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ITC supports and celebrates Everest Day

Posted on 08/06/2022 by

ITC supports the Himalayan Trust and Everest Day.

ITC often talks about travelling, experiencing other cultures, and learning about the world. But we also often live it, too.

One such way has long been through our celebrations and recent support of Everest Day. Here’s a little more about what that day is (and means), and how we continue to support the legacy of one of New Zealand’s greatest heroes Sir Edmund Hillary, and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. 

What is Everest Day? 

Everest Day is an annual event on May 29, marking the exact day that a human summited the world’s tallest mountain. That mountain was Nepal’s 8,849-metre-tall Mount Everest, and the team that did it was New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

The pair managed this unforgettable feat in 1953, long before the invention of the vast majority of the tools and gear that are commonly used in climbing Mt Everest today.

Sir Edmund Hillary was an incredible man, but for much more than just his fitness and strength. His time with the Nepalese people and Sherpas led him to found the Himalayan Trust in the 1960s, in order to support the people of Nepal.

According to him, helping the Nepalese was a greater achievement than that of summitting Mt Everest.

Now on Everest Day, the Himalayan Trust asks Kiwis to donate a $5 note (featuring Sir Ed himself) to support the Nepalese people.

What does the Himalayan Trust do?

When Sir Ed asked what he could do for the Sherpa people, a Sherpa replied:

“Our children have eyes but they are blind and cannot see. We would like you to open their eyes by building a school in our village.”

So Sir Ed built a school. Then more schools, hospitals, and health clinics all across the region at the foothills of Mt Everest. The Himalayan Trust continues his incredible work, supporting education and development wherever possible.

For example, during the pandemic when schools were closed, the Trust provided homes with radios so children could continue their education.

How ITC, and the incredible Mel Jenkins, are involved

Mel Jenkins, ITC’s Marketing Manager, is a keen runner. In 2015, she trained to run the world’s highest marathon, the Everest Marathon, but was unable to that year due to the massive earthquake in Nepal.

Not one to give up easily, Mel continued her training for another year and raised more than $8,000 for the Himalayan Trust when she eventually ran the marathon the following year.

Claire Huxley, ITC’s founder and CEO, is a huge supporter of both Mel and the Himalayan Trust, which is why she contributed to Mel’s fundraising efforts on behalf of ITC.

When asked, Claire said: “I was supporting Mel in her amazing goal to help support the people of Nepal, and in doing so continued to support her efforts with these charities, as Mel had seen first-hand the amazing work they do. We’ve often taken on team suggestions for charitable donations, so that we donate to organisations that our team and students feel connected to.”

An invite to Government House  

Just over a week ago, Everest Day was celebrated at Government House – the beautiful, historic home of New Zealand’s governor-general.

And ITC was invited! Or more specifically, Mel and her husband Ceri Jenkins. Thanks to her ongoing work and support, Mel – on behalf of ITC – was ecstatic to accept.

During the event, Sir Edmund Hillary’s son, Peter Hillary, made a moving speech at the exact moment his father summited Mt Everest 69 years ago to the day. Ang Kaji Sherpa also spoke, talking about his education at one of the schools built by Sir Ed.

Mel was surprised and delighted to learn that Ang Kaji Sherpa was the brother of one of the Sherpas she had met during her time in Nepal. Not to mention, Nepal has six times the population of New Zealand!

If you would like to support the Himalayan Trust, you can donate directly on their website

And if you’d like to learn more about enrolling at the International Travel College, which truly supports travel and exploring the world, we’d love to hear from you.

Campus Study – college@itc.co.nz 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.itc.co.nz/contact-us/

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