Apa Sherpa Foundation: Raising Funds for Education
Located on the ancient salt trading route between Tibet and Nepal, the village of Thame in Khumbu was the childhood home of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who made history with Sir Edmund Hillary when they reached the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1953, becoming the first climbers confirmed to have achieved this amazing feat. Thame is also the home of Apa Sherpa, who is the world record-holder for summiting Mount Everest, which he has done 21 times.
In January 2013, Apa Sherpa joined forces with Peter Hillary – the son of Sir Edmund Hillary – in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, for an event organized by the Apa Sherpa Foundation to raise funds for upgrading the school in Thame. Completed in 1963, the school is one of many built in Nepal by Sir Edmund Hillary, who had a great interest in the welfare of the people living in the remote areas of Nepal. It is also the school where Apa Sherpa gained his primary education, and his goal is to assist the local children of Thame with their education. Currently the school only offers schooling up to the fifth-grade, with students facing a three-hour walk to reach the nearest school for further education. The immediate goal of the fund-raising efforts is to extend education in Thame to seventh-grade, and as the Apa Sherpa Foundation grows bigger, more children will benefit.
Peter Hillary was one of the keynote speakers at the fund-raising benefit dinner and auction organized by the Apa Sherpa Foundation. Edmund and Peter Hillary made history in 1990 as the first father/son pair to summit Mount Everest. Peter Hillary has summited Mount Everest twice and achieved his goal of climbing the highest mountains on all seven continents.
Apa Sherpa will also address attendees of the dinner, where they can learn more about the man widely considered to be one of the greatest living mountaineers, having overcome many obstacles along the way to do so. Many would agree with Peter Hillary’s comment that Apa Sherpa is an “incredible, determined man” as he works toward improving the education opportunities in the community of his home village in Nepal through the Apa Sherpa Foundation.