With roots planted firmly in mountaineering – and the certain knowledge that few of us would have climbed the great Himalayan peaks without the loyal support of the region’s tough, courageous people – The Himalayan Trust UK has been working since 1989 to help the mountain people of Nepal. We strive to improve the health and education in the mountainous regions of Northeastern Nepal, particularly in the Taplejung region.
We still hold to the guiding principles laid down by Sir Edmund Hillary when he founded the first Himalayan Trust in 1960.
> To focus on basic infrastructure – education, health, environment
> To do only that which is requested by the mountain people
> To involve the mountain people themselves in the work – “self help”
> To minimise all unnecessary cost and to facilitate direct transfer of funds
> To look for long term sustainability and independence for the mountain people
We need your help to continue and develop our work.
We started our work in 1989 supporting the work of Sir Edmund Hillary and were keen supporters of the teacher training programme initiative which started in 1997 in the Everest region. The success of these early educational programmes prompted requests to expand our reach.
The people from the Kanchenjunga region were keen to work with us to replicate the success of our educational training. The area had been largely ignored by NGOs and the development sector and we enjoyed a special relationship with Taplejung – our then Chairman, George Band, had been the first to ascend Mt Kanchenjunga back in the fifties. We introduced our own Education Programme to the area in 2007 and added a dedicated Health Programme in 2013.
The Himalayan Trust UK is a registered charity (Charity No 1000153) and the trustees work on an entirely voluntary basis.
Administration costs are kept to an absolute bare minimum and are under 4% of total income.
Through the years, people like us who have shared Sir Edmund’s vision in establishing the original Himalayan Trust NZ, have set up “sister” organisations in their own countries.
Our organisation came about as a result of Graham Wrigley, now our Chairman, who had raised money on a regular basis for some while. Sir Ed put him in touch with his fellow New Zealand climbing companion, George Lowe, who was living in the UK, with a view to formalising this fund-raising effort. In 1989, George Lowe, Graham’s father Ian Wrigley and friends started The Himalayan Trust UK. George Lowe was the founding Chairman, followed by George Band a decade later.
We started with training teachers in the Everest region together with The Himalayan Trust NZ and started our own programmes in the foothills of Kangchenjunga in 2007.
All the sister organisations work in five-year contracts with the Nepal Government and with NGOs in Nepal. Sir Ed set up a Nepal Advisory Committee for Solukhumbu to receive petitions; this is now the Himalayan Trust Nepal (an official NGO). We work closely with them to ensure that we provide help where it is needed most.
Education is a major focus of the Himalayan Trust organisations, covering the training of serving teachers working with REED, resources for classrooms, maintenance, boarding scholarships, adult literacy/education, scholarships for 16-19 year olds and higher education in academic and vocational areas needed in Nepal.
Following the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015 the New Zealand, Australian and UK Himalayan organisations decided to execute a Building Back Better Appeal rebuilding (or retrofitting) 166 classrooms covering 47 schools and 7,500 students.
Three years on we are extremely proud to be able to say we achieved our target and the students are enjoying being able to go back to school in much safer, earthquake resistant classrooms. Read more in our blog and final completion report.
You can make a difference to the valuable work we do in Nepal by donating money or time to help our worthwhile cause