about what lies ahead for Edge of Seven

11 17

Year in Review Highlights from a year’s worth of work in Nepal Programs Girls’ hostels, community water supplies, and community schools Sustainability How Edge of Seven is committed to sustainability and a feature on our recent earthbag proejct

* Cover Photo by Adam Sittler * Report Design by Kassia Binkowski

Table of Contents Annual Report | 2011 | Edge of Seven


Photo Credit: Adam Sittler



“Often, it just takes the example and leadership of one empowered person to change an entire community’s beliefs about what is possible.”

Dear Friends, This past year, I had the privilege of living in Nepal for eight months, working on Edge of Seven’s most recent school building projects in the Solukhumbu District villages of Khastav and Phuleli. It was my third extended stay in rural Nepalese communities, and, once again, it was a period of intense work and intense learning, where I was alternately inspired by the beauty of Nepal’s landscape and people and challenged by the hardship facing communities across the country. In rural Nepal, girls face many barriers in their quest to receive an education, whether it is poverty, a lack of infrastructure, or cultural beliefs that girls should marry early and tend to household chores. At Edge of Seven, we work to remove these barriers for girls and help communities across the developing world realize their hopes for a better future. Often, it just takes the example and leadership of one empowered person, such as one girl who has succeeded in receiving a higher education and vocational training, to change an entire community’s beliefs about what is possible. Take Uti, for example. The eldest daughter of a family that survives off of subsistence farming, Uti grew up doing backbreaking field work, never imagining that she could experience anything different. On a chance meeting with a girl from another village, Uti learned about Edge of Seven’s women’s hostel in Salleri, which houses girls attending classes 11 and 12. With the help of a scholarship from our | Edge of Seven 4

partner organization in Nepal, Uti is now a hostel resident and full-time student. “My mother used to say that a woman’s life is serving her husband and in-laws and managing the household chores,” Uti said. “But I want to do something in life. I want to show all [females] that we have the full right to live our every dream.” This past year has been a tremendous period of growth for Edge of Seven, and we have been humbled and energized by the outpouring of support from our donors, volunteers, and advocates who have joined us in our mission to create expanded educational opportunities for girls in the developing world. In 2011, we provided educational access for more girls than ever before and worked in tandem with our international partners who are helping to provide increased scholarship assistance and vocational training to the girls we serve. In addition, we succeeded in introducing an environmentallysustainable and earthquake-resistant form of construction in rural Nepal, training local engineers and laborers on the method so that they can continue to build stronger buildings for their communities into the future. On behalf of the Edge of Seven Board of Directors, I say thank you to each and every one of you who have supported our work and who continue to share our passion for creating a world without poverty, where every person has the opportunity to live an empowered life. Sarah Andrews, Board Chair Photo Credit: Emily Stanley

OUR MISSION Edge of Seven generates awareness and volunteer support for projects that invest in education, health, and economic opportunity for girls in developing countries. We empower girls by supporting initiatives that are locally driven, community focused, and sustainable. It is our goal to make a measurable difference in the communities that we serve through a chain of dedicated volunteers over time. Edge of Seven, in name and spirit, offers volunteers and communities the unique opportunity to work with people who face different obstacles in life, possess different histories, and hold different perspectives on our world. | Edge of Seven 55

Photo Credit: Adam Sittler



dollars raised to support projects investing in educational and economic opportunities for girls in rural Nepal


earthbags used to construct environmentally-friendly and seismicallysound schools in the Everest Region


minutes of footage collected to create The Mountain Between Us - a documentary about the barriers girls in Nepal face in receiving an education


individuals directly impacted by the construction of three schools, two water wells, and one girls’ hostel


girls empowered to change their own lives as well as those of their families, neighbors, and entire communities | Edge of Seven 6


volunteers working around the world for the benefit of girls in developing countries


girls from communities without higher education are living in the Solukhumbu Girls’ Hostel, studying for college and attending classes 11 and 12


schools have been built in collaboration with our community partners that collectively serve 290 students in the villages of Phuleli, Jarang, and Basa


water projects have been completed, providing clean water, safer environments, and healthier living for remote villages




