At Sherpa Insurance, we give back to causes that we believe in and are passionate about.  One of our Sherpa Charity Partners is the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF).  The AHF are an extraordinary, compassionate and considered charity that make a real difference to people in the Himalayan region.  After the first earthquake in Nepal, AHF were one of the first organisations nimble enough to mobilise and help.  We are fortunate and proud to be associated with the AHF. 

Photo from AHF website: Children in remote communities of the Everest region
Photo from AHF website: Children in remote communities of the Everest region


A Letter from the General Manager 

Carolyn Hamer-Smith

We have been heart-broken and devastated by the recent events in Nepal and there are few words that can express how difficult it has been to see the communities we have worked with for so long, struggle in the face of such an enormous crisis.  

While we are not an emergency response agency, the sheer scale of the destruction required us to be in those first few weeks after the first earthquake hit. As a small, flexible NGO with capacity to make quick decisions, we played to our strengths and were able to quickly get food and other essential supplies out to the areas of Kathmandu and beyond that were worst affected. It was clear that we had a role to play as a nimble, responsive agency who could move swiftly and efficiently and we are grateful to our great partners on the ground, REED, who helped make this happen.

When the second earthquake hit, it occurred in the Everest or Solukhumbu region where we have been working for over ten years to provide essential health and education services. Schools in the lower Solukhumbu, far from the tourist trails and where our work is concentrated, were destroyed and homes lost and as one of the only NGO’s on the ground right now providing emergency relief here, these communities are turning to the AHF for hope and for ongoing support.

Photo taken from AHF website: AHF Ambassador distributes relief supplies to communities across the lower Solu Khumbu
Photo taken from AHF website: AHF Ambassador distributes relief supplies to communities across the lower Solu Khumbu

In the face of all this devastation, we have been overwhelmed and moved by the response from our supporters, partners and the wider community which has enabled us to deliver the most practical, direct assistance possible to those most in need.  We are enormously grateful for your remarkable support and the aim of this newsletter is to let you know what we have been doing with the funds donated and to inform you of the extensive work taking place with your support. Our Program Director, Tshering Lama O’Gorman, is in Nepal now leading the planning for recovery efforts in the months ahead and explains in more detail below our earthquake response over the past weeks.

We have been working in Nepal for more than a decade and we will continue to be there well into the future. Programs like our School Scholarship Program will be needed more than ever as our communities cope with farms and livelihoods destroyed. Schools will need to be rebuilt and classrooms repaired and as we begin to walk the road of recovery hand in hand with the Nepalese people, we are grateful that we can count on such a wonderful network of supporters.

We will continue to communicate with you regularly with regards to our ongoing relief and recovery work and to inform you of the progress going on. In the meantime, we welcome you to get in touch directly at anytime to discuss things in more detail.

About the Australian Himalayan Foundation

Following in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF) works to help the people of the Himalaya through improvements in health, education and conservation and for over ten years has been working in partnership with local communities to help the people of the Himalaya in a long term, sustainable way.

AHF’s projects include its flagship Teacher Training and Quality Education program which improves the education of 42,000 children in Solu Khumbu region of Nepal; a girl’s school scholarship program which supports the education of over 200 girls in some of the remotest regions of Bhutan; a cervical cancer screening program in Nepal and a partnership with the Snow Leopard Conservancy in the Indian Himalaya and Nepal to protect the endangered snow leopard.

The AHF is a registered Australian NGO with no political or religious affiliations. They are members of the Australian Council for International Development and have accreditation status with the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (DFAT).

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