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Volunteer travel in Nepal with Edge of Seven

Please enjoy this guest post from Sarah Andrews, Executive Director at Edge of Seven — a very worth volunteer travel organization that we are pleased to feature.

Building Up Girls in Nepal with Edge of Seven

The laughter of students at recess rang across the schoolyard in the small Himalayan village of Phuleli, as Sarala Rai talked of how she spent her childhood there collecting firewood and grass for her family’s animals while dreaming of one day being able to receive an education. Now 16, this dream of Sarala’s is coming true. She is one of the lucky ones able to attend higher secondary school in her district capital. On this recent visit home to her village, she remarked how many of the younger girls she saw before her could be married by the time they were her age.


At the time of Sarala’s visit home, Edge of Seven was in the process of constructing a secondary school to house students in grades 7 and 8, who currently had a lengthy commute to reach the closest secondary school. Because families in rural Nepal often rely on their daughters to shoulder the responsibilities of most household chores, commute times that take away from time spent working often lead families to keep girls home from school. Edge of Seven’s classrooms, built in the village center, would ensure that more girls in Phuleli were able to receive an education.

Phuleli School Complete

Edge of Seven is an organization that engages volunteers in its mission to create access to education, economic, and health opportunities for girls and women in the developing world. It does this by providing funding and volunteer support for infrastructure projects – like schools, dormitories, and water supplies – that directly benefit girls and women in rural communities.


For the past three years, Edge of Seven’s efforts have been focused in Nepal, where the organization has completed four school buildings, two community water supplies, and one hostel housing 40 college-bound girls in the Everest Region. Since its founding in 2010, Edge of Seven has helped 455 girls and women attain access to an education, and its projects have directly benefitted close to 900 individuals living in the communities where it works.


Edge of Seven works with community leaders and local partner organizations in Nepal to identify projects that would provide majority benefits to marginalized girls and women, because numerous girls, like Sarala, who are able to achieve a higher education are better positioned to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty. Studies show that girls who receive seven years or more of education marry later and have fewer children, improving economic and health outcomes for their families.

In engaging volunteers and world travelers in its work, Edge of Seven aims to inspire, educate, and empower others to become part of the movement that has been dubbed “The Girl Effect,” to create social change so that more girls like Sarala can receive an education. To learn more about getting involved with Edge of Seven, visit

In October of 2013, Edge of Seven will be running a fundraising trek to Everest Base Camp for individuals looking to combine adventure with social action. All funds raised from the trek will go directly toward Edge of Seven’s educational projects in Nepal. Edge of Seven is also seeking volunteers to join their upcoming school build in the Everest Region this November. For more information, email



Journeys for Good wins 3 Telly Awards for Cambodia Voluntourism Video


We are pleased to announce that the Telly Awards has named Bayside Entertainment as a winner in the 34th Annual Telly Awards for Journeys for Good:Cambodia. With nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.

 For its 34th season, The Telly Awards once again joined forces with YouTube to give the public the power to view and rate videos submitted as part of the People’s Telly Awards. In addition to recognition from the Silver Telly Council, the judging panel that selects the Telly Awards winners, the Internet community helps decide the People’s Telly Awards winners. Your votes made a difference, bringing us a Silver People’s Telly Award for the second year in a row! 

In addition to the People’s Telly, we also won 2 Bronze awards for documentary and editing.


This is a true passion project for Steve and me, so it feels great to have this recognition as we continue to develop the project for broadcast and the web. 

Thanks again for your continued support. It means so much to us.


Barbados Holidays with Heart

This post is contributed by

Most travel-lovers are likely to have a holiday in Barbados on their bucket lists – its fine white-sand beaches, delicious local food and delightful rum punch will wash your cares away (but be careful with that last one!).

Here’s the heart-felt twist: whether you’re a budget traveller, family, or five-star resort-er, one sure way to enrich your vacation is to really get to know the place – and yourself – by volunteering while you’re there. You’ll find a range of options to help out, so look for one that suits your personality and your travel plans.

