It all began in the early 1960s when Sir Ed asked his Sherpa friend: “If there was anything I could do for the Sherpa people, what do you think that would be?” His friend said: “Our children have eyes but they cannot see. We would like you to open their eyes by building a school in our village.”
This touched Sir Ed’s heart. He replied: “Together we will build a school.”
With the help of his Sherpa friends, he immediately set about building the first school in Khumjung – the “school house in the clouds”. He then went on to build 28 schools in the area and supported many more.
Thanks to our supporters, the Himalayan Trust continues to open up new opportunities for young people in the Everest region by improving access to quality education.
We support over 60 schools and provide teaching resources and equipment, training for primary and secondary teachers, as well as scholarships to encourage further education.
We are also increasing our support for early childhood education to help children get the best start they can.
Getting a good start in reading and writing makes a huge difference to a child’s future learning.
The Himalayan Trust and our local partner, Action for Nepal, have recently launched a pilot programme at 11 schools in the Everest region of Nepal that will involve the whole school community, including parents, to improve the way literacy skills are taught and learned in the early years.
This four-year pilot will involve continuous monitoring, evaluation and development of the programme by the schools and our education team.
Working closely with schools and the communities, we aim to build a successful and sustainable model for improving literacy and learning for boys and girls in early grades that can be rolled out to more schools in future.
The massive earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015 caused significant damage to the school buildings and facilities in the Everest region. We worked to quickly establish temporary learning classrooms so that children could get back to school as soon as possible.
By early 2018, we will have completed the construction of strong, seismically-strengthened school buildings and facilities. We plan to rebuild or repair 180 classrooms, teachers’ quarters, student hostels and toilet blocks at 33 schools, including some of the most remote schools in the region.
Read more on the earthquake recovery
Nepal currently ranks in 145th place on the Human Development Index (HDI) making it one of the least developed nations in the world. Over 7.5 million people can’t yet read and write, and 66% of these are female. Literacy levels are lowest in the most remote districts.
The Himalayan Trust works in the mountainous district of Solukhumbu in the watershed of Everest. As one of the most remote mountain districts of Nepal, transportation of supplies still depends on air, porters, donkeys and yaks. Though some communities living near the main trekking trails have achieved better economic opportunities from the development of tourism, the majority of people still live on traditional agriculture and experience economic hardship.
Many young people in Solukhumbu do not have access to a decent basic education in the early years of schooling, and this has a huge impact on their overall engagement and achievement in school.
With quality education, we can help break the cycle of poverty in Nepal, allowing young people to contribute to the local and national economy.
A good education and a love of learning opens up the window of opportunity for young people. The Himalayan Trust helps improve quality education through:
We support scholarships to help children complete their education and to encourage higher education for students. Our education work aims to provide opportunities for young people as a step out of poverty and a path towards a safer, more secure livelihood than that offered by guiding and portering in the mountains.
When 16 porters were killed in an avalanche on Everest in 2014, the Himalayan Trust launched an appeal to help the families of the climbers who lost their lives. Since that tragic day, we have supported the families of those who were killed by providing scholarships for their school-age children.
Lhakpa Sherpa’s walk to school takes him over an hour, and he has to watch his step across the steep and uneven mountain paths. But he knows he’s one of the lucky ones and is thankful for the opportunity to go to high school.
“I know I’m very lucky to be able to go to school. Many children here don’t get to go to school, because their parents can’t afford to send them.”
A regular donation to the Himalayan Trust will provide long-term, sustainable solutions to bring education and opportunities to remote communities for many years to come. You can help continue Sir Ed’s life-changing work in the Everest region of Nepal.
Make a donation
Thank you to New Zealand Aid Programme for their ongoing support for the education programme in Nepal.