What do we do?
Our goal is to set up as many barefoot acupuncture clinics as possible while empowering the local communities to run the clinics themselves. From the outset, barefoot clinics have sought the most effective way to do this.
As a small organisation we are light on our feet. Our approach is simple and all the more effective for it. We don’t own buildings and are not tied to any physical location. We place a high value on the fact that we can go anywhere, access remote regions and impoverished communities and simply set up our clinics. Our power to change things for the better largely rests on our flexibility and ability to move where needed and work directly with governments, communities and charities.
Acupuncture is a powerful, effective treatment for many of the most common and debilitating conditions found in Nepal, including high blood pressure. We are now in the first phase of rolling out a national program in Nepal to treat high blood pressure. We’re working with the Nepal Health Research Council to train doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, through a network of governmental health posts. This program can prevent heart disease and save lives. High blood pressure can cause heart attacks and strokes – the highest cause of death in Nepal. Leilani Lea, founder of Barefoot Clinics, has developed a treatment that lowers and controls blood pressure, without side effects.
Where do we work?
In India we’ve worked closely with Barefoot College, a phenomenal organisation that has been built up by and for the rural poor in 13 states of India and 10 of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The College was founded by Sanjit Bunker Roy; named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 people who most affect our world. Barefoot College have trained over 3 million people as ‘barefoot professionals’, many of them illiterate, in trades as diverse as solar engineers, teachers, midwives, dentists and architects. They also address problems in rural communities with sustainable ‘barefoot solutions’, including water, education, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. Find out about more Barefoot College here.
In Nepal we trained monks and nuns, in monasteries set up by the Buddhist Abbot and philanthropist Thrangu Rinpoche. His projects include the Himalayan Children’s Fund, Medical Clinics, Schools and Monasteries. The monasteries play a central part in village life, and barefoot clinics have trained 14 Buddhist nuns and monks, most of whom are also doctors of Tibetan medicine, as barefoot acupuncturists. They now run free acupuncture clinics in Kathmandu, Nubri and Namo Buddha. One of the students, Jamyang Dorje has also created an independent clinic in Humla, which, like Nubri, is an extremely remote area only accessible by several days walk through mountains and jungle.Learn more about Thrangu Rinpoche’s projects here.