Sherpas all over the world are shocked at
the loss of Sir Edmund Hillary who passed away
on Jan 10, 2008 at the age of 88. The Sherpa
community has lost its dearest friend, a hero
and a father figure. He will be dearly missed
but never forgotten.
Sir Edmund Hillary's generosity and devotion
to the Sherpa Community has helped transform
the lives of thousands of Sherpas. The Sherpa
Community will always be grateful to Sir Edmund
Hillary for his enormous contributions towards
the educational and socio-economic upliftment
of the Sherpa people.
In 1960, Sir Edmund was presented with a petition from the local Sherpa children. It ostensibly read:
We have eyes but cannot see; we have
ears but cannot hear; we know there is a big
world out there, can you help us to have a school.
Sir Edmund then established the Himalayan Trust and that year a three-room school house was built at Khumjung with funds raised by Sir Edmund Hillary. Over the next 40 years Sir Edmundís Himalayan Trust funded the construction of more than 30 schools, two hospitals and 13 health clinics. In addition, many Sherpa students have benefited from scholarships provided by the Trust to study in Kathmandu and abroad. Thanks to Sir Edmund Hillary's legacy, a number of Sherpas have had the opportunity to pursue their studies abroad and lead comfortable lives.