Newsletter 2012

In the word of Sir Edmund Hillary: “I have been fortunate enough to be involved in many exciting adventures. But when I look back over my life, I have little doubt that the most worthwhile things I have done have not been standing on the summit of mountains or at the South and North Poles, great experiences though they were. My most important projects are building and maintaining schools, medical clinics for my good friends in the Himalaya and helping with their beautiful monasteries, too. These are the things I always remember”

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND THANKS

The Himalayan Trust Nepal would like to express sincere thanks to overseas donors for their continued support for the work of the Himalayan Trust in Solukhumbu district.

    • The Himalayan Trust of New Zealand whose principle funder is the NZ Government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
    • The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, which since 1977 has fully funded Khunde Hospital and its clinics, the Forestry programme, and some Education initiatives. Founding President Mr. Zeke O’Connor has recently retired from the role of President in favour of Ms. Karen O’Connor.
    • The American Himalayan Foundation, under the leadership of Mr. Richard Blum of San Francisco.  The AHF has been a major donor for many years and continues its very generous  support of selected projects
    • The Sir Edmund Hillary- Stiftung of Germany, under Ms. Ingrid Versen and Mr. Manfred Haupl.  The German Foundation continues its valuable and substantial support to Solu/Phaplu Hospital.
    • The Hillary Foundation USA under Mr. Larry Witherbee has been another essential donor over many years.  We were sad to hear the news of the death of Mr. Bill Kelley who played an important role during the initial period of school building in the Everest region.
    • The Himalayan Trust UK continues its support of HTN education projects.  HTUK and Grand Circle Foundation were the instigators of the highly successful Teacher Training Programme which began in 1998.
    • There are many supporters who have always extended helping hands for the on-going projects of the Himalayan Trust, the dream project of Sir Edmund Hillary. In other words they are the backbones of the Himalayan Trust to carry on the legacy of Sir Edmund Hilary’s work in Solukhumbu.

The credit for the success of the Himalayan Trust Nepal projects goes to all these Foundations and donors for their long term commitment and dedication. These foundations have sustained the spirit of Sir Edmund Hillary and carried on the legacy of his humanitarian work promoting the education, health and culture of the peoples of the mountain region of Solukhumbu.

The HTN also acknowledges the hard work of its Health staff and Education stakeholders who are the people we work with in our journey through rain and snow. Their strength and spirit has kept the Trust moving forward.

The HTN also acknowledges gratefully the support of the Social Welfare Council, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, District Education office, District Health Office, District Administrative Office and District Development Committee and concerned departments for their continued support.

MEETINGS AND VISITS

In January 2012, the Himalayan Trust Nepal (HTN) committee held its first meeting of the year and considered petitions from School Management Committees and Local Communities. At this time it reviewed the work of the past year and discussed on plans for the coming year’s activities.

In Salleri, district capital of Solukhumbu, Nava Bahadur Bhujel, HTN teacher trainer based in Solu attended a planning meeting organized by the District Development Committee. He presented quarterly reports of the HTN with planning and budget.

The Himalayan Trust Nepal members held many informal meetings with its major donors. Meetings with Karen O’ Connor, the President of Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Canada, informal meeting with the Chairman of AHF, Mr. Richard C. Blum, meeting with the Chairman of Himalayan Trust New Zealand Dr. Mike Gill and Jim Strang were held. Zeke O’ Connor always keeps in touch through emails for the smooth running of Kunde hospital.

The Annual General Meeting held on 16 September was attended by seven HTN Committee Members and Dr. Mike Gill, Chairman of the Himalayan Trust NZ and Elizabeth Hawley, the country representative.

Central Project Advisory Committee meeting was conducted in November 2012 with concerned government officials. Similarly, the District Advisory Committee Meeting was held at Salleri, Solukhumbu district capital in December 2012 with the local government officials and other stakeholders.

Dr. Kami Temba and Dr. Lhakpa Norbu attended the AGM and major fund-raising functions of the SEHF in Toronto and Montreal in Canada in October 2012.

