Join the SmileHigh Club



















"Healthy teeth, bigger smiles"


The Origin of SmileHigh

SmileHigh was born out of a friendship between two individuals from different worlds - one a dentist and passionate mountaineer from New Zealand with an ambition to climb Mt Everest and the other from Nepal whose early education was made possible by the work of Sir Edmund Hillary. This later opened the door for him to qualify as a dentist and help his community.

In 2003 Julian Haszard climbed Cho Oyo, the sixth highest mountain in the world at the border between China and Nepal. Following this successful climb; Julian spent four weeks working as a volunteer dentist in the Everest region and during this time met Dr Mingma Sherpa, a Nepali dentist. Both Julian and Mingma observed the dire dental health of the children in the Everest region. It was clear to both Mingma and Julian that the children were highly vulnerable to severe dental decay due to the change in diet that was occurring due to Western influences and a lack of any strategy to protect their teeth.

Julian and Mingma sought to devise a treatment strategy that was more long term and sustainable in addition to the immediate treatment of decayed teeth.  Julian and Mingma were inspired by the sustainable approaches of education and prevention advocated by Sir Edmund Hillary and Fred Hollows, where local people were empowered to solve their own health issues.  

In 2004 the Khumbu Dental Project was established which was Julian and Mingma's vision of a five year dental project for the Everest Region, an area in desperate need of preventive dental services. Julian obtained publicity for this project through his successful climb of Mt Everest in May 2004 and this publicity brought much needed support for the project from a number of dental companies and private donors.

In 2005 Trevor Moyle became involved with the project through the University of Otago Alumni Association. Trevor has been instrumental in establishing a foundation structure for the project which was renamed the Himalayan Dental Health Foundation and now called SmileHigh. This structure provided the basis for growth and sustainability.

The vision of providing much needed dental services in remote areas of Nepal first envisaged by Julian and Mingma in 2003 has been embraced by a team of supportive people who all have a desire to contribute in an effort to increase the quality of life for people in Nepal.