Seven Summits Women Team
‘Seven Summits Women Team’ came together to scale Mt Everest a decade ago. Despite various socio-ecomoic challenges and widespread ridicule for being ‘an over-ambitious female team’, ‘First Inclusive Women Sagarmatha Expedition,’ become the most successful female mountaineering mission to climb Mt Everest. All ten members of the team made it to the top in May 2008.
Following the Everest expedition, the team members founded ‘Global Inclusive Adventure Organization’, a non-profit, non-governmental organization registered with the government of Nepal, with details as follows-
Government Regd No 259/2065/066
Social Welfare Council Regd no 25874/2065/066
GIA is dedicated to the causes of Education, Empowerment, and Environment, particularly through the adventure tourism sector.
In the year 2010, GIA ventured on the flagship mission of the ‘Seven Summits Women Team’. In 2014, the team became the first female group in the world to climb the highest peak in each continent. The mission was supported by the Government of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, United Nations World Food Programme, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, among many other prestigious organizations.
The team has won several accolades. In 2014, the team had an audience in the White House and met Secretary of State John Kerry. In 2016, Rt Hon President of Nepal decorated the team members with one of the highest civilian awards ‘Jana Sewa Shree’. The team has also received special proclamation from the Council of City of New York, Everest Diamond Jubilee medal from the Government of Nepal, special honor from Nepal Army and more.
2015 Earthquake Recovery Work
In April 2015, a massive earthquake shook mid-hills of Nepal. Maya Gurung, one of the members of the climbing team, hails from Sindhupalchok district which was worst hit by the earthquake. The team immediately jumped into relief work providing food and sanitation supplies to address short-term needs. The team built two earthquake safe permanent buildings and five temporary learning centers so that the students had a safe place for studies. We also provided afternoon meal to two thoudand students for over two years to attract them back to school. The program. have since been adopted by the local government. We continued to support the schools with teacher placement, supplies, training and more until recently.
Female Leadership Academy
In 2014, the Seven Summits Women Team started training five young female survivors of sex trafficking. The young girls were promised education but trafficked in their early teens. Three trainees earned trekking guide licenses and were able to live an empowered life. They remarked that the program needs to continue to serve other sisters in difficult places. Hence, the Female Leadership Academy was born last year.
FLA is a multi-year training and mentorship program for young females from marginalized communities including survivors of girl trafficking and other abuses. For our trainees, a dream is a privilege. It takes education, confidence, and exposure to enable a person to have a dream. Hence, the program provides the skills required to build a foundation for dignified career. Training components include language lessons, computer skills, leadership, career exposure, and outdoor introduction. In the first year, we trained around 150 young women.
In the second phase of the program, 35 trainees capable and interested in building a career as outdoor guides have been selected for advanced training. They have started with rock climbing sessions and are gearing up for professional mountaineering course to be held in December.