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:
Ama Dablam from Tengboche
The Lehara operation has 3 phases:
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.
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.
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.
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)
- A name and brand that is grounded within Nepalese culture.
- A unique name, where people ask about its origins and meaning.
- 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
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.
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.
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.