Himalayan Trust raises $1m for earthquake-hit Nepal; launches Charity Trek for New Zealanders to Everest

KATHMANDU: The Himalayan Trust said it has raised more than $ 1 million in New Zealand for its Earthquake Rebuild Appeal meant for Nepal following the devastating earthquakes on April 25 and May 12.

It further announced that it would launch a 17-day trek in the Everest region, which will include visits to village schools and the famous Khunde hospital all built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Himalayan Trust, for the interested New Zealanders as a part of the Himalayan Trust Nepal Rebuild Challenge.

In a statement, the Himalayan Trust said it is offering an opportunity for New Zealanders to visit the Trust’s work in the Everest region, next year, to help with the rebuild of a local school. The Trust has been working in Nepal since 1960, when Sir Edmund Hillary built the first school in the Khumbu region.

“This was one of the worst natural disasters in Nepal’s history and we want to thank all the New Zealanders who have shown immense generosity to help the people of Nepal at their time of need,” said Prue Smith, General Manager of the Himalayan Trust, in a statement.

“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support since the earthquakes. As well as making donations, people have been raising money for our Rebuild Appeal in so many creative ways including pianothons, Fiver for Ed days and walking, running or cycling the height of Mt Everest.”

“We are excited to be able to offer kiwis the chance to continue Sir Ed’s legacy in the mountains, getting to know and working alongside the local people as they rebuild their schools,” Smith added.

Now the monsoon has ended, the Trust’s long-term response is underway, according to the Trust. "Of the 63 schools supported by the Trust, many sustained serious damage. The Trust will be rebuilding classrooms, teachers’ quarters, student hostels and toilet blocks in at least 22 schools."

“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,” Smith added.