In between shifts, you can always kick back with a cold drink on the beach. If you’re keen to explore the Caribbean island, there are plenty of themed tours ranging from adventure trips and ocean excursions to home and garden tours and cultural walk-and-talks.

Sea Turtle Watch

Turtles in Barbados

Barbados’s tourism infrastructure and population influxes can take their toll on local wildlife; enjoy some hands-on wildlife experience by helping make sure the island’s magical sea turtles are protected. As a volunteer, your job is to collect scientific data, interact with nesting females (without disturbing them, of course), investigate reports of turtle activity and answer turtle-hotline emergency calls.  Oh, and you may also get to rescue disoriented hatchlings and adult turtles. Both you and the turtle will have a story to tell!

Contact The Barbados Sea Turtle Project to learn more.

Help the Homeless

The Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society is “taking homelessness and vagrancy by storm,” and they always need an extra hand or ten. Get in touch to see how you can contribute to their noble mission to provide food, clothing, shelter, and life skills programs to homeless fellow humans.

Service in Style

If you’re not up for slumming it in island hostels, book at the glittering Fairmont Royal Pavilion and ask about the “range of community services” they organize for guests who would like to give back… after asking the concierge to point you towards the best shopping, restaurants, and activities in Barbados. Now that’s service.

Help Beautiful Women Change the World

From October 13th to the 23rd, Bridgetown is hosting the Miss Humanity International Pageant, with the winner picked based on her contribution to fashion, education, entertainment and culture throughout the world. Read the gorgeous contestants’ resumes – they’re inspiring, and this do-gooder pageant needs volunteer ushers.

Of course, there’s always more ways to contribute: community development, women’s shelters, technology projects, wildlife preservation and more. Before you leave for your Barbados getaway, pick a volunteer project close to your heart and make your vacation a truly memorable one.

Image by jurvetson.



Volunteer travel videos up for Telly Award


Our most recent Cambodia voluntourism video is up for a People’s Telly Award and we need your vote. Please click here and give us a “thumbs up” now.  It only takes a second and it would mean so much to us.  And please “tweet” and “post” to your heart’s content to help us spread the word.

We won 2 Telly’s last year for our Tanzania documentary, so we’d love to continue the winning streak for Journeys for Good.

Thanks everyone for supporting our dream to create inspirational volunteer travel content.  If you haven’t done so already, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to get updates and notifications when new content is posted.  There’s more content coming soon from our family voluntourism adventure in Cambodia with non-profit Globe Aware, so please stay tuned.


A visit to an Cambodian orphanage.

Here is the latest clip from our Cambodia volunteer trip with non-profit Globe Aware.  In this segment, our group visits a local orphanage, giving the children a chance to practice English with native speakers.

Orphanage tourism  in Cambodia has been under fire lately.  There have been some disreputable agencies who have established faux orphanages to attract Western tourists.  That said, our voluntour partner, Globe Aware, fully vetted this facility to ensure its legitimacy.  They take great care and work closely with their in-country coordinators to ensure that these visits do not adversely affect the children.  Personally, I wasn’t sure how I would feel.  I certainly didn’t want to cause a problem or create confusion among the kids with my presence.

When we arrived, I was pleased to see that the kids seemed happy and well cared for.  I was also incredibly impressed with their intelligence as they guided us around their facility.  They seemed to be receiving a very good education and, beyond English, many of them had also studied other languages like Japanese and Chinese.  There was a definite sense of family and community between the older and younger children.  I also liked the nature of our volunteer project.  As guest “teachers”, our visit was friendly and short.  We mixed our English practice with fun and silliness and everyone seemed to have a very good time.

Overall, I felt that, in this instance, our orphanage visit did have a tangible benefit for the children.  Both in and out of the classroom, the children had a chance to interact with Western visitors and practice their English skills.  These skills will help them as they age out of the system and move into real world jobs — with one of the greatest opportunities being in the growing tourism industry.