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Recently, twenty-two rotarians from all over Australia had the opportunity to participate in a ten day tour of Nepal. What quickly became clear is that Rotary International and Hands on Development are a match made in heaven. 

Common ground 

As well as soaking up the litany of UNESCO world heritage sights in and around Kathmandu, the twenty two rotarians also had the chance to put their values in action by directly making a difference. 

Promoting education and community-focused economic development through innovative projects represents Rotary’s core purpose. There is no better place to do all of these things than in Kathmandu. 

Throughout the Hands on Development tour, the rotarians had the opportunity to visit and support Dambar and the Association for Craft Producers — two local enterprises which directly contribute to community and economic development through their commitment to fair trade principles and providing opportunities to disadvantaged people. 

Visit to Seven Women Centre

The Rotarians also had the opportunity to visit the Seven Women centre, which through its innovative partnership with Hands on Development has provided education, vocational training and economic opportunities to over 5, 000 people. 

The group had the opportunity to attend language and cooking classes run by the women, as well as engaging in sessions where the rotarians were able to share their unique expertise.

An inspiring journey 

The rotarians who participated on the trip came away full of inspiration after seeing how Seven Women has been able to help disadvantaged Nepali women along the path to economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. 

One tour-group member, Dianne Hennessy, described visiting the centre as the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ and all members spoke of the sense of togetherness and purpose that they felt from being apart of the group.

Sue Power ultimately summed up the feelings of the entire group when she described the trip as a ‘very memorable’ experience which she highly recommends to all Rotary members, and indeed any ‘who cares about making a difference.’