News from the Front

Mt. Everest 1989

A number of Beaux Arts alumni have embraced humanitarian lifestyles. Hugh van Skyhawk is one of them. I asked him to update me on his projects. Here is his list to date.

1. 1990–1998: ‘Barefoot doctor’ (basic medical care) for mountain people in northern Pakistan (often for their domestic animals as well).
2. 1995–1998: Micro-hydroelectric power plant for the remote village of Hispar (Nager, Karakoram).
3. 2005–2006: Immediate help for victims of the earthquake in Kashmir (warm clothing, medicines, tents).
4. 1978–present: discovering, initiating and promoting inter-religious dialogues in India and Pakistan. My academic work has been devoted to promoting understanding of indigenous traditions (devotional literature and oral traditions) that teach universal compassion and brotherhood where they are needed most.
5. 2007–present: Installation of a solar electric unit for the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations, Islamabad, Pakistan. Establishment of a library of source materials for the study of comparative religions in Islamabad, Pakistan.
6. 2007 to present: The building, support, and protection of an elementary school for girls in the village of Gormaan, Province Logar, Afghanistan.

“These efforts have been undertaken parallel to my field research. I have never been a full-time development aid worker or adviser. But I did what I could with the means that were at my disposal or the means I could obtain from development aid organizations while still doing the job I had been sent to the field to do.” Hugh

Hugh pages


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