More than 55% of the country’s population lives on less than $2 per day, yet Nepalese people are some of the most intrepid, resourceful, and compassionate people in the world. In Nepal, one-quarter of all women have given birth to their first child by age 18, and half by age 20. Acting in combination with poverty and isolation, this limits their opportunity for education and employment. In rural regions, seven out of every 10 girls don’t go to college in part due to the distance of commute and a lack of housing options. While 59% of Nepal’s population is literate, the country still needs to make tremendous strides to prepare students for today’s global economy. | Edge of Seven


“What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish...and when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.� - Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State | Edge of Seven 8

Photo Credit: Adam Sittler


GIRLS six . hundred . million

More than 600,000,000 adolescent girls live in the developing world. Approximately one-quarter of them are not in school. That’s roughly half of the American population.

ninety . percent

When women and girls earn income, they reinvest up to 90 percent of it back into their families and communities, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

four . years . later

When a girl in a developing country receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

three . percent . growth

When 10 percent more girls go to secondary school, a country’s economy grows by three percent, providing more economic opportunities for women and creating more investment in communities.

break . the . cycle

At Edge of Seven, we believe that investing in girls in developing countries is the best strategy to end global poverty. Join us in our mission to educate and empower girls around the world. | Edge of Seven




In 2010 and 2011, Edge of Seven invested over $150,000 in projects that provide educational and economic opportunities for girls in rural Nepal. Our accomplishments include: • Initiating our Community Development Program to improve opportunities for girls in developing countries • Building two schools for primary and secondary students who would otherwise not receive an education • Constructing a water supply to serve a rural village where women previously spent up to five hours collecting water each day • Building a hostel for girls preparing for one of the Everest Region’s few colleges • Piloting eco-friendly and affordable earthbag construction in the Everest Region • Co-producing a documentary film, “The Mountain Between Us”, about the challenges facing girls seeking an education rural Nepal • Sending 80 volunteers to work on Edge of Seven projects in Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, and India • Conducting an earthbag building demonstration as a part of the Smithsonian Sponsored Exhibit, Design for the Other 90 | Edge of Seven 10


“Nothing is like Nepal. There is magic there at the top of the world. If you haven’t been, go. Just go.” - Allison, Edge of Seven Supporter & Friend | Edge of Seven 1111

Photo Credit: Sarah Andrews


SOLUKHUMBU Seven out of every 10 girls in the Everest region of Nepal do not attend high school because of a lack of housing options for girls. In June 2011, Edge of Seven completed construction on a hostel in Salleri, Nepal, which now houses 40 girls from rural areas where higher education is not available. The hostel is equipped with a water supply, a biogas toilet system, a computer lab, and meeting spaces. In addition, Edge of Seven and our local partner, The Small World, continue to offer vocational, leadership and language programs for the girls living in the hostel.


Photo Credit: Sarah Andrews

MINA’S STORY At age 14, and after the death of her mother, Mina was forced to leave her village and find work with another family. Her childhood was a constant balance between chopping wood, farming, carrying water and keeping up with her studies. Each day, Mina woke up at 4 a.m. to do her chores. Upon completing these, she was able to attend school three days a week. In this way, Mina finished the 10th grade. Despite her diligence, the distance to the one higher secondary school in the region was a two day walk with limited housing. It was too far from home and too expensive to be feasible. Last year, Mina applied for and was awarded a full tuition scholarship and a place in Edge of Seven’s Salleri Girls’ Hostel. In the fall of 2011, she moved into the hostel and has since realized her dream of being the first in her family to attend higher secondary school. | | Edge Edgeof ofSeven Seven 13 13

Photo Credit: The Small World



In rural Nepal, many villages are challenged by mountainous terrain and lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Prior to this project, women in Purdu often spent three to five hours per day carrying water. In September 2011, Edge of Seven finished a project that brought a sustainable water supply to the village of Purdu, including two water tanks and filters, three kilometers of piping and eight community water taps. Access to community taps will allow women and girls to spend more time on productive activities, such as attending school, tending to crops or generating new sources of income.


Photo Credit: Sarah Andrews



Children living in Phuleli, Nepal, used to have to walk 2 hours per day to attend secondary school. In the fall of 2011, Edge of Seven started construction on Phuleli Secondary School, which will enable more girls to receive an education in a healthy learning environment closer to their homes. The Phuleli Secondary School was built using earthbag technology, a seismically-resistant building method that utilizes economical and locally-available materials, such as dirt. The Phuleli school was finished in February 2012 and houses 80 seventh and eighth grade students.


