SAVE THE HIMALAYAN KINGDOM is a non-profit organisation founded in 2000 by late Ms. Pemba Doma Sherpa. She grew up in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal and trained as a mountain guide. An accomplished climber, Pemba is the first Nepali woman to have conquered Everest from the north side and is one of only six women to have summited Everest twice.
Our vision is of a Himalayan region in which people’s basic needs are met, where a traditional way of life is preserved, and where the children’s future is protected.
We seek to protect and improve the lives and livelihoods of the people of the Himalayan region.
Pemba Doma Sherpa – Everest
To raise awareness among local communities of the issues affecting their well-being and future survival, such as environmental protection, health and literacy.
To develop understanding among local communities of practices that will protect and improve their lives, livelihoods and the environment.
To provide practical and financial support where there is greatest need, and to implement projects that bring about positive and sustained change.
Restoring the Deboche Nunnery
In 2005 SAVE THE HIMALAYAN KINGDOM, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Coorporation (SDC), implemented a project to restore the nunnery at Deboche. Established in 1925, it is the oldest nunnery in Solu Khumbu and one of the oldest in Nepal.
The nunnery had fallen into disrepair. Still home to 12 nuns, it lacked adequate heating or insulation from the cold. There was also little ventilation for the wood burning stove in the kitchen, putting the health of the nuns at risk.
The first phase of the project was completed in November 2005. Eight of the nuns’ houses were completely renovated and small stoves for hot water and heating are now in place. The kitchen and dining room have also been rebuilt, complete with new roof. The second phase, due for completion in 2008, includes installing a new oven to provide cooking facilities for at least 20 nuns (the oven weighs 100 kilos and must be flown from Kathmandu by helicopter), equipping the houses with beds and bedding, and re-landscaping the garden.
Restoring the nunnery at Deboche has significantly improved the health and quality of life of the nuns who live there. It has also preserved for future generations an important part of the heritage of the region.
Supporting the children of deceased Sherpa climbers
The Sherpas are probably the best known Nepali ethnic group. They live in the mountainous regions of eastern and central Nepal, particularly in the Solu Khumbu region at the foot of Mount Everest. The word sherpa has become synonymous with trekking and mountaineering (with a small ‘s’ it means a trek guide or mountaineer). Not all sherpas are Sherpas, but many of them are. The Sherpa people are known and respected around the world for their hardiness and skill in what is difficult terrain.
Climbing at high altitude is extremely dangerous and every year a number of Sherpa climbers die whilst working on international expeditions. In 2006 alone, the figure exceeded ten. As well as losing a husband and father, each of these families will have lost its only source of income.
We have established a project to help the children and families of deceased Sherpa climbers.
Our project aims to help alleviate financial hardship whilst supporting individual children in achieving their potential in life. By paying the costs associated with going to school in Kalinpong in India, we will help give that child the best possible start in life. Initially, the project will assist five families from different villages in the region. We will pay all the costs – school fees, food and lodging, travel, uniform and stationery – supporting the child throughout their education, which could be for up to 12 years. We will talk to families to determine where the need is greatest, and we will monitor each child’s progress.
The costs associated with sending a child to school in Kalinpong add up to about US$1,000 a year. Most of this is for board and lodging – about $50 a month – and the school fees add a further $20 a month. The remainder pays for the child’s travel to and from home once a year as well as his or her uniform and stationery.
This is an important project for us. It not only invests in the future of individual children, but it provides a lasting legacy to the Sherpa climbers who give their lives on the mountains.
You Can Help
Please support SAVE THE HIMALAYAN KINGDOM by making a donation.
Also email us to contribute to our educational fund or to enquire about sponsoring a Sherpa child to go to school.
We would like to thank everyone who has donated time and money to help us achieve our aims.
We are particularly grateful to the Swiss Agency for Development and Coorporation (SDC) for their help with the Deboche Nunnery Project, and the Trekking Company UK (Trekco) and Choice Organic Teas (Washington, USA) for their continued financial support.