Project adds spice
Porirua women can spice up their spring holidays by joining a charity house-building trip to Nepal this September.
In a five- day blitz, three homes will be built for members of a female spice-growing cooperative in the Nepalese district of Jhapa.
Habitat Porirua organiser Gill Burns said the Spicebuild is for women, by women.
Bamboo and adobe houses will be built for members of the Nari Chetana Women Agricultural Co-operative, which began 12 years ago, offering microfinancing to help women save and borrow money.
‘‘Habitat has a philosophy of offering a hand-up not a handout, and these women have well and truly proven they want to be independent. I feel privileged to be able to work alongside them,’’ Mrs Burns said.
She decided to dedicate her life to helping Nepalese people while on another Habitat housebuilding trip last year.
She has already signed up 35 women to the trip and hopes to get 15 more. Porirua builder Clare Lennard is one of them.
Visiting a spice- growing region was a drawcard for some participants, Mrs Burns said.
‘‘For some the idea of spice really appeals. . . Others just really want to help women.’’
Participants will pay $5100 each which covers flights, accommodation, food and a donation to Habitat for Humanity Nepal.
No building experience is required but participants should be fit and have a can-do attitude, Mrs Burns said.
After the build, Spicebuild members can return to New Zealand or embark on a weeklong tour of Nepal.
Mrs Burns is also fundraising $1000 to buy a spice grinder for the Nari Chetana co-operative.
Members presently have to travel 40km to grind their spices.
Volunteers need to register interest as soon as possible for a September 30 departure date. Phone Gill Burns on 237 8417 or 027 669 0227.