Photo Credit: Sarah Andrews

“Although I went to Nepal to make an impact, I ended up realizing that it was impacting me a lot more.” - Ann, Edge of Seven Volunteer || Edge Edge of of Seven Seven 16 16

Photo Credit: Adam Sittler


SUSTAINABILITY Edge of Seven projects are collaborative endeavors with grassroots organizations that are already making tremendous strides to empower girls and alleviate poverty in developing countries. Deeply committed to sustainability, here are some of the ways we ensure that our projects outlive our presence: • Each of our projects is formed in response to a local need identified by the community in which we work. • All of our work is executed in close collaboration with a local NGO organization who is already trusted and respected by the community. • Every project is completed in partnership with community members who guide our vision, work alongside us, and host our volunteers. • Whenever possible, we source local materials for construction projects, whether schools or wells or hostels. • We utilize the most innovative and sustainable building methods, such as earthbag construction, as well as those methods most appropriate for the climate, culture, and terrain of a region • When traveling with groups of volunteers we are committed to minimizing our impact, or leaving our natural surroundings better than we found them for future generations • We believe that simple design makes for longer lasting infrastructure, easy modification, affordable contruction, and true community ownership • Prior to starting a project, a school or community management committee is formed responsible for managing, maintaining, and improving the building/project/program || Edge Edge of of Seven Seven 17 17



Earthbag construction uses readily-available polypropolene rice or cement bags filled with dirt as primary building blocks. The bags are laid in courses, stacked like bricks, and a strip of barbed wire is used as the mortar between each course. When the walls are constructed, a layer of chicken wire is attached to the outside so that plaster can be applied. The benefits to building with earthbags are many, including: • Earthbags are environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and draw on locally-available materials, like the dirt and stone excavated from the building site. • Earthbag construction is cost-effective. The main building materials--polypropolene bags and dirt--are affordable and readily available. • Earthags are sturdy and earthquake-resistant, because they are more flexible, less rigid and better able to absorb shock than bricks and stone. | Edge of Seven 18



LEADERSHIP erin guttenplan subedi . founder

Erin Guttenplan is passionate about international service. After volunteering for five months in Asia, Erin saw an opportunity. She saw a movement that has been dubbed The Girl Effect, met agents of social change who were ready to serve, and imagined the potential in connecting the two. Edge of Seven was born slightly thereafter, and the rest is history!

emily layton stanley . director

Emily believes in the power of collaborationand the capacity of individuals to come together to make big things happen. As Director, she is responsible for the daily operations of the organization including program development, fundraising, communications and volunteer management. With a background in experiential education and youth development, Emily spent the early part of her career running the Scholarship Program at Outward Bound. She is committed to creating positive educational outcomes for Edge of Seven’s volunteers, our girls, and the communities we work with in the developing world.

sarah andrews . board chair

Sarah Andrews loves a good story and brings 10 years of professional communications experience to the Edge of Seven board. Sarah’s background includes having worked as a newspaper journalist in Boston, a documentarian for a nonprofit in Applachia, and a director of marketing and PR for a large nonprofit in Austin, TX. A big proponent of the life-changing benefits of travel, Sarah just spent the past eight months living in Nepal, working on Edge of Seven projects with her husband, Travis, and has recently resettled in Denver, CO.

julia alvarez . board member

Julia’s life has led her down many paths, from facilitating youth leadership development conferences, to working as a policy assistant in Washington, D.C., to coordinating community service trips for U.S. high school students in Costa Rica, to conducting monitoring and evaluation projects for international agencies. After dedicating much of her academic journey to international and development studies, Julia is thrilled to bring her expertise to Edge of Seven.

scott mcclintock . board member

Scott brings over a decade of experience in entrepreneurial and non-profit endeavors to Edge of Seven, having served as Executive Director of Hill House and Treasurer of the Beacon Hill Business Association. Scott’s wanderlust has taken him to Australia, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Caribbean, but recent additions to his growing family have him traveling closer to home as of late.

travis hughbanks . lead designer

Travis Hughbanks spent September 2011 through May 2012 in Nepal where he was the lead designer for Edge of Seven’s Solukhumbu Development Project. Travis has 10 years of design experience in the United States where he worked in both commercial and residential architecture in Boston MA and Austin TX. In addition to architecture, Travis freelances in web and graphic design and film, making short films and documentaries. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Architecture from the University of Idaho. | Edge of Seven 20

