Lehara’s purpose is to provide local people with a skill that empowers them to bring in a sustainable income that they are proud of, while in turn, supporting the local community to thrive.

The Lehara operation has 3 phases:

PHASE 1: VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME

In September 2023, Lehara opened its first Vocational Sports Massage School, offering 11 full scholarships for locals from the Khumbu Valley to be trained as Lehara Massage Therapists (foundation). The course syllabus was specifically developed for Lehara and was delivered in person by highly experienced tutors (Osteopath & Sports Massage Therapist) from the London School of Soft Tissue Therapy (LSSM).  Our training team worked closely with the trainees to ensure they had:

  1. Knowledge of anatomy and physiology
  2. Effective manual therapy techniques
  3. Good communication skills

7 trainees passed the training course and all were offered permanent employment within Lehara’s Sports Massage clinics. They have been provided with all the equipment they need to deliver a high-quality sports massage service to trekkers and climbers passing through Namche Bazaar and Dingboche on their way to Everest Base Camp.

Ama Dablam from Tengboche

Namche Bazaar

PHASE 2: SPORTS MASSAGE SERVICE

Lehara’s Sports Massage Service opened in October 2023. We offer 60-minute sport massage sessions, in clean and comfortable treatment rooms, from clinics in Namche and Dingboche.

​Lehara treats clients from partnered trekking companies as part of their core trek price and also individual trekkers.

PHASE 3: THE COMMUNITY RIPPLE EFFECT

The revenue generated from delivering sports massage sessions will be used to provide regular salaries to the employed therapists and ongoing training and support. However around 60% of the revenue will be distributed across the community as follows:

​1. Regular investment in local community organisations

Each qualified therapist have chosen a funding pot they want to support. These could be:

  1. Advancing education
  2. Improving healthcare
  3. Protecting the environment

The money invested within their chosen funding pot will be directly proportionate to the number of hours they have worked for Lehara. Once the funding pot reaches a threshold, local organisations or charities will be invited to apply for grants, where their initiative or goals meet Lehara’s overall charitable objectives.

​In 2024, as organisations successfully apply for Lehara grants, we will keep you up to date on the impact these Lehara grants are having.

​2. A sustainability fund

During the first 18 months of operation, a small proportion of the Lehara revenue will be invested in to a sustainability fund. This fund will continue to grow until it can cover the annual salaries of all our therapists. This will ensure that our therapists will get paid, even if the number of tourists visiting the valley reduces due to unforeseen circumstances.

The Lehara operation has 3 phases:

PHASE 1: VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME

In September 2023, Lehara ran its first Vocational Sports Massage school, offering 11 full scholarships for locals from the Khumbu Valley to be trained as Lehara Massage Therapists (foundation). The training course was specifically developed for Lehara’s aims. It was delivered in person by highly experienced tutors and graduates from the London School of Soft Tissue Therapy.  Our training team worked closely with the trainees to ensure they had:

  1. Knowledge of anatomy and physiology
  2. Effective manual therapy techniques
  3. Good communication skills

7 trainees passed the course and were all offered permanent employment within Lehara’s Sports Massage clinics. They have been provided with all the equipment they need to deliver a high-quality sports massage service to trekkers on the Everest Base Camp trek.

PHASE 2: SPORTS MASSAGE SERVICE

Lehara’s Sports Massage Service opened in October 2023. We offer 60-minute sport massage sessions, in clean and comfortable treatment rooms, from clinics in Namche and Dingboche.

​Lehara treats clients from our partner trekking companies as part of their core trek price and also to individual trekkers.

PHASE 3: THE COMMUNITY RIPPLE EFFECT

The revenue generated from delivering sports therapy sessions will be used to provide regular salaries to the employed therapists and ongoing training and support. However around 60% of the revenue will be distributed across the community as follows:

​1. Regular investment in local community organisations

Each qualified therapist will chose a funding pot they want to support. These could be:

  1. Advancing education
  2. Improving healthcare
  3. Protecting the environment

The money invested within their chosen pot will be directly proportionate to the number of hours they have worked for Lehara. Once the funding pot reaches a threshold, local organisations or charities will be invited to apply for grants, where their initiative or goals meet Lehara’s overall charitable objectives.

​In 2024, as organisations successfully apply for Lehara grants, we will keep you up to date on the impact these Lehara grants are having.

​2. A sustainability fund

During the first 18 months of operation, a small proportion of the Lehara revenue will be invested in to a sustainability fund. This fund will continue to grow until it can cover the annual salaries of all our therapists. This will ensure that our therapists will get paid, even if the number of tourists visiting the valley reduces due to unforeseen circumstances.

