Our Story

The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation (SEHF) is dedicated to the support of the Sherpa people of Nepal. Our goal is to support initiatives in the areas of education, the environment and health care that help to empower and sustain the Sherpa people and their culture.

About Us

The Sir Edmund Hilary Foundation (SEHF) of Canada was founded in 1974 by Zeke O’Connor and Sir Edmund Hillary. The two cemented a  life-long friendship and partnership in service following a 1973 trip to Nepal, where Zeke was invited to join Sir Edmund on an expedition to Mount Everest Base Camp. Zeke visited Nepal over 40 times in his lifetime, and each time returned home with a deeper understanding of the many needs of the Sherpa people and a stronger determination to further the efforts to support worthy projects in the mountain regions of Nepal.

Now, nearly 50 years after that first visit, the SEHF continues to raise funds and support for the Sherpa people in the areas of education, environment and health care.

Learn more about our key initiatives here:

SEHF Milestones


Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation (SEHF) founded by Zeke O'Connor and Sir Edmund Hillary


SEHF receives Canadian Charter, and begins full patronage of Kunde Hospital


SEHF begins Sagarmatha National Park Reforestation Project


First Full SEHF Scholarship Recipient Receives Masters Degree in Forestry


SEHF Medical Scholarship Program Gains Momentum


Women's Literacy Programs Launched in Phaplu and Chhinakpu


Construction Completed on Zeke O'Connor (ZOC) School - First High School Classes Begin


SEHF Supports Earthquake Rebuilding Projects in Solukhumbu


Early Development Grades Added to ZOC School (to Grade 7)

Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, Board of Directors

K. O’Connor

R. D. Walker, Q.C.

Dr. K. T. Sherpa
Senior Medical Officer

P. Crawley, P. Gagic, P. Handling, P. Hillary, P. Hubner, M. Kaye, N. McElhinney, S. McElhinney, K. O’Connor, D. Paterson, E. Saikaly, Dr. K. T. Sherpa,
P. S. Sherpa, J. vonEtzdorf, & R. D. Walker

P. W. Webster & Dr. R. Zimmerman

M. Benton & E. Lorriman


Pictured, SEHF Founders Sir Edmund Hillary and Mr. O’Connor in the mountains of Nepal, c.1976