Sir Ed and the Himalayan Trust
Sir Edmund Hillary's name became synonymous with Everest after he and Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach its summit in 1953. When our chairman Richard Blum first met Sir Ed almost forty years ago, his work with the Sherpas—which he often called the most important of his life—was already underway. He needed partners, and we said yes. For 30 years, we were full partners in a range of work throughout the Khumbu: bringing schools and hospitals where there were none, building bridges and clean water systems, reforesting hillsides, and restoring sacred sites.
We brought quality healthcare via the flagship Kunde Hospital and village clinics, treating tens of thousands of patients each year. Tengboche and Thame monasteries, important religious and cultural centers, were restored. Over two million new trees were planted and deforestation was reduced with the installation of micro-hydro facilities at Tengboche and Thaptin, which brought clean electricity to the monasteries and their neighbors. And thousands of Sherpa children received a quality education.
The scope of our work has grown since our partnership with the Himalayan Trust began. AHF now works with dozens of local partners in the Himalaya, but Sir Ed’s respect for the Sherpas combined with his intensely hands-on and practical way of working still informs our operating style.