FINANCIAL SUMMARY Edge of Seven is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. As an early stage social purpose venture, we take great pride in our financial transparency and accountability to our donors. During our first two years of operation, less than 10% of donations went towards administrative costs. We’re proud of this. We are a “learning” organization and looking to improve each year as we grow our reach and impact. 2010


REVENUE Charitable Contributions



Earned Income - Volunteer Trip Fees



Total Revenue



Volunteer trip costs



Total COGS



Gross Profit



Program Management Fundraising, Marketing & Communications Facilities & Operations Administration

$45,837 $1,938 $954 $2,182

$102,350 $6,865 $1,218 $6,660

Total Expenses






Net Income


87% 21






Our Loyal Supporters This list includes donors who contributed $200 and above in 2011 and other key supporters. We have tried to be accurate in compiling this list of extraordinary donors. If we missed someone or misspelled a name, we sincerely apologize and ask that you let Edge of Seven know about the error. Thank You. Jennifer Alevy Benjamin Alexandro Julia Alvarez Jessica Andersen Wayne & Judy Andrews Architecture for Humanity (Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Seattle) Julian Arredondo Tamara Arredondo Rachel & Ethan Ash Michael Atkinson Anne Bannister Kaelan Baraty Brian Baraty Tom Bayliss Eric Beato Kate Berseth Susan Blish Sharone Blonder Kim Bongiorno Brian Boyle Lawrence Braman Coley Brenan Catherine Broderick Casey Brown Allen Browning Christopher Bujanda Glen Burns Annie Cabell Camden Partners Holdings LLC Chip & Lindsay Casto Dipendra Chaudhary Jeffrey Cho Chuck Dauchy & Judy Weinthaler Martha Clarvoe Mike and Bernadette Cleary John Clese Margie Cohen Nick & Maria Condon Meghan Conway Tom Cox Heather Crandall Daniel Cusher Deborah Dalton Cynthia DeFelice Daniel DeFranceschi Aaron Deleonguerrero Sophie Derrickson Gregg Devito Christopher Dibble David and Marilyn Dickey

Jeremy & Kira Dies Dies Family Foundation Kate Donahue Lauren & Josh Downey Mairin Dudek Sarah Durlacher Tiffani Erdmanczyk Everybody Physical Therapy Mary S. Fillman Matt Fingerhut Cynthia Fishman Hugh Flemming Kacey Flemming Maria Fortiz-Morse Jessica Galoff Michael Gamel-McCormick Ariana Ghez W. Neil Gillies Grainger Industrial Supply Wendy Swart Grossman Dan & Lilly Guttenplan Dean Guttenplan Erin Guttenplan Judy & Paul Guttenplan Lauryn Guttenplan Steve & Karen Guttenplan Matt Haley Janet Hanson Tina & Jim Happel Alison & Nathan Hargreaves Bill & Barb Harman John & Ashley Harrington Steve Hart Christy Hart Jason Heine Allison Hill Howie Sarah Andrews & Travis Hughbanks Monroe Hughbanks Stephen Hughbanks Fineas & Nancy Hughbanks Jared & Adrienne Hughbanks Martha & Anthony Iarrapino Victoria Inman Danielle Jacoby Jay Mairley Janice Jeschke Avery Johnson Janet & Allen Johnson Robyn Kashiwa Gerald Knievel | Edge of Seven 22

Lindsey Kruger Christine Kuipers Caroline Kurtz Corey Lamborn Victoria Lawn William & Dacia Layton Garrett & Elizabeth Layton Pamela Lea Shannon Lee Polly & David Leshan Jon Lupfer Ann Mackey Charles McClintock Scott & Marissa McClintock Jennifer McDaniel Blair & Ashley McKay Casey McManemin Hayes McManemin Steven McNulty Elle McPherson Bob Megill Antonia Messina Dave & Alexa Miles Cheryl Miller Jeff Miller Jonathan Miller Jan Moolsintong Andrew & Debbie Morris Emily Murray Sarah Nelson Norbert Nigon Monica Nigon Gary & Cherie Noe Chris O’Keefe Sarah Spelts Orens Christopher Pazoles Nicholas Pazoles Matthew Pazoles Peaks Foundation Jonathan & Margaret Pearson Pelican Seven Studios Amy & Greg Pond Louise Pople Rachael Grace Photography Zackery Reeser Catherine Reiher Bill Reynolds Amanda Barkley Rhea Erin Rocchio Chelsea Rozanski Jonathan Schroeder

