By Eric Ladd
May 17, 2015: The Sherpa Four are scared, covered in bug bites and in shock, now living among 80 children in a Kathmandu orphanage. They are four of the many children orphaned and homeless after the spring 2015 Nepal earthquakes that decimated the country. I feel overwhelmed. First thing’s first. I need to clean this girl’s bug bites.Nicknamed the “Sherpa Four,” Tsering, Pem Nuru, Possi, and Pema Sherpa are siblings recently sponsored by the Bozeman, Montana-based charity Tsering’s Fund. A child sponsored by Tsering’s Fund receives education and boarding, and the Sherpa Four are now attending private boarding school in Kathmandu through 11th grade.
“Our primary mission of educating deserving children continues to expand,” said Tsering’s Fund Founder Peter Schmieding, after returning from a recent trip to Nepal. “The sight of these wonderful young children being transformed into healthy, happy and smiling students is truly special.”
The massive earthquakes destroyed much of Nepal killing nearly 9,000 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The Sherpa Four’s porter father perished in the powerful landslide that buried the small village of Langtang.
Nepal was already struggling as one of the poorest countries in the world, and the earthquakes worsened an already poor living situation. Children in Nepal are often without education after sixth grade, and young females, especially, are often pushed into child labor situations at young ages.
Education and safety for children is paramount to Tsering’s Fund,which has sponsored well over 150 children, and operates with no overhead allowing for 100 percent of donated proceeds to assist efforts.
“It is simple … for us to have an incredibly life-changing impact on the lives of families in Nepal,” Schmieding said. “By identifying deserving [children], most coming from illiterate, poor families, and educating them in English through high school or beyond, we can do more to improve their family’s future than any direct aid could ever accomplish.”
On average, $100 month will allow a child to experience a safe, quality and lasting education experience, one that can change the trajectory of their lives forever.
Outlaw Partners Publisher Eric Ladd and Videographer/Photographer Wes Overvold visited Nepal to offer on-the-ground assistance following the earthquakes last spring, and continue to support the effort.
Visit Tseringsfund.com for information and to offer support.
This story was first published in the winter 2016 issue of Mountain Outlaw magazine.