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The VSN centre for empowering women in Nepal is open again!

The construction of our new women’s center is complete! We held the opening this Friday to celebrate this special day. It marks the beginning of a grand project to bridge the education gap by teaching and empowering women in Nepal.

The construction of the building was possible thanks to a donation from our volunteer, Dave Bruce. The donation was made in loving memory of his late mother, Rosemary Vida Bruce. A plate was engraved and mounted on the wall as a tribute. His mother devoted her life to spreading compassion and loving-kindness. Thus, the center will honor her life and memory by supporting the lives and dreams of the members.

Firstly, the ceremony began with the lighting of a butter lamp. Dave and the portrait of his mother received a khata. This is a Buddhist ceremonial tradition.

Dave gave a very moving speech describing the generous spirit of his mother. Her generosity lives on in the creation of this center. Tej Shrestha (VSN founder) is extremely grateful. He is optimistic about the future. The location of the new centre had previously been occupied for ten years. VSN is happy the land is now theirs.

Everyone shared delicious laadu pastries. This is a Nepali tradition. Flowers and a lemon tree now surround the building. We hope this is the start of a community garden.

Many other volunteers and staff have also conducted fundraisers to support the growth of the center. In February, VSN female staff ran the Kathmandu Pinkathon. She lauched a crowd-fundraiser, raising almost 1000 USD to buy equipment for new skills training programs. Marijke Prevoo, our volunteer from the Netherlands, created a Nepali recipe book with the women and has already sold several copies online. She raised enough to equip the new centre with a kitchenette. VSN volunteer Caitlin Ward, from the UK, is currently raising funds to buy two computers so the computer classes can run more effectively.teej festival women center nepal

Overall, the future is bright for our new center and we look forward to it becoming a space of empowerment and community engagement for all of Pepsi-Cola!

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