top of page

Maria Eldering and Maartje Hinse, Haarlemmers born and bred, met in 2014 on a trip in the Himalayas, where, on their trekking expedition to Mount Everest base camp, they made the acquaintance of many sherpas.
Two weeks later, 16 of these sherpas and guides lost their lives in one of the deadliest avalanches ever to hit Mount Everest.


To support the bereaved families and to find out more about what kind of help they need, Maria and Maartje are returning to the Mount Everest region three years later, starting in Namcha Bazaar. When they return, they plan to publish a book with stories and portraits, highlighting the difficult circumstances of the sherpa families in the affected area. A large part of the proceeds of the book will go into a fund which offers financial support to the families on the ground.


Maartje Hinse

My name is Maartje Hinse. I am an illustrator for War Child and others. I was born on the morning of 4 June 1983, in Haarlem, in the Netherlands. This was the happiest moment of my life. Not that I can remember, but from this moment I was part of the fortunate four precent of the world’s population that has the means to go on holiday.


From an early age, I realised how unfair the world is, and even as a young girl, I spent many sleepless nights worrying about this. As young as I was, I began making drawings about these painful subjects and I would hang them at the local supermarket, hoping in this way to help make the world a slightly better place.


In the course of my studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Arts Academy, I focused on issues like abuse of power, and for my graduation project, I spent 6 months working as a volunteer with homeless refugees. These six months out on the streets in particular, really changed me as a person. I began to realise how lucky I was to have been born in the place where I was, and how rich I am with a fridge full of food when I’ve done my weekly shopping.


It was immediately clear to me I would be returning to the Sherpas when I met them in 2014. And when that terrible avalanche struck two weeks later, I knew exactly who I’d be returning for. It was immediately clear to me I would be returning to the Sherpas when I met them in 2014. And when that terrible avalanche struck two weeks later, I knew exactly who I’d be returning for.


“If you think you are to small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” – Dalai Lama –

Maria Eldering

My name is Maria Eldering. I’m a violinist, I’m 34 years old, born and bred in Haarlem. My life as a mu-sician is busy, fun, adventurous, chaotic, but also quiet at times, but always filled with creativity and music. I love to travel, clime and exploring other cultures and especially Nepal. Over the past few years, I’ve visit-ed many places.


My parents instilled me with a passion for climbing from an early age. First on my father’s back and later venturing out on my own. My Dad taught me climbing techniques, but also to respect nature and to enjoy the landscapes. This year my dad past away and this is one of the reasons that I care about the situation of the Sherpa families. I can imagine what it is to live without a father, the pain and emotions are always around me. But How hard must it be for the Sherpa families to live without a father and because of that without any sort of income!


I met Maartje on the trekking to Mount Everest Basecamp. A highlight of the trip was climbing Kala Paathar (5550 m).
An amazing, but also quite taxing trip with a lot of hardships, but it was more than worth it. Our group was not very large, which may have been the reason that we developed quite a close connection with our fellow climbers and the Sherpas.
Hard workers, but always with a smile on their faces. That is how I remember them.


The avalanche disaster has continued to haunt me ever since. What happened to the families of the Sherpas who were killed? How do they manage to survive both the loss of their fathers and husbands, as well as the income they brought in? Do these families have any other employment options? What are the education. opportunities for their children? These are just a few of the questions I keep asking myself.


Ang Puri Sherpa

Tolk en gids

Pasang Dai Sherpa


bottom of page