Beginning of the Shimshal Trust
Pam Henson and her friend Lynette Willoughby spent five months volunteer teaching in Shimshal in 2000 at the request of the residents of the village.
Back in New Zealand, Pam raised money by giving slide shows and returned to Shimshal in 2002 with
Catharina Breukers, Tama Pugsley and Matt Grant, taking books and sports gear for the schools, and craft equipment for the women.
The Shimshal Trust was founded on their return to New Zealand.
The Trust was formally incorporated on 9 May 2003 and registered with the Charities Commission on 30 June 2008.
The Trust was established to carry out the following aims:
- To fund development and aid projects in the Northern Area of Pakistan which will become self-sustaining. These projects will be educational, economic, social or environmental, should benefit a sector of or a whole community and be agreed with the local people where possible.
- To raise awareness and understanding in New Zealand of life in Pakistan.
- To promote a reciprocal understanding of life in New Zealand and Pakistan.
- To encourage links of friendship between New Zealand and Pakistan.
The Trust is a small operation consisting of a Board made up of 7 Trustees. Officers are Chairperson, Treasurer, Minute Secretary and Correspondence and Newsletter Secretary. All tasks are done by the Trustees voluntarily. Current Trustees are Pam Henson, Liz Thomas, Brenda Kaye, Stephen Lee, Kim Penny, Jo Washbourn and Matt Grant.
Trustees live throughout New Zealand and Trust meetings are held over Skype.
Since 2004 the Trust has awarded, on average, a total of $10,000NZ each year to scholarship recipients from Shimshal, as well as the one-off donations for our projects, mostly raised by the Kiwi Madad group.
Funding for scholarships primarily comes from the generosity of automatic payments from some families and individuals and large one-off donations from others. The other main funding source since 2004 has been the sale of the following items at WOMAD, local fairs, presentations to organisations such as Rotary and fundraising events such as shared dinners and film evenings:
- Two books written by Pam Henson – ‘Shimshal’ and ‘The Women of Shimshal’.
- Greeting cards produced by the Trust featuring scenic photos of the Shimshal area.
- Small amounts of jewellery and crafts, sourced from the Hunza Valley, near Shimshal.
We have also received money from the South Wairarapa Rotary ($5000 in 2001 and a further $2500 in 2009) and Gareth Morgan family Trust ($5000 in 2008).
With the exception of administration fees (bank, PayPal, postage and registration with the Charities Commission), all the money raised for scholarships and our other projects is distributed to recipients in Pakistan.