Our social responsibility
The creation of an association
The increase of climbers coming to the Himalaya for summiting the highest mountains of the Earth, has given the opportunity to many Sherpa to work for them during their expeditions. Even though the climbing sherpas (high altitude porters) are earning much more than a Nepalis’ annual salary when they participate in an expedition, the risks taken are without doubt incomparable and many climbing sherpas have died since the first expeditions started in the early 1920.
Norbu Sherpa, as a Sirdar and well-known climbing sherpa, has lost numerous friends in the Himalaya these past years. He is aware of the difficulties and problems faced by the widows and close family members after the death of their husband, son or father. He has been faced with the deep sorrow and desperation of these families, their doubts about continuing the education of their children, and ensuring basic needs such as feeding the family and maintaining adequate life conditions after such tragedies.
How the funds will be used
Half of the funds will be distributed directly by us to the families thanks to the personal contact of Norbu Sherpa.
A follow up of the children is regularly made in order to track their progress and guarantee their needs are catered for thanks to the funds of the Butterfly Project.
Norbu Sherpa was born and grew up in the Kanchenjunga Region, a remote part of Nepal at the foot of the third highest Peak of the World, the Kanchenjunga (8,586m). It is very important for him that his fellows have the chance to access to appropriate climbing and mountaineering education.
The other half of the funds will be allocated to the climbing Sherpa from the Kanchenjunga area to offer them adequate instruction from professional mountaineers and therefore limit the risk of their work in the mountains.
The Sherpa People
The Sherpas migrated to Nepal, Solu-Khumbu four or five centuries ago from eastern Tibet and nowadays represent Nepal’s most famous ethnic group. Their name, locally pronounced ‘sharwa’, means ‘people from the East’. They still maintain the highest permanent settlements in the world, up to 4,700 meters , which accounts for their legendary hardiness at altitude.
Before the 1830s, until the arrival of potatoes cultivation enabled a settled lifestyle, the Sherpas were nomads, driving their yaks to pasture in Tibet and wintering in Nepal. Cross-border trade is currently mostly one-way, with everything from butter, noodles, and meat to electronics, carpets and cement making its way south from Tibet. However, such commercialism does not mean Sherpas are not devout Buddhists, and most villages of note support a Gompa (Monastery) and a few monks/nuns. With the beginning of the first expeditions, the Sherpas worked as high-altitude porters, giving them the reputation of ‘tigers of the snow’ and at the same time teaching them climbing techniques. With the success of the British Expedition in 1953, Tenzing Norgay achieved worldwide fame for his people.