Drupal Association members fund grants that make connections all over the world.
Nice to get in before stable, but not necessary:
Revisit to assess severity before stable release:
A stable release will be ready when there are no "breaking" issues in the queue and the last release has been reasonably stable for at least a few weeks.
Issues not on this list can be added after the 7.x-1.0 release. Bug fixes and minor features can go in the 1.x branch and larger features can go in a potential new 2.x branch which can be discussed in.
Please keep discussion in this issue to what will be in each release. Ask about specific issues in those issues. I don't have any estimate for how soon each release (or issue) can be completed as it depends on how much time the maintainers have available and that is hard for me to predict.