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Humanitarian Award For The Himalayan Trust

Humanitarian Award For The Himalayan Trust

Over four decades of volunteer work to improve the lives of Sherpa communities in Nepal will be recognised next month as the Himalayan Trust receives the Variety International Humanitarian Award at a gala event in Auckland.

Lorraine Taylor, CEO of Variety-The Childen's Charity says “The Variety International Humanitarian Award recognises a person or organisation that has made a significant contribution to the welfare of their fellow human beings.

The Himalayan Trust, established by Sir Edmund Hillary, vice-patron and long-time supporter of Variety epitomises the values of this award and we are delighted to recognise the extraordinary accomplishments of the Trust in bettering the lives of the Sherpa people.

The evening will be also be a celebration of the life of Sir Edmund Hillary. “

Sir Edmund Hillary, became conscious of the Sherpa’s basic existence during his first Himalayan climbing expeditions, where the mountain people had no schooling for their children and no medical treatment for their families.

Responding to a heart felt plea from his Sherpa friends in 1961 Sir Edmund Hillary financed and then built the first permanent school in the Mt Everest region.

Following an overwhelming flood of requests from other Sherpa villages in the Khumbu area to provide more schools, Sir Edmund Hillary gathered together his family and friends to form the Himalayan Trust to assist with the fund-raising and supervision of the new projects.

The Himalayan Trust is dedicated to improving the living conditions and economy of people living in the Himalayas and since its inception the Trust has been responsible for building and maintaining over 30 schools, two hospitals, 12 medical clinics, three airfields and many bridges and fresh water pipelines.

Life expectancies for Sherpa have been raised with successful health programmes reducing the prevalence of infectious diseases and rates of stillbirth and infant mortality have decreased.

Adult literacy is improving through the provision of adult education initiatives and 100 children from local schools receive grants each year to attend higher education.

The Variety International Humanitarian and Heart Awards Gala Dinner will be held on Wednesday 14 May at SKYCITY Convention Centre with Lady June Hillary accepting the Variety International Humanitarian Award on behalf of the Himalayan Trust.

The event will feature performances by Dame Malvina Major, and Australian entertainer Kamahl. For information about the event and to purchase tickets please contact Variety – The Children’s Charity on 09 520 4111 or www.variety.org.nz

ENDS

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