When she was 14, Maya Gurung ran away from home. It was the eve of her wedding and she refused to succumb to an arranged marriage. Two days later, police returned her to her family, but her father had disowned her, and the rest of the village was told not to associate with her. Maya faced a life of struggle to keep going to school, defiantly moving villages in hope her past would not follow. Miraculously, her hard work paid off.

In 2008, by which time she was 4 time national bowling champion, Maya joined a group of Nepali women who made history by being the first female team to summit Everest. The Seven Summits Team  went on to become the first female team to summit the tallest mountain on every continent. What they achieved was thought impossible. Sherpas were betting on how many of them would die. They changed lives and altered the way their communities and country thought about women.

But now, following two devastating earthquakes in April/May 2015, Maya and the Seven Summits Team are up against their greatest challenge: rebuilding their precious country from devastating destruction. Maya’s district, Sindhupalchowk, was the worst affected in the earthquake in mortality rates and destruction.




The Seven Summits Team have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the district government to rebuild six schools in Maya’s home village of Bhotenamlang in the district of Sindhupalchok.

* Sindhopalchok has the greatest death toll (3057) after the earthquake, and in Maya’s village, there is literally not a house standing.

* Sindhopalchok is historically the worst affected area for sex trafficking, and now, it is more rampant than ever. Keeping kids, especially girls, in school is the most effective way to ensure they stay away from traffickers.

* Over 95% of schools were also damaged, resulting in disastrous consequences for over 87,987 kids.

* Traffickers are known to prey on torn apart families and those financially burdened by the consequences of the tragedy.

It’s important to understand that these were poverty stricken, at risk communities, even before these disasters. They were in a state of development and difficulty, but now they are disaster areas.

That is why The Seven Summits Team  has partnered with Courageous Girls and Bojana Novakovic to create The B Project, a project aimed at developing a sustainable environment for members of society to improve their quality of life and to recover from the earthquake.


The B Project, which is named after Maya’s village, Bhotenamlang aims to:

The B Project, which is named after Maya’s village, Bhotenamlang aims to:

  1. Facilitate growth of a world-class education system (starting with the rebuilding of 8 schools) and create a sustainable environment for these schools to be self reliant. We will be creating:
    • – a feeding program providing over 2,200 kids in 8 schools with daily meals
    • – proper administration and teacher support
    • – counseling initiatives for trauma support, special needs and kids with disabilities
  2. Educate women in remote areas and empower them through various awareness and livelihood initiatives. We are starting with tailoring training and small loans initiatives.
  3. Work for the betterment and wellbeing of community members though various community development programs, commencing with the building of a community center, and education on trafficking prevention for children and adults.

The vision is to work with the community to facilitate the growth of world-class education and slowly alter the style of life in these at-risk communities.

We need to ensure that every child has the opportunity to be educated, so that sex-trafficking, child labor and abuse of children’s rights is no longer a reality. Then the village can focus on healthy economic activity, bringing a much-needed economic shift in which women are already at the forefront. The change starts now.


Seven Summits Women Team

Together we reach higher.

The Seven Summits Women Team is the first female team in the world to climb the highest mountain in each continent. The members originally came together as part of the historic ‘First Inclusive Women Sagarmatha Expedition” in 2008 and summited Everst, becoming the most successful women’s expedition eve to do so. Seven members from the team then embarked on a bigger journey, to climb the 7 summits, this time building a platform not only for the team members but for the women and youth across the world. The team is now dedicated to Education, Empowerment and the Environment. Their mission is to educate and empower youth using the outdoors as a platform. The 7 team members hail from 6 diverse ethnic backgrounds each with their own story of challenge, struggle and success. From Asha, who was considered too ugly to find a husband, to Maya, who ran away from home at 14 to escape forced marriage, to Pema Dicky Nimdoma who started working as a child so she could go to school. The mission is about ordinary women in an extraordinary journey demonstrating that everyone has the power climb their mountains be it a real one or metaphorical. The team has visited over 200 schools and engaged in empowering exchange with hundreds of women all over the world. From remote schools in Africa to meeting rooms in the White House, the team has made an impact all over the world. While school rebuilding is the their next mountain, they continue their love for the outdoors by promoting a beautiful yet unexplored trek in the region.


Woman Over Gobre
Saturday, May 2nd, 2015
School Kids 3
Saturday, August 1st, 2015
Boys at the Waterhole
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
Kabita Mijar (girl with braids)
Monday, November 16th, 2015


Thank You to John and Valoree Papsidera for opening their amazing gallery space.

Jacqueline Kravatte, Rachele Schank and Valentina Novakovic.

Angelica Sparks-Trefz/amillioncolors Design (who built this site) and Peter Andreas who lent his expertise to the images.

Due to the incredible generosity of all these people who volunteered their time and skill, 100% of proceeds from all picture sales (which are 100% tax deductible) will go to The B Project.