About us

The Himalayan Trust is an international non-profit humanitarian organisation working in the Everest region of Nepal. We work with local partners to bring quality education, safe water, and better healthcare to communities living in this remote, mountainous region of Nepal.

Sir Edmund and Louise Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust in the 1960s. Ever since then, they’ve inspired New Zealanders to give their time, money and support to help the people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust.

A large proportion of our funding is raised by generous New Zealanders and we are also thankful for the ongoing support from the New Zealand Aid Programme.

To Sir Ed, his greatest achievement was not climbing Everest, but helping the people of Nepal.

Ed begins it all

It all began in the early 1960s when 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 replied: “Our children have eyes but they are blind and cannot see. We would like you to open their eyes by building a school in our village.”

This touched Sir Ed’s heart and he immediately set about building the first school in Khumjung. He went on to build schools, hospitals and health clinics across the Solukhumbu region in the foothills of Everest.

Learn more about Sir Ed



We focus on people and their basic rights. Everyone has a right to basic services such as health and education, no matter where they live. The people and the communities of the Everest region are at the centre of all our work.


We focus on partnership, working with local partner organisations and communities in an inclusive way. Just like Sir Ed, who listened to the people and provided assistance where he could, we listen to communities and support their vision for a better future.

Our partners in Nepal

We work in close partnership with local organisations in Nepal who all have unique local expertise, knowledge and experience. Working together means we can have greater impact and ensure long-term, sustainable change. Our current partners include the Himalayan Trust Nepal, REED Nepal, Action for Nepal, and the Mahendra Jyoti Higher Secondary School Rebuild Committee.

Our partners in New Zealand

We are hugely grateful to our special partners in New Zealand – organisations that go above and beyond to support our work in Nepal and New Zealand.


Introducing the Himalayan Trust Board

Andrew Barnes (Chair)
Governance and finance expertise

Andrew has extensive governance experience across the public and private sector, and has worked with corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

As the founder of Perpetual Guardian, Andrew has had extensive exposure to the New Zealand not-for-profit sector. He also led the expansion of the company’s philanthropy service by creating vehicles that encourage Kiwis into long-term charitable giving.

Keri Barnett
Passionate about education

Keri is a teacher who is passionate about education and learning. She has been involved in the Teacher Training Program in the Solukhumbu and has experience with funding proposals and implementation, risk management policies and performance monitoring. Keri is committed to community development and believes that it takes a village to raise a child. In 2016, Keri cycled from Cape Reinga to Bluff and raised over $5,000 towards the Himalayan Trust’s Nepal earthquake rebuild work.

Diane McKinnon
Educational development and welfare

In 1966, Dianne and her husband John became the first volunteer couple at Kunde Hospital. Since then, Diane has continued a long association with the people of the Solukhumbu with frequent return visits. She has always been a strong advocate for their educational development and welfare. Diane was also a Board member of New Zealand’s Volunteer Service Abroad and has a passion for the continuing educational work of the Himalayan Trust.

Claire Newman
Financial management and strategic growth

Claire’s career spans the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors, where she has held CEO, financial director and governance roles in New Zealand and the UK. Claire has extensive experience in financial management, growth strategies and strategic planning, including scaling up organisations from local start-up to multi-site operations.

Spending three months in Nepal prior to the 2015 earthquake reinforced her passion for enabling sustainable community development.

Lindsay Strang
Doctor and former volunteer doctor

Lindsay was 13 years old when Sir Ed spoke at his Nelson school. He was inspired right then to become a doctor, take up climbing and volunteer overseas. From 1971-1974, Lindsay and wife Genevieve volunteered for the Himalayan Trust at Kunde hospital in Nepal. Since his return to New Zealand, Lindsay has worked in general practice medicine in Christchurch and for many years was a member of the Medical Committee of the Himalayan Trust.

Mike Gill
Deputy Chair
Tim Loftus
Engagement and fundraising
Bruce Jefferies
Sustainable development expertise


In New Zealand we are a small operation, with a full-time General Manager and other part-time staff.

Prue Smith
General Manager

General manager since 2013, Prue has expertise in strategy, development and communications, with 17 years experience in the not-for-profit sector.

She loves Nepal and its people, and feels privileged to be actively engaged in continuing the work of the Himalayan Trust.

Howard Iseli
Rebuild Programme Manager

Howard has strong project management and mentoring experience developed during his careers in civil engineering and business improvement, and more recently, overseas community development work. He has managed staff, programmes and relationships in PNG, Vanuatu and Nepal.

Howard currently works with local staff and engineers in Nepal to manage the Himalayan Trust’s earthquake rebuild programme.

Michael Riach
Education Programme Manager

Michael is a skilled community development manager with a strong background in education. He began his career as a teacher but for the past 15 years has worked in the international development sector across Asia and the Pacific. Michael has extensive experience in capacity development, participatory practices, financial and programme management, strategic planning, and monitoring and evaluation.

Linda Broom
Public Engagement Manager

A former accountant, Linda has now worked in international development for almost 10 years and has extensive experience in public engagement, advocacy and campaigns. She is constantly inspired by the generosity of the Himalayan Trust supporters and their passion and commitment to the people of Nepal and to keeping Sir Ed’s legacy alive.

Charlotte Fowler
Communications Manager

Charlotte has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 15 years in communications and marketing, in particular online communications, media, publications, and reporting. She loves to share news and stories about the work of the Himalayan Trust and the amazing supporters who make it all possible.

Jason Edwards

Jason is a Partner at HLB Mann Judd and is responsible for the Himalayan Trust accounting matters, ensuring we meet a high standard of public accountability and financial management.

Help keep Sir Ed's legacy alive

You can help keep Sir Ed’s legacy alive. Every contribution, large or small will make a real difference to the communities in the remote Everest region.

Make a donation