January 13, 2011
In the fall of 2009, I escaped the daily grind of Boston for the remote villages of Asia. I had worked for seven years in educational travel, helping teachers and students expand the walls of their classrooms, and I was the definition of comfortable. Good job, nice living, and yet, restless.
I set off for Nepal, India, Cambodia, and Thailand to volunteer with community based organizations for five months. I wanted to push my own limits in order to grow, to learn, and to find inspiration.
The experience changed me. I woke up.
I saw poverty. I lived in its midst. I understood, for the first time, the challenges of a life without electricity, water, or education. And yet, I also knew that at any moment I could leave.
I saw strength. I met women who carried their families and villages on their backs. I learned from adolescent girls who fight every day for the opportunity to sit in a school. I was humbled.
With clarity, I discovered that the primary difference between me and a woman in a rural village in any developing country. GEOGRAPHY. I am from the U.S. My days are filled with opportunity, promise, and hope. The days of a woman in the developing world are much different. They are filled with exhaustion, uncertainty, and fear. It’s simply an accident or blessing of latitude.
I created Edge of Seven as a united front against poverty. I founded the nonprofit to encourage Westerners to step off the beaten path so we all understand the challenges that face our world. I launched Edge of Seven because I believe it’s time for social change.
I hope that you will join me.