Choice Organic Teas Helps Save the Himalayan Kingdom
It’s one of our newest teas from our Original collection, with one of the most compelling stories. Grown in the mountainous foothills along the eastern edge of Nepal, our Himalaya Green Tea is a refreshing green tea with fantastic character. The Kachanjangha Tea Estate shares similarities with its neighbors just across the boarder in Darjeeling, India, and the unique climate gives this cooperative its signature terrior. As a Fair Trade Certified tea, the premiums paid go back into the community, building living quarters, funding medical facilities, and even starting a “cow bank” project to help the families earn some extra income through milk sales (and providing a great source of fertilizer for the fields).
Fair Trade premiums aren’t the only thing special about our Himalaya Green Tea. Ten cents from every box sold go to a remarkable nonprofit called Save the Himalayan Kingdom.
Save the Himalayan Kingdom was founded by an extraordinary woman, Ms. Pemba Doma Sherpa. She grew up in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal, facing cultural and social obstacles as she trained to become a mountain guide. Her determination carried her through her training and into her work where she became the first Nepali woman to summit Mount Everest from the challenging Tibet route, and one of only six women to climb the peak twice. She set up Save the Himalayan Kingdom to protect the environment, improve health, and preserve the local traditions of the region she loved.
Sadly, Ms. Pemba Doma Sherpa perished in a May 2007 climbing accident on Lhotse, near Mount Everest. Despite this tremendous loss, Save the Himalayan Kingdom continues its work under the direction of her surviving husband, Rajen Thapa.
One of the major projects undertaken by Save the Himalayan Kingdom was the restoration of the Deboche Nunnery, a project that began in 2004 under Pemba Doma. Originally established in 1925, it is the oldest nunnery in the Solu Khumbu region and one of the oldest in all of Nepal. Despite being home to twelve Buddhist nuns, the nunnery had fallen into disrepair. Save the Himalayan Kingdom restored nine living quarters, installed new ovens for cooking and heating, rebuilt the kitchen and dining room, constructed new, solid roofs, and put in a large new communal oven, replacing an outdated version that blackened the walls and compromised the air quality. All the building materials had to be flown in by helicopter and then carried on foot for a full day to Deboche. The project not only significantly improved the health and quality of life of the nuns, but also helped preserve an important part of the Buddhist heritage of the region for future generations.
Save the Himalayan Kingdom is also dedicated to providing for the children of deceased Sherpa climbers and guides. The high-altitude climbs of the region are extremely dangerous, even for experienced mountaineers, and every year families are left not only without a beloved family member, but their source of income as well. Save the Himalayan Kingdom works to provide schooling for the children left behind, paying all their costs (fees, room and board, travel, uniform, and other supplies). The educational program invests in individual children, as well as providing a lasting legacy to the Sherpa climbers who give their lives on the mountains.
Choice Organic Teas is proud to be involved in Save the Himalayan Kingdom, and proud to support the work that they do. For more information, check out their website at http://climbhighhimalaya.com/social_project.htm.