Our History

7 Elements started over a decade ago largely as a research project and case study to see how students could become globally engaged through hands on projects in the developing world. Dr. David Addison began cultivating relationships with communities and local leaders to identify what Human Security issues were most prevalent and what 7e could ethically address with students of all age groups.

The 7e Lodge and our Organization’s Home Base was built in a small fishing village in the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. Over the past 10 years, we have continually refined our projects, partnerships and programs to produce well rounded, sustainable and engaging experiences for youth.

We have since expanded to 3 other countries: Haiti, Belize and Peru with these goals and model at the core of our operations. 7e’s team of  professionals have developed unique methods to responsibly identify and initiate Human Security projects in local communities to provide ethical and sustainable interventions in which students can directly participate, co-lead and learn from. 7 Elements is dedicated not only to improving the livelihood of the locals but also the professional development of our student volunteers. Our unique educational content provides young leaders with new perspectives and the ability to challenge the way they view and participate in the world. 

“We do not believe this job is something that can be accomplished alone and we actively seek partners to help us achieve a stronger and more sustainable world”

David Addison

Executive Director , 7 Elements


To introduce students to human security issues and implement socially responsible and culturally appropriate service projects in less secure communities.



To engage tomorrow’s leaders in developing sustainable solutions to human security issues and facilitate the process of becoming globally engaged citizens.


Our Approach to Sustainable Projects

7 Elements bases our projects, community partnerships and student experiences on the Human Security framework designed by the United Nations. The Human Security approach aims to take people’s livelihoods into consideration rather than just violence, crime and a nation’s defense systems. With these things in mind, the UN defined the 7 areas of Human Security as Political, Health, Environment, Personal, Community, Environment & Economic. 

With the guidance and input of our local partners, 7 Elements designs sustainable and multidimensional projects in the Dominican Republic, Belize, Peru and Haiti. Every project is designed to address one or more of the areas of Human Security which include Political, Environmental, Health, Food, Community, Individual and Economic. We understand that our projects and initiatives will not completely eradicate or solve these issues, but we stand behind the opportunity to educate youth about these global issues and collaborate with communities on projects and initiatives that they can replicate with local technologies and knowledge.

7 Elements focuses on lasting and equitable partnerships with communities that center on a bottom up approach. Our goal is to teach students on effective development practices and how to avoid the common pitfall of international development work. From the start of a project in our diagnostic phase, we collect direct feedback from our partner communities to understand  what they need most and what we can responsibly provide. From the conception of each project, the community and beneficiaries are involved and required to be a part of each step, whether it is with their time, professional skills or some other contribution to the project. Our student volunteers experience each phase of the project process, and 7 Elements closes the loop with monitoring and evaluation to continually improve our strategies and relationships from year to year.

Some of our major projects have included sustainable building initiatives in homes and community structures, clean and accessible water and local health initiatives. Take a look at some of our projects below!

Health Center

Community center to support community events and an inclusive environment.

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Bottle House

House constructed of recycled materials – Dominican Republic

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Water Tank

The water tank is a project that has the ability to provide running water to over 250 community members in the Dominican Republic

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Bee Boxes

Construct bee boxes for a local bee farm.

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Cement Floors

Cement floors to address health insecurities

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Bottle Bathrooms

Bathrooms constructed to improve sanitation and health. 

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Medical Brigades

Participate in locally run medical clinic with partner community

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Interested in Traveling with 7 Elements?