Sunday 16th February 2014
BANGLADESH ON SEVEN SUMMITS
When Bangladesh turned 40, Wasfia Nazreen was determined to climb the highest points of all 7 continents to celebrate women’s progress in Bangladesh. As she prepared to climb to the 6th Summit, we were honoured to support her on her way to achieving this historic record.
On her fifth expedition, Wasfia was so badly frostbitten she had to undergo three consecutive surgeries. To help her pay off her medical bills, we raised funds so that she could continue her journey by organising an evening of food and music as we heard her phenomenal story.
A talk and video presentation by Wasfia was followed by live music by British-Bengali band Khiyo and food kindly donated by the renowned chef Tommy Miah.
A dedicated social worker and author of the upcoming book, “Bangladesh on Seven Summits,” Wasfia became the youngest Bangladeshi and the first one- woman team from Bangladesh to make it to the top of Everest. With a mission to highlight positive stories and the strengths of her people, she set out on an independent effort to climb the highest mountains of each continent when Bangladesh turned forty years old amidst political, economical and environmental chaos.
In a little more than a year, she raised her national flag on the highest mountains of five of the seven continents on earth, setting aside her career as a development practitioner, sleeping on friends’ couches, selling off her property and belongings and taking bank loans to finance the project. Her campaign celebrates women’s strength and progress in Bangladesh over the last four decades.
Wasfia is also the first and only Bangladeshi to have conquered Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayan range, on 16 December 2011 marking Bangladesh's 40th Victory day. She is the first Bangladeshi to stand atop Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain. She is also the first Bangladeshi woman to stand atop Mount Vinson, highest mountain of Antarctica, on 4 January 2013.
In the process of the climbs, Wasfia and friends formed the Bangladesh on Seven Summits Foundation, which aspires to work with women with limited opportunities and provide them training in the outdoors and empower them with alternate lifestyles.