Editor’s Note: While VISAGE rebranded to VERDAZO in April 2016, we haven’t changed the VISAGE name in our previous blog posts. We’re proud of our decade of work as VISAGE and that lives on within these blogs. Enjoy.
On September 26, 2012, VISAGE client (artist and adventurer) Mike Elliott embarked on a five week trek with the objective of reaching the Mt. Everest Base Camp (a humble 18,000 feet). Along with 9 other individuals from Canada, this “Young and Breathless” team had more than simply reaching the Mt. Everest Base Camp on their minds. The team was working towards raising the necessary funds for the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation to establish a new computer lab at the Zeke O’Connor School (150 students) in Phaplu, Nepal, a very remote and underprivileged region. Total estimated project cost was $20,000 CDN.
The original plan for Mike and his teammates was to begin a trek over 12 days with the objective of reaching Everest Base Camp. Tragically, on the morning of the team’s arrival in Kathmandu the team learned that 19 people had died on a flight to Lukla (the starting point for the trek). This news, in addition to poor weather conditions, meant timely decisions were made regarding alternative options, with the team’s decision being to divert the trek with the new objective of reaching the Annapura Base Camp. The team accomplished this in 12 days.
Of the 10 climbers, 3 (including Mike), elected to remain in Kathmandu with the decision to fly into Lukla via helicopter where they went on to complete the original mission – a 9 day trek to Everest Base Camp.
Between the two treks a distance of over 250 km was covered.
The “Young and Breathless” team, along with the Zeke O’Connor School were delighted with the support they received and exceeded their goal with total funds raised to date of $25,000. Having surpassed their funding target, the initiatives will help fund the operating expenses of the school which in April 2013 will be adding 30 new students in Grade 8, with girl students from poor and disadvantaged groups given top priority. The school will be upgraded in April 2013 to facilitate a Grade 10 class.
The project doesn’t end here. With this new infrastructure comes overhead and a need for ongoing support. Mike plans to continue his fundraising efforts to help provide ongoing support. We (at VISAGE) are committed to supporting this long term initiative.
We hope you found Mike’s trip tales as inspiring as we did. VISAGE was pleased to donate $1,000 and a dozen VISAGE toques. If you’re inspired and interested in donating, please do: http://www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/GivingPage.aspx?gpID=20265.
Happy holidays to you and yours.