Kristi & Mark Schwesinger Kathleen Semanski Service Solutions Benjamin Silber Adam Sittler Amanda Smith Ken Smith Laura Draucker & Marcus Smith Shanti Sosienski Margo Souza Carrie Spelts Anne Stanley Ben & Emily Stanley Darrell & Eileen Stanley Paul & Alicia Stanley Jonathan Steffee Binod Subedi Liz Sudderth Katie Sullivan Kevin Sun Yihshyan Sun Sean & Lydia Swanson Jason Tagler Hsuan Taur Gladys Thacher The Andersens The Crossland Group The Small World Betsy & Keith Totten Jennifer Trynin Jeffrey & Donna Turi Emily Tynon Allison Van Boening Carlo Viola Carol Volpe Dean Wahlstrom Jean Wal Karla Waller Cohen Corinne Wallis Brett and David Wax Rachael Weaver Zach Wendel Brandon Wheeler Jerry & Teresa Whitney Williams Realty Paul Wolyn Andy & Kim Worline Mary Wright Sharyn & Jim Zembruski Julie Ziemer

Thank You!



“When we invest in girls, we see the impact in their brothers, their friends, their schools and their families - change moving in waves through entire villages.” To the Edge of Seven Family, Edge of Seven was founded on the belief that investing in girls is the best solution to end global poverty. When we invest in girls, we see the impact in their brothers, their friends, their schools and their families - change moving in waves through entire villages. We’ve learned that girls do not live in a silo. They have the will and capacity to lift up entire communities. We’ve also learned that the problems in this world are often grave, but that there is an inspiring community of people out there who are willing to contribute their own most precious resource (time) to get out, see the world, face those problems, and return home inspired to impart change. This is our magic formula: Girls + Community Development + Global Awareness = A stronger world, with less poverty, better health, and inspired people

You’ve seen the numbers. Since Edge of Seven’s inception, we’ve engaged 80 volunteers, provided educational opportunities for 630 students, empowered 335 girls and directly impacted 5 distinct rural villages with 5,600 residents. This is where we’ve been. But where are we headed? Edge of Seven’s first year was about following a dream for a better world. The second year was about executing that dream and creating a sustainable strategy for investing in and partnering with communities. And our vision for this year is about reaching to our core to generate even more awareness, both | Edge of Seven


domestically and abroad, about the issues facing women and girls, as well as creating tangible opportunities for people to get involved with our work. We are embracing the values about which we are passionate, such as creative expression, tackling issues at a community level, and pushing ourselves and others to new limits. These are the values that have defined and continue to define our organization. This year, Edge of Seven will engage in new partnerships and expand to a new country, Tanzania. We will run a socialpurpose trek in Nepal’s Everest Region to raise funding and support for additional communities in the Solukhumbu. We will grow our domestic presence to create campus and community mobilization opportunities here in the U.S. And we will forge new partnerships with schools and universities to provide experiential and service-learning opportunities for students who are passionate about creating positive change in our world. Let’s fast-forward 10 years. Edge of Seven envisions a world where inspired people come together as a global community to create expanded opportunities for women and girls. We want you to be a part of that world. Thank you for joining us. Namaste and thank you,

Emily Layton Stanley Director

Erin Guttenplan Subedi Founder

“I’d like to offer a profound and sincere thank you to the team of Edge of Seven. We couldn’t do what we do without your support, partnership and ideas. The increased educational opportunities we’ve provided together for girls in Nepal have brought well-demonstrated benefits to the entire society. Girls with higher levels of education marry later, survive childbirth at higher rates, earn more and contribute to higher rates of economic growth at the community level. Thank you for all that you do to support these girls.” - Karma Sherpa, The Small World (NGO Partner in Nepal) | Edge of Seven 24

Photo Credit: Sarah Andrews

Edge of Seven Annual Report 2011  

Edge of Seven's 2011 Annual Report. Edge of Seven is an organization dedicated to providing access to education for girls and women in the d...

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