Pasang Sherpa Lama from Himalayan Trust office in Kathmandu and Khumjung School Headmaster Mahendra Kathet attended the AGM of the Himalayan Trust NZ in Christchurch in November. Mahendra Kathet and Pasang visited half a dozen schools in Auckland and Christchurch to experience teaching/ learning process and discuss educational and management aspects.

OVERSEAS VISITORS

As usual, we had the opportunity to see Peter Hillary who was accompanied by his two sons destined for Khumbu trek. Sarah Hillary with her group arrived in Kathmandu for a long trek in Solukhumbu. Jim Strang was on his way to monitoring training programs conducted by the Australian Himalayan Foundation.

The Canadian Rotarian Trek to Everest was one of the important groups who are supporters of the SEHF Canada. Another group led by Karen O’ Connor and Byron Smith was greeted by the Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee.

SEHF President Karen O’ Connor

The American Himalayan Foundation officials, Chairman Richard Blum, Erica Stone and Norbu Tenzing were on a visit to Nepal. The Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee, including Miss Elizabeth Hawley, enjoyed meeting them at Shangri-La Hotel.

AHF Chairman, Richard Blum

Ingrid Versen, the Chairwoman of Sir Edmund Hillary Stiftung keeps in touch with Kathmandu office. Manfred Haupl, the vice Chairman of Sir Edmund Hillary Stiftung in Germany was in Kathmandu on his way to Bhutan.

A reception was organized by the honorary consul of New Zealand to Nepal, Lisa Choegyal, in honor of the visiting New Zealand Ambassador to India and Nepal, Ms Jan Henderson and her husband Mr. David Henderson. Many distinguished guests and foreign dignitaries attended the reception. On behalf of the Himalayan Trust Nepal, Miss Elizabeth Hawley, Pasang Sherpa Lama and Ang Rita attended the opening reception of New Zealand Consulate Office at a new location in Lazimpat Kathmandu.

The Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee and wider New Zealand educated Nepali community greeted the ex-Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Jim Bolger and his wife on an unofficial visit to Nepal in September 2012.

HTN Nepal Committee, HTNZ Chairman Dr. Mike Gill and Wider NZ educated Nepal Community greeted the ex-PM of New Zealand, Mr. Jim Bolger

STATIONERY SUPPLIES

In 2012, competitive bids were called for stationery supplies by the HTN purchasing committee. Eight supplier submitted tenders with the result that a 29% saving was achieved compared with last year. The stationery was delivered to 63 schools in the mountain before the start of the school session.

TEACHER TRAINING

The Himalayan Trust Nepal is in agreement with the proposals of Khumjung and Chaurikharka Cluster Schools to implement English Medium Teaching (EMT) in all schools starting at Class 1-3 level. This is a very important decision with far-reaching consequences and challenges. Nevertheless, most people living in these districts, including teachers, parents and students are in support. EMT has already commenced on a trial basis in 14 schools including Chaurikharka and Khumjung clusters. Over 41 teachers took part in 3 week’s intensive English medium teaching training program at Kathmandu Rato Bangla School during the winter holiday. These program are supported by the American Himalayan Foundation and the Himalayan Trust (UK)

CHALLENGES

The big problem is the availability of teachers trained in EMT. Older teachers trained in Nepali medium will have difficulty switching to the new approach. Finding new teachers trained in English may be difficult for relatively isolated locations such as Khumbu and Pharak. Therefore, with the introduction of EMT, the HTN has appointed a number of new teachers at Khumjung, Thame, Phortse, Pangboche, Namche, Gumila, Chaurikharka, Karikhola and Phaplu Schools. Most of the new teachers have studied Education on Trust scholarships to be teachers in their own villages but they are encouraged to have teaching license and avail the opportunity of government jobs for their professional sustainability. They have been encouraged to take all training conducted by the Himalayan Trust or Reed Nepal.

In March 2013, sixty teachers from Chaurikharka cluster and fifty five teachers from Khumjung cluster will take part in a 15 days training program supported by the HTN. Teacher training will be provided jointly by HT and REED Nepal Trainers.

