Where Does Grandfather Go? A literacy project and storybook
The Supporting Community Issues Project was the initiative of the Australian Catholic University and University of Ballarat. It has provided students undertaking the Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education with an opportunity to form partnerships with local, national and global community agencies.
Our group has had the privilege of being in partnership with Ryder-Cheshire Australia in Ballarat. Together, we have undertaken the development of a culturally appropriate Early Childhood Literacy Project for the children of the Klibur Domin Community in Timor Leste and surrounding villages.
Throughout this process, we have diligently sought direction and counsel from the committee of the Ballarat Support Group of Ryder-Cheshire Australia, the Klibur Domin staff in Timor Leste and the Australian Catholic University in Ballarat. We have pursued this collective wisdom to gain cultural insight into the identity, needs and values of the people of Klibur Domin and surrounding villages.
In a population of about 1.1 million, there are less than 350 Timorese children’s books in print. This statistic was a catalyst in our group’s decision to develop a children’s book; entitled, “Where does grandfather go?” This book embraces healthy lifestyle choices and affirms family values and relationships. The book uses the image of a crocodile, a highly revered Timor Leste animal to depict the figure of the grandfather. The book has been translated into the local language, Tetun, by Pelle and has been illustrated by local artist, Tony Amaral.
These partnerships have achieved a work of children’s literature that is culturally appropriate. Illustrated by a local artist, translated into the language of the people and has significant potential to be published and integrated into the wider school curriculum. The sphere of influence of the Early Literacy Project has grown well beyond our expectations.
Our sincere thanks to Ryder-Cheshire Australia in Ballarat for their encouragement and support of this project. It bears testimony to this truth which states, “The greatest advantage of pursuing a community development strategy lies with the fact that individuals begin to see what is possible to achieve by working together in partnership”.
Written by the Early Childhood Students Bronwyn Lanyon, Robyn Ilett, Rachel Martino, Steffani Kuhn 2012.
Klibur Domin + School = TB Postcards
Children helping Children
The Ballarat Support Group met with the Principals of the Ballarat Grammar Junior School in 2013. This School has been a very long time sponsor of two residents at Raphael. They had a particular request:
We wish to engender in our students a better understanding of our near neighbour and friend, Timor-Leste. Is there a project at Klibur Domin that our students would be able to engage with?
After discussion with Peter Newton, RCA National President, and Joaquim Soares, Director of Klibur Domin (KD), a child appropriate project was identified:
Would the students learn about TB in our country as part of their school programs? Would they gather information, statistics, maps and illustrations about this disease throughout Timor- Leste?
The teachers and students set about to work with the KD TB Team and an Australian volunteer, Siobhan Reeves, working at KD. The project developed by the students researching information was to be used to develop a KD TB post card for children in Timor Leste. The purpose was that the post cards were to be used to reinforce the KD Mobile Community Outreach Program’s delivery of their TB education sessions in the villages and schools. The post cards would be distributed to each child in the geographical area that KD serves. The outcome was to continue the eradication of TB by assisting children to become well aware of the disease and the conditions that enable its contraction. Siobhan, under guidance from Joaquim, worked with the KD TB Team, and communicated with the Ballarat Grammar Junior School to undertake the task of developing the TB post cards.
The KD TB Team requested that the information be child friendly with minimal Tetum text and that the information be well supported by illustrations. They also requested that the size of the post card be actual post card size as they were to be used by children for take home information. A further request by the TB Team was that the post cards be produced on durable material that could manage the Timor-Leste climate.
After many drafts and re-drafts, all these requests were achieved. The post cards were printed in Australia, which at that point in time, was cost effective. However, it is intended that projects like this will be able to be printed in Timor- Leste in the near future.
Now the challenge was… how to transport two boxes of 5000 post cards to Timor Leste at minimal or no cost to reach Klibur Domin in good time to be used in the KD TB Program. A very big thanks to the many volunteers going to Klibur Domin, returning volunteers going to Klibur Domin and their friends and families visiting Timor-Leste. Their generosity meant that the challenge was solved. All 5000 post cards are on their way and arrived at Klibur Domin in good time for use.
Leo Rennie and Dianne McGrath Project Manager 2012
WHO TB Comic Book translated
An additional request was received from the KD TB Team. They wished to have a United Nations World Health Organization TB Comic Book translated from English into Tetum and copies to be given to schools in the area of Klibur Domin. The Team believed that this comic book would also be helpful in reinforcing the eradication of TB through knowledge and understanding of the disease. Permission was sought from WHO along with approval for translation into Tetum. This was granted. One hundred comic books will be distributed to local schools for their use in their school programs.
Special thanks are extended to:
* Joaquim and his KD TB Team for undertaking this TB project with the students and teachers at the Ballarat Grammar Junior School.
*The Ballarat Grammar Junior School teachers and students for assisting with, financing the project and supporting the ‘relief of suffering’ for people suffering from TB in Timor-Leste.
*Siobhan Reeves, self-funded volunteer, at Klibur Domin for assisting to co-ordinate this project and her communication between the school, Ballarat Support Group and the KD TB Team.
*Peter Newton for his faith and enthusiasm for all the work that the Klibur Domin Team is undertaking for Ryder-Cheshire mission’s ‘relief of suffering.’
Dianne McGrath Project Manager 2013
Cerebral Palsy Awareness – Klibur Domin Crowdfunding
This project was launched at the 2014 Ryder-Cheshire National Biennial Conference in Sydney. It was a trial project designed to raise $1000 to print educational materials for the Klibur Domin Outreach Team in Timor-Leste to raise awareness of cerebral palsy (CP) symptoms in children and to inform their families how to seek assistance for medical diagnosis and physical and educational therapy.
The primary purpose of this project was to raise funds using social media rather than traditional fundraising.
The project had a secondary purpose which was to expose the current Ryder-Cheshire membership to the advantages of using current, new and emerging technologies, in all of their various forms, to access a wider audience, and in particular to talk to a younger audience in a manner that they prefer to communicate.
The Klibur Domin Community Based Rehabilitation Program was set up in 2006 to identify adults and children with disabilities living in the outlying areas. As part of this program the Klibur Domin Mobile Outreach Team provides assessment, therapy, equipment and ongoing support for the adults, children and their families. In the geographical area that Klibur Domin supports, approximately 60% of the Community Based Rehabilitation Team’s clients are people with CP, the majority of whom are children.
The $1000 target was oversubscribed to $1270 which enabled the team, in conjunction with the Klibur Domin Team to design, produce and deliver the CP educational materials comprising of:
- Teaching flip chart for the Klibur Domin Outreach Team to use to reinforce the education of CP when they visit villages
- Posters for schools, community health centres and villages
- Mini information cards for parents and especially new mothers to become aware of early signs of CP and where and how to seek support for their babies and children. CP Educational Resources
It is great example of how Ryder-Cheshire can raise funds from non-traditional sources using new technologies and tapping in to a new support base.
Thank you to Expo Print and Tech Printing Services at Australian Catholic University-Ballarat for their printing of climate supportive coating on the materials. Appreciation to the artist, Veronica Mc Lindon for the illustrations. Special thanks to all the people who were able to carry the materials to Klibur Domin; Dianne Hadden who was on her way to volunteer at Klibur Domin, Damascus College and Ballarat Grammar School students who were visiting Ainaro and to Barry Flynn from St John of God Hospital In Ballarat who was on secondment to the Hospital in Dili.
Thank you to Dianne McGrath, Terry Warr and Siobhan Reeves for their fine work on this project.
Leo Rennie, Project Manager 2014