Our Story

In 2021, after listening to a podcast on the principles of Sustainable Giving, Lehara’s founder Lisa Jelly was inspired to come up with an initiative that followed its core sustainability principles.

By bringing together her experience of mobilising community healthcare services in the UK, her qualification in Physiotherapy and her passion for travelling and high altitude trekking, the idea of a Sports Massage Service for trekkers, delivered by locals, was born.

​There was only one place in the world where Lisa wanted to launch this idea. In 2019, during an 8-week trekking holiday in Nepal, she fell in love with the Sherpa people living in the Solu-Khumbu region. These high-altitude communities demonstrated a simple and selfless lifestyle, where their happiness was not reliant on material wealth.

​Three years later, Lisa took the chance to give back to this community in a sustainable way. She started working on the opening of a Sports Massage vocational school in Namche Bazaar, set to empower 15 Sherpa trainees to gain a new skill, that would enable them to earn a sustainable living, and give back to their wider community.

The first cohort of trainees are due to enroll in September 2023. For those that successfully pass the training course, they will be offered full time employment in the Lehara Sports Massage service, providing high quality treatment sessions to trekkers in Namche and Dingboche.

As the service grows, the vocational school will re-open for future cohorts of trainees, offering further chances for locals to learn a skill and gain sustainable employment.

The core of Lehara – Sustainable Giving

Lehara is based on 3 core principles of a sustainable giving; give through Wealth, Wisdom and Work. By providing all 3 components in equal measure, a sustainable initiative can be created and supported long term.

1. WEALTH

Fundraising and corporate partnerships helped cover the training costs and equipment required.

​A percentage of Lehara’s revenue is being re-invested into future training requirements and equipment, with the intention for Lehara to be financially self sufficient by year two.

Long term, Lehara will become the source of wealth for future initiatives that will benefit the local community.

2. WISDOM

The initial 2 week Lehara massage course will educate the trainees in:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • How to run a clinic
  • Communication skills

​The above knowledge will enable trainees to qualify as a Lehara Massage Therapist (foundation), and work within the Lehara Sports Massage service.

3. WORK

Experienced tutors and graduates of  the London School of Soft Tissue Therapy (LSSM) delivered the 2-week Sports Massage training course, where time was invested in the trainees, by getting to know each individual and ensuring they are confident and competent in all the skills they require.

​Since our clinics went live in October 2023, ongoing clinical supervision, guidance and operational support has been provided.

Responsible and sustainable travel

Lehara is committed to promoting responsible and sustainable travel where the trekkers, the trained local therapists and the wider communities of the Khumbu all benefit wholeheartedly from the Nepalese trekking industry.

Lehara’s sports massage service will provide:

  • The right travel experience: A high quality service run completely by locals, where every US $ stays within the Khumbu, benefitting the local communities.
  • A positive environmental impact: A new revenue stream will be generated for the locals, without the need for any additional footfall. Lehara commits to being carbon neutral.
  • An authentic sports therapy service for trekkers, full of local human interaction, where trekkers can chat to their local sports therapist and start to understand their culture.
  • A service that, with no additional footprint, will have a very positive social impact for the local Khumbu communities.
  • A scaleable, sustainable initiative where growth will benefit larger communities, without any negative consequences.
  • Regular targeted investment into the local community via multiple local charities.
  • An ethical not-for-profit enterprise that will benefit all of our key stakeholders – the local therapists, the local community charities, the trekkers and the environment in which we operate.

Why the name ‘Lehara’

“LAHARA” = RIPPLE (NEPALI)
“LEHARA” = HOIST/LIFT (HINDI)

  1. A name and brand that is grounded within Nepalese culture.
  2. A unique name, where people ask about its origins and meaning.
  3. We wanted a name that told the story of a positive ripple effect across the community.
    • We invest in teaching a skill and giving the resources and confidence to use that skill.
    • This empowers an individual to earn a living and provide for their family.
    • They in turn pass on some financial benefits to their chosen community organisation or charity, such as a primary school or medical clinic.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE AN IMPACT,
ANY DONATIONS OF ANY SIZE MEAN THE WORLD TO US.

The values we live and breathe by

Sustainability

Its not about charity, its about empowerment. We invest in sustainable giving, where investing time, money or knowledge grows an idea that positively impacts a person, family and a whole community for years to come.

Community Empowerment

We are family people with a strong sense of community. All benefits (financial and knowledge) are shared to help the whole community, and kept local so the investment is visible for all.

​Pay it forwards

We believe a gift never stops giving. Being given to, ignites the desire to give. Every favour and good deed is paid forwards, bringing communities together.

​Collaboration

Learning together and from each other is powerful and exciting. Everybody can learn something from anybody. We are open to change, and want to continually grow and develop as individuals and as a team.