Elevate mission and history
Our mission is to help to improve and enrich the lives of impoverished and discriminated against individuals who are members of the Musahar caste in southeastern Nepal. We seek to create paths out of poverty for vulnerable children and at-risk youth by providing them healthcare, education, and a safe environment. We also seek to create paths out of poverty for adult members of the Musahar community by providing them with income generating opportunities through vocational training and the facilities and equipment through which they can manufacture products.
We began our efforts in 2019. Our initial efforts focused on raising funds which could be spent on implementing our Nepal based programs and activities. We have been successful in developing programs to educate children. We have also been successful in providing vocational training to women allowing them to have a trade and to earn income through which they can support their families.
Our project approach is similar to that of other successful charities operating in Nepal. We develop projects that can have a long-term impact. We work collaboratively with Nepali people and respect local perspectives and customs. We also strive to make sure that a project can be sustained and that we don't just implement a project and leave.
In 2023 we merged with Ten Friends and are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Working together, we believe that we can embellish each other's efforts.
Meet Pema and Nurbu - Elevate Founders
Elevate Musahar was founded by Pema and Nurbu Sherpa. They have been inspirational in developing programs and projects and are dedicated to improving the lives of the Musahar. They have contributed funds to support Elevate Musahar programs through proceeds from their business, High Camp Restaurant and Taproom in Sisters Oregon. They have conducted several Fund Raising events, led tours to Nepal, and have enlisted the support of individuals who have contributed to Elevate's programs.
Nurbu was born in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal and sent to Kathmandu city for school at age 8. After finishing High School, he guided trekking groups in Nepal and came to work in Wisconsin at a summer camp for kids when he was 20. After the summer camp, Nurbu finished a computer science degree in Eugene and ended up in Bend where the climate reminded him of the Himalayas. While in Central Oregon, Nurbu taught Tae Kwondo, took students to Nepal, opened the Himalayan Bites food cart and developed his passion for cooking. After running Himalayan Bites food carts Nurbu acted on his dream and opened High Camp Taphouse in June of 2022.
Pema was born in Kathmandu and lived for a time in her mom’s village of Helambu. While Pema was attending school in Helambu she realized that poor children rarely attend school. At age 10, she recognized this injustice and set her sights on supporting access education for poor kids. Pema worked in her mom’s restaurant from the age of 10 and worked in her dad’s carpet factory at age of 14 to pay her middle and high school tuition. At 16, one of her father’s trekking clients, Sharon Overby, sponsored Pema’s 1st trip to the US. Pema’s dream was to learn English and have a career to support herself and her aging parents since her older brother tragically died when he was 8. Pema finished her dental career, returned to Nepal, started supporting education for less fortunate kids, and ran dental camps in the high Himalayan villages. Upon encountering the abject poverty experienced by the lowest untouchable Musahar community on her last trip to Nepal, Pema saw the opportunity to positively impact lives through educational opportunities. Pema's efforts at High Camp show her continued commitment to serving the impoverished of Nepal.
Pema's efforts, as well as others working on behalf of the organization, honor Pema's mother. Pema's mother, Chering, was raised by a single mother and was one of 10 kids. Chering is a firm believer in educating kids; housing many and advocating for their education. Pema has dedicated herself to carrying on her mother's ambitions.
The Elevate Nepal Initiative has an Advisory Council that guides our efforts and operations. We rely extensively on our Nepal based members, as well as our travels to Nepal, to determine the areas of most need and the best way to enact long-term changes. Members of our Advisory Council include: