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 adventure tourism sector.
Upon establishment, GIA together with United Nations World Food Programme conducted a two year program called ‘Inclusive Sagarmatha(Everest) Speakers’. GIA members visited over 150 schools in Nepal with motivational talks as part of the project.
In the year 2010, GIA ventured on the flagship mission of the ‘Seven Summits Women Team’. In the year 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 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.
In April 2015, a massive earthquake shook mid-hills of Nepal where Maya Gurung’s home district Sindhupalchok was worst hit. Maya and Shailee have ever since been leading program for the recovery of schools in her remote village (Read below: The B Project). Besides, they also train young female survivors of sex trafficking helping them become trekking guides.
The B-Project stands for Maya Gurung’s home-village, Bhotenamlang. Maya always had a passion to help her home particularly in the areas of education and empowerment. As a child she was denied access to education when she was set up for an arranged marriage at the age of 14. She ran away to escape the wedding but her struggle for education and self-empowerment started. In 2015, when a massive earthquake hit Nepal her home district was worst-hit. All schools in the village were destroyed and students had no safe place for learning. Maya and her team mate Shailee have ever since been working towards recovery of the schools. Their friend, US-based actor Bojana Novakovic visited the village as a volunteer multiple times and became chief patron of The B-Project. The ladies, with the strength of dedicated staff members, and support of many well-wishers have been on a mission to provide safe learning space and quality education to the young rural students of remote village Bhotenamlang.
Survivor Training Program
To be trafficked, that at young age, is a deep trauma. In addition, even upon return survivors in Nepal face great challenge in finding well-paying dignified jobs with potential for growth. Shailee and Maya came across a group of young female survivors in 2014. US-based non-profit Courageous Girls was on a mission to providing healing to survivors through a trek to the Everest Base Camp. GIA initially signed up to train the ladies for the trek. However, we soon realized that the trainees had real potential and an urgent need for change. Hence the survivor training was the result. GIA provides long-term based outdoor training, language classes, self-defense skills, leadership hikes, high-altitude adventure treks, support for continuation of academic education and scholarship for outdoor certification programs. After long-term training and once deemed fit for job, GIA provides job-placement. Three of our trainees have earned their trekking guide license. GIA is currently developing plans for next training session and fundraising for the same.
Team- B Project