The Edmund Hillary Trust
As it's the anniversary of Hillary's famous first summit success on Everest, I thought he deserved a mention. Sadly, he died last year, but he left behind The Edmund Hillary Trust.
I think it's important to remember the local community and environment when making a journey like mine, especially when I'm associated with a charity. We will rely on the Sherpa people and thier kindness so much, but without groups like The Edmund Hillary Trust, their lifestyle will only be damaged by our visits.
Since inception the achievements of The Edmund Hillary trust have been wide ranging. They include:
- Two hospitals and thirteen health clinics have been built.
- Over 30 schools have been built
- Over 100 students receive grants annually from the Trust for further and higher education. A programme of women's Literacy Classes is evolving into Adult Education.
- For Sherpas, improvements in life expectancy have been achieved through programmes to control tuberculosis, smallpox and other life-threatening infectious diseases. Stillbirth and infant mortality has been reduced.
- Almost 100,000 young trees were nurtured each year and more than 1 million have been planted in 25 protected sites.
- Several Sherpas have gained degrees following training in forestry and in national park management in New Zealand and Canada.
- A three-year Primary Teacher Training project in Solu Khumbu attracted 200 teachers and is seen by HM Govt. of Nepal as a model for other rural areas. This has been so successful that it has been extended for another three years.
- A three-year Secondary Teacher Training project was grant aided by the The Community Fund with the grant matched by the UK Himalayan Trust.
- A pre-University Campus has been established in Solu district and attracts a high proportion of young women.
- The re-building of Thyangboche Monastery after a fire was helped mainly by the Himalayan Trust.
- The building of a new monastery at Salleri was achieved by the Trust matching money raised by local people, mainly by those who now live and work in Kathmandu.
- Isolated communities are helped to re-build washed away bridges and tracks; drinking water systems have been constructed.
- HM Government has been encouraged to create National Parks and has been advised on their management.
- Sherpas trained with support from the Trust are wardens of Nepal's National Parks.
- Above all, the Sherpas are being helped to overcome some of the harshness of their environment and to work for a better future, whilst retaining their independence.