SCHOOL VISIT

The Two HTN teacher trainers, Ishwor Man Rai based in Chaurikharka, and Nava Bhujel based in Salleri, continue their work visiting schools, assessing needs and advising on training. HTN committee member, Pasang Dawa Sherpa, teacher trainer Iswor Man Rai, and Headmaster Mahendra Kathet, have visited and assessed 8 schools in Chaurikharka VDC.

Kami Temba and Dawaphuti have assessed Khumjung and Thami schools. Pasang and Thukten have visited 22 schools en route from Chaurikhakra, Juving, Nunthala, Salleri, Beni and Bakanje VDC supervising the physical structures of the schools. They observed the class room teaching, demonstration and discussed with the teachers about the changes in the class rooms and challenges. Checked Himalayan Trust stationery records and interacted with school management chairs and committee people. On the way, they talked with some of the students and parents about their school and teachers.

HT SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships are offered for academic courses and medical subjects on merit basis for the students of Solukhumbu. The Trust focuses scholarships on vocational subjects. Over 105 students, 55 boys and 50 girls have received scholarships for various courses of study from Grade 11 to Bachelor level during the fiscal year 2011/2012.

Sabin Ban
Solukhumbu District topper (boy)
Anupama Ghimire
District topper (girl)
Ngima Kanchhi Shrestha
Khumjung School topper

SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCES

The Himalayan Trust supports the work of extension and maintenance of the schools on the basis of cost sharing with the local community. During the last year, HTN has supported the following schools and projects.

  • Science Equipment for75 Solu Schools
  • New iron roof for Mera Primary school replacing traditional stone slabs which leaked
  • Janakalyan Primary School Purdu  with class room maintenance and furniture.
  • Poyan Primary School for Protection of school window pane by iron grill.
  • Thame School to level the stone upheaval ground caused due to  surface soil blown by current of air in the course of many years.
  • Phaplu School.  HTN has helped rebuild the school on the western side of school compound
  • Phaplu hospital maintenance work
  • Built teachers’ accommodations for Inkhu primary school teachers in Chebuche.
  • Supported Jaidu and Kunikhop schools with drinking water and toilets.
  • Helped to rebuild the original school built by Sir Ed. at Chaurikharka Upper Secondary School
  • Supplied and fixed Play items for child-friendly environment at Chaurikharka cluster schools.
  • Helped the community of Thame to build a welcome gate.
  • Helped Kunde Chamkhang to rebuild

PHAPLU HOSPITAL, SOLU

Agreement between the Himalayan Trust Nepal and Phaplu Hospital Development Society were reached in June this year for another five years starting from July 2012 to June 2016. The major support will be medicines and maintenance work. The hospital is committed to improving the health status of all Nepalese people by delivering high quality services. The overall objectives are to reduce morbidity, morality and to provide quality health services by means of early diagnosis, prompt treatment. The Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee members, Pasang Lama and Thukten Sherpa, visited Phaplu Hospital in December 2012 and discussed with the doctor-in-charge, hospital chairman and the hospital management board about the quality of services, challenges and maintenance work.  They also met the district health officer to discuss about the ongoing support from the Himalayan Trust. The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation –Stiftung continues its support to Phaplu hospital and Bung Clinic in the form of medicines every year. The medicines are supplied to the in-patients free of cost.

KUNDE HOSPITAL

Kunde Hospital and its peripheral clinics under Dr. Kami Temba, as Chief of Medicine and Eliza Bajracharya as medical officer and it’s health workers have provided best health care in Khumbu and Pharack valley with constant financial support from Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Canada.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
The Himalayan Trust has successfully implemented its entire program in the field of education and health in Solukhumbu with the supports of all the concerned parties. The Himalayan Trust Nepal once again expresses heartfelt thanks for all the donors and stakeholders for great support and cooperation as in the past.

Finally, the Himalayan Trust Nepal would like to wish many warm greetings to all its supporters and well wishers on the occasion of happy New Year of 2013.    NAMASTE  !