It has been one year since the 1st of two devastating earth quakes hit Nepal on April 25, 2015. The response from supporters and friends of The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation around the world has been astounding. While some of our projects sustained major structural damage, thankfully none of our immediate Sherpa families died.
The initial task of the Foundation was to hire a Project Coordinator to oversee the damage and communicate the immediate needs of the community to the Foundation. Ironically, our Project Coordinator, Yangji Sherpa, is a recipient of one of the Foundation’s Scholarships and received her Masters in Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba. Her skills and dedication have been so valuable to the Foundation and to the people of the Solu Khumbu during this past year. Yangji has been our administrator and liaison with the Engineers, the Government, the NGOs, the Builders and Heads of all our Projects. Proposals have been submitted to The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation’s Board of Directors for approval, but only those that have connection with our Projects and the betterment of the community were approved.
This is a list of the approved projects that have been already completed or are in progress:
1. Rebuild of the Kunde Hospital (Blocks 2/4)
The Kunde Hospital suffered major structural damage but under the direction of Dr. Kami, remained operational in temporary tents while damage assessment and structural designs were made by Engineers. It has been a slow process due to the volume of damage in the area and the demand for professional assessment and design. Winter and a six month trade blockade at the Nepal-India border caused delays in construction and led to a shortage of building material. Procurement and transportation of the building material has begun. Construction will begin June 2016 after the Kunde Hospital’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations in May. There will be challenges to face but we are confident at the end of the rebuild that Kunde Hospital will be a safer structure able to withstand any further earth quakes and will provide Health Care to the Sherpas community for many years to come.
2. The Beyul Helipad and Healing Gardens
(at Kunde Hospital)
The Kunde Hospital will now have it’s very own Helipad for emergency and rescue purposes. Patients and passengers will no longer have to travel 15 minutes to access a safe take off or landing. The Beyul Gardens will promote natural healing complete with exercise equipment, a greenhouse and pond.
3. Rebuild of the Phaplu Primary School
Although our newly built ZOC Community High School sustained no earth quake damage, the Primary School was badly damaged and declared unsafe. Classes continued in tents and at the High School for the 200 students until the school was rebuilt. It was ready to welcome the students for the new school year which began this month.
4. Khumjung School Complex
Major damage was caused by the earth quake to the Khumjung High School and it’s Primary Schools in Thame, Namche, Phortse and Monju. School resumed for a few months following the earth quakes. Temporary maintenance was done to resume classes throughout the winter. The 1st phase of construction has begun and plans for completion of phase 2 in 2017.
5. Reconstruction of the Chamkang Monastery in Khunde
The Monastery is an essential part of the community and the Buddhist culture. It sustained major damage from the earth quake is reliant on the community it serves for help. The construction of the Monk’s quarters, kitchen, dining room and toilets are complete.
6. Rebuild of Dr. Kami Temba Home
Our own Dr. Kami’s home was completely destroyed in the earth quakes. His village of Thame had suffered the most damage in the Solu Khumbu district. He and his family lived in a tent while helping at the village Clinic in Thame and working at the Kunde Hospital. His home has been rebuilt and is now more secure from damage of any further earth quakes.
7. Rebuild of Sher Kumar Rai’s Home
Sher Kumar is a disabled artist and Art Teacher at the Khumjung School who has helped the Foundation by supplying beautiful artwork for our Annual Galas and Auctions. His home and Art Workshop was demolished by the earth quakes and he turned to the Foundation for help. His home has been rebuilt and is now more secure from damage of any further earth quakes.
It is through the kindness and overwhelming generosity of all who donated to the Earth Quake Rebuild Fund that the Foundation will be able to help the Sherpa people of the Solu Khumbu rebuild their community and their lives. We could not do this without your help. We sincerely thank all those who donated. We wish to thank our major donors and sponsors for their support and compassion throughout this ordeal.
The Cundill Foundation
Live Out There
Kitchener Conestoga Rotary Club
Calgary Mountain Club
Donations in Memory of Dr. Denis Brown
Duncan Rotary Club
Tom Masterson and Kathleen Henningson
Sadie & Dave Youmans
Bob and Margo Schneyder
Philip Garel Jones
Rotary Club of Toronto West
Registered ON Charitable Number: 11915 0837 0001