Rotary Club of Gananoque

Changing lives and families in Nepal

 
Gananoque Rotarian Patricia Butchart, Changing Lives in Nepal
 
Gananoque Woman Changing Lives in Nepal

If you had an extra $100 to spend, what would you do with it?  If you’re Pat Butchart, real estate agent and intuitive artist, the answer is easy – help change lives for the better in Nepal.
Butchart lives in Gananoque and is an active member of the Rotary Club there.  
“Bruce Higgs brought in a video that showed some of the things that Rotary does over there,” she said.  “One of them was this sewing machine project.  I got inspired because my mom was a tailor – she made men’s uniforms and things like that for the factories years ago during the war.  Some of these ladies are widows and they’re learning to take care of themselves and their families by learning how to sew.  I was also a widow and I took care of my kids by sewing.  So I thought, ‘you know, that’s something I could put my money toward!’  Now every time I sell a house, I buy a sewing machine.  Last year I did six of them, and put six sewing machines into the project.”
It sounds too simple to make a difference – a treadle sewing machine costing $100 seems more like a toy than a life changing tool.  But in Nepal, these simple machines mean housing and feeding entire families, lifting women out of extreme poverty and moving them and their families forward into bright futures.
“Thank you, Pat, for your kindest support,” wrote Shree Krishna Dhital, head of the project.  “Today we are glad that we could start another visionary project for the women in the village of Patlekhet.  ‘The Woman Skill Development Project 2015’ is supposed to help many young girls and women around the village making them skilful and self dependent.”
Dhital is rightfully proud of the project and its accomplishments.  
“Tailoring project is the first step in the woman development program where we will add up many other creative projects that will help village ladies boost up their lifestyle and be more exposed and social,” he said.  “In the first phase, 20 ladies from the village will attend the tailoring classes and 2 trainers will train them.  The woman group seems very happy to start the project they had been thinking to start long ago.  Today their dream has come.”
The project filled quickly, and a waiting list was started.  The government department of Small and Cottage Industries in Nepal joined with Dhital in the training program granting full certification of the participants.  On completion of the project, they can go out and find work or start their own businesses.
“We are committed to support the woman group in the days to come,” he said.  “The women are very pleased with you as they were asking me to send you their thank you message.”
“It is so exciting,” said Butchart.  “I will have money for 4 more ready to go once this week is over and all the building inspections are done – I might just pay ahead and add 2 more with the vision that I will ‎sell 2 more houses at least in the next few months.  Then they can start another group.  They go every day, seven days a week, and when the three months are up, another twenty ladies will come in and they’ll be taught how to do this.  It’s called a tailoring course, but they’re learning all about sewing so they can make things for their families and things to sell.”
The organization sees Butchart as a powerful influence for good, and have incorporated her name and picture into their banner.  She couldn’t be happier.
“They asked for a picture of me and I thought, ‘I don’t want to send a boring head shot’,” she said.  “I was at a wedding and somebody took a picture of me while I was dancing and my hand was extended and my dress had twirled out.  
“The neatest thing is they blew it up into a poster and have it as part of their banner.  One of the ladies was telling people where the sewing machines came from and had the picture held up.  There was the picture of me with my hand out and she was there with her hand out in the same way.  It was like passing the gift from one woman to the other across the ocean and continents, helping each other.  
“They sent pictures of the ladies, and the colours they have to work with.  It’s all so amazing.  I keep thinking about some of my paintings.  They’d make beautiful fabrics and maybe they could do something with that – bags, maybe, or things with florals.   I’m sure there’s something they could do, maybe with screen printing or a way to teach them how I do the paintings right on the fabric.  Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll get over there and we can see what we can do.”
If you want to contribute to the tailoring project and continue to improve lives of families in Nepal, Butchart promises it’s an easy task.
“If anyone would like to put in $100, hand it in to Rotary in Gananoque and they will give you a tax receipt, and you’ll be helping another lady feed her family,” she said.  “You get ten people together, everybody puts in $10, you’ve got another sewing machine.  I’m so happy to be able to do this.  It’s really exciting to see the ladies are enjoying doing it.”
To learn more, contact the Gananoque Rotary Club at 613 382-4377 or find them on-line at  www.gananoquerotaryclub.com
 
Ashmita Tamang (Trainer) demonstrating on one of the sewing machines donated by Pat Butchart to the Woman Skill Development Project 2015 tailoring course in Nepal.
 
Ribbon cutting ceremony in celebration of the sewing machines donated by Pat Butchart to the Woman Skill Development Project 2015 tailoring course in Nepal.

An eager and excited group of young women wait to begin training on the sewing machines donated by Pat Butchart to the Woman Skill Development Project 2015 tailoring course in Nepal.
 
 
 
Happily giving thanks, the first class of students ready to become fully qualified tailors thanks to the sewing machines donated by Pat Butchart to the Woman Skill Development Project 2015 tailoring course in Nepal.
Hands out – “passing the gift from one woman to the other across the ocean and continents, helping each other” as the women celebrate the sewing machines donated by Pat Butchart to the Woman Skill Development Project 2015 tailoring course in Nepal.
 
Trainers Ashmita Tamang and Gita B. K. proudly say thank you for the sewing machines donated by Pat Butchart to the Woman Skill Development Project 2015 tailoring course in Nepal.
 
 
©  AUTHOR Lorraine Payette 
3601 Hwy. No. 2, RR#3
Gananoque, Ontario K7G 2V5