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Women on top of the world

Ambassador of Nepal in South Africa, Mr. Arun Dhital hosted a reception on Wednesday 20 March in Johannesburg to welcome the Nepalese 7 Summits Women's team.
The team is made up of Shailee Basnet (Coordinator), Asha Kumari Singh, Chunu Shrestha, Nimdoma Sherpa, Pema Diki Sherpa, Pujan Acharya and Maya Gurung.
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In May 2008, this team of young Nepali women became the most successful women’s expedition to ever summit Mt Everest.
Against all kinds of socio-economic odds, this emerging team succeeded in doing what no one thought possible. 
Nimdoma Sherpa, became, at the age of 16, the youngest ever female to summit Everest – a record she held until last year.
To commemorate Women's Day (8 March) this year the team climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to highlight the importance of women’s rights and in particular, education for girls. This was achieved with the support of the United Nations and its partners.
Though nowhere near as high as Everest, Kilimanjaro remains the highest free-standing mountain on earth and demands considerable reserves of strength and willpower.
Joining the Nepali team were three African women.  Ashura Kayupayupa, an activist for education and HIV/AIDS, grew up in Dar es Salaam and lost her father at an early age.  Her mother couldn’t afford to raise her yet worked every day in the market to contribute towards her education. Anna Philipo Indaya is a member of the Hadzabe tribe, a nearly extinct hunter-gatherer group in Tanzania.  Hlubi Mboya, a South African actress and UN World Food Programme (WFP) Ambassador Against Hunger also joined the team.  
At the time of the Kilimanjaro climb Mboya said, “This is a journey to empower and inspire African girls to be the champions they can be. I know it’s going to be tough mentally and physically but it will also bring me great joy.”
Addressing guests at the reception Shailee Basnet said, "With the first (and arguably most challenging) summit behind us, in our quest to do something that would be meaningful and helpful not just in Nepal but globally, an idea took shape: We would climb, as a team, seven of the highest peaks on seven continents."
Hoping to inspire the youth she said, “All the team members have had to climb their own personal mountains, overcoming challenges to attend school and get where they are today. We hope our determination will be an example to youth everywhere.”
In June 2010 they journeyed to Australia and started with Mt Kosciuszko/Tar Gan Gil. They made it to the summit in July 2010 and the following month climbed Mt Elbrus in Russia, the tallest in Europe. With three of the 7 summits climbed, they headed to Kilimanjaro, the rooftop of Africa.
The remaining mountains still to be conquered are Mt. McKinley in Alaska; Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica; and Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina.
Ambassador Dhital went on to say, “The Government of Nepal is celebrating Mt. Everest Diamond Jubilee this year to mark the 60th year of ascent of Mt. Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary by organizing various programmes throughout the year.”
“In recent years there is an increasing number of tourists from South Africa visiting Nepal especially in the mountaineering and trekking sector.
“There is a saying in our Nepali language “Atithi Devo Bhava” which is instilled in the general Nepali mindset. It is translated in English as “Guests are Gods”.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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February/March 2020

 
 
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