Fr Ted Burns is a retired priest of the Melbourne Archdiocese. He has had a long association with Ryder-Cheshire and was instrumental many years ago in recruiting our current RCA President, Peter Newton AO. Fr Burns recently visited Klibur Domin in company with Peter. He is the author of this article which is appearing in the Catholic magazine Annals Australasia and the text is reproduced here with kind permission of
Fr Burns and the publisher.
SHARED LOVE IN EAST TIMOR
RYDER-CHESHIRE IN ACTION ON AUSTRALIA’S DOORSTEP
By Fr. Ted Burns PE
It’s not every day that a priest (especially one in his late 70s) gets such a sweet smile from a young lady. It happened to me recently at a small village in Ermera province, in the rugged mountains of Timor-Leste, better-known as East Timor.
The lady concerned was about 10 months old. As she beamed at me from her mother’s arms, I realized, as her tiny face lit up, that she had virtually no upper lip. My immediate reaction was resolving to find help for her. Such cases are not unusual.
On this visit to East Timor, I had joined the mobile unit of a Community Based Rehabilitation team from Klibur Domin (KD) a Ryder-Cheshire (RCA) initiative sponsored by Australians and New Zealanders, and operated by about 40 local Timorese from their base at Tibar, 17 km west of Dili.
Fr Burns with mothers and young patients
Klibur Domin is Timorese for Shared Love, and the Mobile Rehab team is just one arm of this wonderfully effective outfit. There is also a Mobile TB team. It too travels to remote villages, diagnosing and treating sufferers. Timor has one of the highest rates of TB in the world, and literally hundreds have been treated, thanks to the Clinic at KD. Continue reading Shared Love in East Timor