On 29 May, 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of the world with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and, along the way, discovered one of his lifelong missions – giving back to the people of the Everest region. During one of his early expeditions, Sir Ed asked a Sherpa, “If there was anything I could do for the Sherpa people, what do you think that would be?” The Sherpa immediately replied:
“Burra Sahib (big Sahib), our children have eyes but they are blind and cannot see. Therefore, we would want you to open their eyes by building a school in our village of Khumjung.”
|Sir Ed and friends building a bridge|
Touched, he immediately set to work on raising funds for it by happily redirecting a lot of the media attention he was getting from his mountaineering achievements. Since 2011, when Active Adventures began offering trekking tours in Nepal, we’ve been fortunate to see first-hand Sir Ed’s outstanding contribution to the local Sherpa people and today his legacy is stronger than ever.
Sir Ed didn’t stop at just building that first school. For the next 60 years, he helped build 26 more schools and the Himalayan Trust he founded and led until his death in 2008 continues to provide ongoing education support through school stationery supplies, building maintenance, student scholarships and training and support for teachers in this remote region.
|Himalayan Trust: 27 schools and counting!|
Active Adventures support the Himalayan Trust through a donation made on behalf of every client who travels with us to Nepal. For the 60th anniversary of Sir Ed’s summit of Mt. Everest, we’re joining the celebration of his achievements and of the Kiwi spirit by trying to fundraise a further NZ$3000 for the Himalayan Trust this month. We’ve made an initial donation of NZ$1000, and we pledge to match the next $1000 of donations made on our GiveALittle page page by 19 June.
|Visitng a local school during one of our Himalayan tours|
“I have had a full life with much happiness and a share of sadness. I have little cause for complaint. If however, some people in New Zealand feel I have made some contribution to the prestige of my country then they could best demonstrate this by continuing modest support to the Himalayan people I have worked with for so many years.” – Sir Edmund Hillary.