Carl Hutchinson and Adele-Ivy Harris from Britain were in Nepal when last year's devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred, resulting in the deaths of almost 8,900 people.
The couple have been living and working in Auckland since they left Nepal, and set off on 22 January to walk the length of New Zealand to help raise money for the Himalayan Trust to fund its Nepal Earthquake Rebuild. The organisation was founded in 1960 by Sir Edmund Hillary in recognition of the empathetic relationship he had built with the nation.
Hutchinson and Harris have began their journey in Bluff and are expecting a journey lasting from 5 to 6 months to walk 3000 kilometres, concluding at Cape Reinga in Northland.
They hope that family, friends and supporters they appeal to along the way will be able to donate $10,000 to the Trust.
"Although we did some volunteering after the quake it didn't feel like enough and leaving Nepal was difficult knowing that so many families were still in need of urgent help. It was then we decided to trek the entire length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa Trail to raise money for Himalayan Trust," said Ms Harris.
The Trust provided emergency assistance immediately after the earthquake, providing temporary shelter, education and food supplies.
Himalayan Trust General Manager Prue Smith says the Trust will in future be rebuilding classrooms, teacher's quarters, student hostels and toilet blocks in as many as 30 schools in the Everest region.
"We are estimating it may take five years to repair and rebuild all the damaged buildings in the isolated Everest region where we work, particularly as we want to make sure the new classrooms meet seismic-resilient building codes to better ensure the safety of children and teachers in case of a similar disaster," said Ms Smith. "The money raised by Carl and Adele will be an enormous help to our ongoing rebuild work."
For more information, or to support Carl and Adele, please visit their Givealittle fundraising page