Interesting visitor ... Calvin Community Church church members Teresa Blackbeard and June Dean are looking forward to the visit of Lydia project manager Kalpana Tamang who will speak about how the project is helping women in Nepal. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

Women have the opportunity to hear about the Lydia Project, which works to empower rural women in Nepal, at a meeting on March 30.

The coffee and dessert fundraiser, to be held at Calvin Community Church, is being organised by church members Teresa Blackbeard and June Dean

Mrs Dean said Lydia project manager Kalpana Tamang would visit Gore as part of her speaking tour of the country.

“We requested her to come to Gore to speak to the women of Gore and districts.

“It’s about rural women and we are a rural town with rural roots so we think Gore women would be interested,” Mrs Dean said.

She had met Miss Tamang on a trip to Nepal when Miss Tamang had translated for the group.

“I was very impressed with her and her translation and her humour.

“I’m looking forward to meeting her again.”

The Lydia Project was started in 1997 by International Needs, a Christian organisation working to make life better for people overseas.

“I like the International Needs slogan.

“It is kind of what they are about and I think this project does it especially well – ‘transformed lives, changed communities’,” Mrs Blackbeard said.

The project provided vocational education for young women aged 15 to 30 years old.

“[Women] in Nepal often don’t get the education boys would get,” Mrs Blackbeard said.

Twenty-two women at a time took part in the programme, run twice a year.

“They go back to their villages and [as] part of their training they agree to pass on their skills to five other women.”

“When they graduate they are given a treadle sewing machine that doesn’t rely on electricity in the rural areas and a supply of cloth so they can start a business and support themselves and their families.”

Eight hundred women had taken part in the project so far.

Lydia Project manager Kalpana Tamang will speak at the Calvin Community Church dessert and coffee fundraiser for the project on March 30 at 7pm.jordan SneakersMens Nike Sneakers