Women adventurers wanted for East Nepal housing project

Women adventurers wanted for East Nepal housing project

Wellingtonians Gill Burns, of Habitat for Humanity, and Kath Sutherland are heading to East Nepal in late September to lead an all women house building project, and they are looking for other keen women adventurers to join them.

The duo will join local group Nari Chetana Women Agricultural Cooperative to build three new homes from sustainable bamboo and adobe. The project has been dubbed 'Spicebuild' due to plans to fundraise for a spice grinder that will save members of the community a 40 kilometre walk to the nearest grinder. 

Burns and Sutherland are calling for women volunteers to join a fifty-strong party that will travel to East Nepal and assist with the build and their fundraising efforts. 

"Volunteers don't need any special building skills but reasonable fitness is essential, and a flexible 'can do' attitude helpful," says Burns. 

The Spicebuild will take place from 28 September till 7 October 2013, to fit with New Zealand school holidays and the best weather in Nepal. The overall cost will be about $5000. After this, team members can return to New Zealand or embark, for an additional cost, on a week-long tour, which includes visits to two national parks, a short trek to an eco-lodge, a flight over Mt Everest and guided R&R in Kathmandu. 

The families who will occupy the new houses are required to assist in the construction and they will eventually repay the loan in affordable payments. 

"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," says Burns. 

Anyone interested in taking part will need to express their commitment by the end of May, 2013. For more information, email Gill Burns at

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