A British couple who were caught up in the devastating earthquake in Nepal last April are setting off to walk the length of New Zealand to help raise money for the Himalayan Trust’s Nepal Earthquake Rebuild.
Carl Hutchinson and Adele-Ivy Harris, who have been living and working in Auckland since leaving Nepal, will begin their journey in Bluff on January 22 and expect it will take them 5-6 months to walk the full 3000km trail, ending in Cape Reinga. They hope to raise $10,000 from family, friends and the kiwi supporters they meet along their journey.
The couple were travelling in Nepal when the 7.8 magnitude quake struck in April 2015, killing almost 8,900 people and causing widespread devastation.
“Although we did some volunteering after the quake it didn’t feel like enough and leaving Nepal was difficult knowing that so many families were still in need of urgent help. It was then we decided to trek the entire length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa Trail to raise money for Himalayan Trust,” says Adele.
Immediately following the earthquakes, the Himalayan Trust provided emergency shelter to affected communities: distributing tents, tarpaulins and other essential items, funding the construction of 25 emergency houses for families who had lost everything and providing temporary classrooms in 30 schools. Himalayan Trust General Manager Prue Smith said the Trust will be rebuilding classrooms, teacher’s quarters, student hostels and toilet blocks in at least 30 schools in the Everest region where it works.
“We are estimating it may take five years to repair and rebuild all the damaged buildings in the isolated Everest region where we work, particularly as we want to make sure the new classrooms meet seismic-resilient building codes to better ensure the safety of children and teachers in case of a similar disaster,” says Ms Smith. “The money raised by Carl and Adele will be an enormous help to our ongoing rebuild work.”