"Everything we seek is on the other side of fear."
It's a favorite mantra of Wasfia Nazreen, a world-class mountaineer and a women's equality champion. She should know if she reaches the highest peak. On each of the seven continents there is the pantheon called Seven Summits. 36-year-old Nazreen has conquered them all – one of maybe 416 people.
"I came back from the summit of Everest and felt almost reborn. "Says Nazreen, who is staying between California and Bangladesh." This gave me new strength and perspectives for activism. "
Nazreen grew up in Bangladesh, but a college program for studying in Tibet first brought her to the Himalayas and the mountaineering world:" Years later, when I was on my mission to climb the Seven Summits, I realized what a great platform she had created to inspire not only young women and girls, but also generally young people in my country, "she says.
Shortly after the summit of Nazreen After the last highlight of the Septembel crown in 2015 (Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia), she founded the Ösel Foundation, a kind of Outward Bound for Bangladeshi girls, that "should break the cycle of child marriage and empower them to reach for the stars." It was a strategic start to the Rise so that their followers could direct their donations and their enthusiasm to this "alternative educational hub" where girls learn through expeditions such as trekking and climbing. (See also: These badass athletes are keen on climbing)
"Finding people who believe in it was key, especially from a society where women's accomplishments are not necessarily encouraged," she says ,
After a year, the 20 girls in the Ösel program are "more open and aware of climate change, and they've been working to train their own villages," says Nazreen, who has been fighting bureaucratic unrest and political turmoil To run.
"Collectively, women are stronger and stronger than ever," she says. "It is extremely important that we continue to form Sisterhoods throughout the many facets of our journeys. To the summit and beyond! "