Mike Hagen – Chair of Trustees
Mike first discovered Nepal, its people and its mountains when trekking in the area back in 2008 and has returned many times. Mike is a retired Deputy Chief Fire Officer and currently works part-time as an international fire safety consultant. He brings experience gained from 35 years in the fire sector as both a firefighter and senior manager.
Dave Thomas – Treasurer/Trustee
Dave joined the team of trustees in 2021 and took over the role of Treasurer in 2022. Dave is a long standing supporter and advocate of CITCNepal and regularly treks in Nepal, giving him a first-hand insight into CITC’s operations on the ground. He has worked in senior roles for a number of large organisations and uses his experience to support the professional development of the team along with undertaking the treasurer duties.
Lawrie McLaren – Trustee
Lawrie joined the CITCNepal team of trustees in May 2015. Based in Brussels, Lawrie helps corporations and organisations communicate on sustainability and their purpose in society. An expert in Global Communications, Lawrie first became involved with CITC by completing a sponsored cycle ride with Mike Hagen in the Pyrenees in 2013.
Mark Cashin – Trustee
Chief Fire Office for Cheshire Fire and Rescue, UK, Mark joined the team of Trustees in 2014. He brings with him a wealth of corporate expertise. Mark has been integral in supporting the work of the Cheshire Fire Cadets and Fire Apprentices who have been magnificent in raising money to build very many classrooms in Nepal.
Sarah Hagen – Secretary & Trustee
Sarah joined CITCNepal in 2010 following a trek to Annapurna Base Camp. A retired teacher of 20 years she worked in pioneering projects aimed at improving inclusion in schools for children living experiencing difficulties at home and school. She has been to Nepal many times both trekking and working in education.
Chhiring Tamang – Educational Support Worker
Chhiring began as a CITC sponsored teacher in 2009 and has been an Educational Support Worker since 2019. She is outstanding in her role, acting as a mentor to CITC’s team of sponsored teachers accross the Solukhumbu region, sharing her expertise in child-centred learning.
Annette Roberts – Trustee
Annette, a former head teacher, has supported CITCNepal for many years, particularly through the sister school project, fundraising and hosting teacher exchanges. She joined the team of trustees in 2021 and has been supporting CITC’s teacher training programme to enhance the well-being of the children and teachers in its supported schools, including safeguarding and behaviour management.
Cathie Bremner Owen – Trustee
Cathie has been a dedicated supporter and friend of CITCNepal for many years and regularly visits Nepal to share her expertise in education and work hands on to improve the library provisions in CITC’s supported schools. Cathie has undertaken countless fundraising challenges for CITC and was appointed as a trustee in June 2022.
Tom Fakler – Professional Photographer
CITCNepal is honoured to have the support of critically acclaimed professional photographer Tom Fakler. His stunning photographs have helped CITC to showcase the beauty and capture the way of life in rural Nepal.
“My primary photographic interest is capturing people’s emotions, and the elegance and raw beauty of humanity.”
“My passion for helping people is on a par with my love for travel and adventure and photography. Whether volunteering for NGOs in Nepal and Cambodia, climbing peaks in Swiss Alps, traveling through Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert or exploring a market in Ho Chi Minh City, my interest is always the people I encounter—by appointment or by chance.
Since 2010, I have volunteered on several community development projects in Nepal and Cambodia, every one of them challenging and rewarding. I have been privileged to work with grass-roots organizers deeply committed to raising the standard of living and to building secure futures for the world’s children.
Many of my photographs are published in digital travel magazines, such as Anita’s Feast, Getting on Travel, and FWT Magazine. My contributions—as images and articles—bring a unique perspective to the exploration of cultural traditions, local color and food ways around the world.
A freelance photographer and photojournalist, I accept assignments worldwide.” – Tom Fakler www.tomfakler.com
In May 2005, a group of 8 people trekked together to Everest Base Camp. They were led by Dawa Geljen Sherpa, a Sherpa whose family have lived in Lukla for generations. Son of a Yak farmer, Dawa learnt early how tough it can be getting on in life without the benefit of schooling. His father died when Dawa was still in primary school and Dawa left school to start work to help support his mother and family. His dream to improve the education of children in his home town of Lukla became a reality when he met David Woods, Ian Lowrie, Graham MacDonald, Linza Corp and Michele Findlay on their life changing trip to Everest Base Camp.
From the inspiration of Dawa and the energy of the group, Classrooms in the Clouds was born and on 29th August 2007 Classrooms in the Clouds was registered as a charity with the Charity Commission.
Ang Sona Sherpa – Project Support Officer
Appointed in 2019, Sona is our Project Support Officer, responsible for maintaining the NGO accounts and providing a range of support to assist with the delivery of CITC’s project work. Sona is from Dudhakunda, in the Solukumbu region of Nepal, she is career focussed and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work. She has a background of working with children as a Primary Grade teacher, understanding their developmental stages and the need for child-centred learning. She also has experience in finance and administration work.
Mani Kumar Rai – Educational Support Worker
Mani was appointed Sponsored CITCNepal Teacher in 2012 at Bakhapalam Lower Secondary School. Appointed Education Support Worker in 2018, Mani works to support teachers in the field and follow up training and skills building for our team of CITC sponsored teachers. Mani took part in a UK Teacher Exchange in 2018.
NGO Committee Members
Dawa Geljen Sherpa – President (Founder of Adventure Thamserku)
Pasang Geljen Sherpa – Vice President
Nima Dawa Sherpa – Secretary
Ang Gombu Sherpa – Treasurer/Programme Director (Manager at Adventure Thamserku)
Pema Chhiri Sherpa- Member
Ang Tschechi Sherpa- Member
Kate Roberts – Communications Officer
Kate joined CITCNepal Team in March 2017 and works alongside Sarah Hagen to provide news and information for CITCNepal supporters and donors. A trained Primary School Teacher, Kate works part time with CITCNepal and keeps in touch with everyone sharing good news and updates of all things CITC.
Sonam Sherpa – CITCNepal Engineer
Sonam, CITCNepal Engineer’s, designed and managed the installation of a clean water system in his hometown, Lukla. Sonam is part of an innovative group of young business people in Lukla who have been responsible for many strong initiatives that are changing the lives of the local people. They are the new generation of young educated leaders who have the skills and the knowledge to build strong futures for their communities.
Samden Sherpa – Education Development Officer
Samden supports the professional development of the Teachers sponsored by CITCNepal and manages building projects as well as the challenging task of getting Government approval for all the new classrooms built by CITCNepal.
Samden says “ My parents had to leave my hometown just for the sake of my better education, now I have it, it is turn to share it to my community”. He has a degree in Social Work. After his graduation he became a part of Teach For Nepal, a movement initiated to end the education inequity in Nepal.
Ang Gombu Sherpa – Treasurer of CITC NGO in Nepal
Treasurer of CITC NGO in Nepal and Co-Founder of Adventure Thamserku, has many years of expertise professionally managing a company. Gombu is Secretary of Dharma Peak Sherpa Community, one of the Local Sherpa Groups working for the betterment of Sherpas in the Lower Solukhumbu. He also holds a strong presence in the Sherpa Service Centre that is dedicated to the welfare of the Sherpa Community living in and out of Nepal.
Dawa Geljen Sherpa
View Dawa’s story here…