Avalanche fund provides a path to a safer future

Avalanche fund provides a path to a safer future

On April 18, 2014, a 14 million ton block of ice crashed down onto the climbing route to the summit of Everest, killing 16 Sherpas.

Many of the climbers killed in the avalanche were from the upper Khumbu area, where the Himalayan Trust has been working for 50 years. Immediately following news of the avalanche, an appeal was launched 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.

Keeping kids in school

Experienced Everest guide Dorje Khatri Sherpa, 45, was one of 16 Sherpa guides who lost their lives in an avalanche on April 18, 2014.

Since that tragic day on the mountain, the Himalayan Trust has supported the families of those who were killed by providing scholarships for their school-age children.

Tsering Khatri and Phuphu Sherpa Thakchey 2For Dorje’s 15-year-old son, Tsering, this saved him from having to drop out of school after he lost his father.

Tsering’s mother Phupu explains: “Dorje was our main income earner, he earned a moderate wage from guiding and after his death, I was able to use the small savings we had.

“But it is two years now and without the Himalayan Trust support we would have no money for Tsering’s tuition fees. We would not be able to keep him in school,” adds Phupu.

A safer future

Originally from Taplejung, near Kachenjunga, the Khatri family lives in a rented apartment on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Eldest daughter Doma has now had to assume the role as main breadwinner for the family, working as a receptionist/accountant at the Kathmandu office of the Himalayan guiding company her father used to work for.

Dorje was an accomplished climber and guide and was approaching his tenth summit of Mt Everest when he was killed. Tsering hints at wanting to climb in the footsteps of his father, but Phupu doesn’t want this for him.

The Himalayan Trust’s education programme provides opportunities for the people of the Nepal Himalayas as a step out of poverty and a path towards a safer more secure livelihood than that offered by guiding and portering in the treacherous mountains.

“His father died trekking and I don’t want my son to die the same way.”

Tsering’s favourite subject at school is English, but his real love is football and dreams of playing for Nepal’s national team.

Their middle daughter, Phupu Lhamu Khatri, 19, is also a highly accomplished judo athlete, winning gold at the South Asian Games in February 2016. Phapu Lhamu is currently on an Olympic scholarship in Hungary.

On winning her gold, Phapu Lhamu told local media she wishes her father had been able to see her win her medal and hopes to be able to return to Khumbu one day soon to visit the place where her father died.

Donating to the Himalayan Trust

Every contribution, large or small, will help bring better education, safe water and better healthcare to remote villages in the Everest region. By donating $33, you could provide school desks and benches for two children, $60 could provide books in schools, and $814 could fund an annual scholarship for a high school student.

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