One of Ten Friends initiatives, which we refer to as "Elevate", is for assisting individuals who need the most help and through our efforts can break the cycle of poverty. Our present focus is on the people who are part of the Musahar Caste and who generally reside in the village of Tilahi. Representing the bottom of the Nepal caste system, they are treated as ‘untouchables’ and suffer from significant discrimination resulting in extreme poverty with no opportunities to improve their quality of life and standard of living.
Elevate was formerly a separate organization which merged into Ten Friends in 2023. Initial efforts began in 2019 and focused on educating children. This strategy has proven to be successful for members of other castes who have elevated their status in a caste bound society. A second focus has been on providing vocational training to women allowing them to have a trade and to earn income through which they can support their families.
Elevate was founded by Pema and Nurbu Sherpa who both grew up in Nepal and presently live in Central Oregon. For those who know them, they have been inspirational in dedicating their lives to improving the lives of the Musahar and in honoring Pema's mother through continuing her efforts to educate children. They have personally contributed funds to support Elevate through proceeds from their business, High Camp Taphouse in Sisters, Oregon. They have held several Fund Raising events, led tours to Nepal, and have enlisted the support of individuals and friends who have made contributions to Elevate's programs.
Elevate has been involved in educating children. We have provided scholarships to over 50 children to pay for their tuition allowing them to attend school and after school programs. We have also provided books, school supplies, shoes, and uniforms to our sponsored kiddos. Without our involvement, these children would not have been provided the opportunity to attend school and would have been locked into the cycle of poverty.
Elevate has been involved in providing vocational training for women in the Musahar caste and for providing opportunities for applying their newly learned skills. Initial efforts were focused on teaching sewing skills and have purchased sewing machines for their use. There is now a small community of seamstresses who have been producing products that are for sale and which have provided a new income source. With the money earned, they are now able to feed and support their families.
2023 was an active year for Elevate in its efforts to further enrich the lives of the Musahar. Activities included:
Your general donation to the Elevate project will allow Pema and Nurbu, in consultation with their Nepal based program coordinators and facilitators, to determine the best way to utilize your donation. If you want to make a general contribution, please Select the General Donation to Elevate Nepal Donation Selection. You can make your donation on-line using the payment processing form below or Donate by Check. Thank you!