All posts by Ryder-Cheshire

CONGRAULATIONS RAPHAEL

This year Raphael celebrated its Diamond Jubilee.

Residents performing during the Founder’s Day Program

Founders’ Day 2019 was held over two days in beautiful spring weather. Raphael celebrated 60 years since its foundation in 1959. Christine and Graeme Hannan and Trish Twaits from Australia joined Carolyn Tapley and her mother Mina Munro from New Zealand and Jamie McCartney from the UK as international guests at the celebrations.

Thursday 4 April 10amA large group of guests assembled at the main gate for a walk around the campus. After meeting with the residents of the Shiv Sadan they visited Barbara Cottage and then stopped at the Resource Centre for a ceremony to unveil a plaque for the new Therapy and Multi Purpose Centre. Afterwards there was a visit to the refurbished Little White House, where the male residents are now housed and Ava Vihar where the female residents live. A visit to many of the day school classrooms was also included, as was the garden project which is teaching many of the students about growing vegetables and fruit. The last stop was the TB hospital. The morning concluded with a delicious Community buffet lunch which was held outdoors under the trees for every member of the Raphael community. 

Friday 5April 4.30pmThe main event of the day was the Founders’ Day Program, which was held outdoors. The welcome address was presented by the Raphael Governing Council Chairman, Lt General Rustom Nanavatty (Retd). Congratulations was given by Christine Hannan and Carolyn Tapley on behalf of Ryder-Cheshire Australia and New Zealand. The program included a series of cultural items, presented by the various Raphael resident groups with assistance from others. These provided a wealth of colour, movement, dance and song and delighted all present. There was also a distribution of prizes for achievements reached by community members and a stirring band performance from the IMA Military Band. The Chairman announced that the new CEO of Raphael was to be Mrs Priyo Lall, which was warmly received by the community. The Chief Guest, Lt General S M Mehta (Retd) Chief Executive Officer The Hans Foundation delivered the closing address which received a spontaneous hug from one of the residents. The program concluded with afternoon tea.

The guests agreed that that it had been a privilege to be present for these two days, which had been a whirlwind of people and events, of welcome and hospitality and of warmth and friendship.

Reported by Chris Hannan and Trish Twaits.

Photographs from Graeme Hannan, Trish Twaits and Carolyn Tapley.

Matt at Raphael

How best to describe my experience at Raphael? It was moving, humbling, eye-opening, sometimes challenging – though all the more rewarding for being so – but most of the time just a lot of fun. I spent the majority of my three months there helping out in the primary and pre-primary classes, assisting with activities such as music, art and fine motor training. Time after school was often spent playing cricket with the boys or football with the girls, who didn’t seem quite so cricket-mad. I formed some really good relationships.The teachers and office staff are very friendly and welcoming, and as for the children, some of them can melt your heart the moment you meet them. It was hard saying goodbye.

Besides that, I found that Raphael was a great base from which to explore other parts of India. Rishikesh is wonderfully charming and is only about an hour’s bus ride away, while weekend trips to Amritsar and Dharamsala are also possible. I thought Dehradun itself was fascinating too, as spending time there gave me a real sense of everyday life in northern India.  

In short, for anyone considering going to Raphael, I do not think I could recommend it enough. It is a very, very special place.

Vale Melody Smythe

Melody Smythe – National Project Officer (India) – Sydney, NSW

On 15 October we received the sad news that Melody Smythe had died. Melody was a much loved member of the NSW Ryder Cheshire Committee from 2002 to 2013, when she was forced to retire through ill health. She also took on the role of Raphael Project Officer from 2006, building a warm relationship with Brig Anil Sinha as she navigated her way through the special project requests that were submitted by Raphael for funding.

Melody’s association with the Ryder Cheshire Foundation came about through her dear friend Barbara Lewis, who encouraged her to join the committee. It was a great joy to Melody that she was able to visit Raphael for the first time in March 2010 when she accompanied Patrick Lewis and his son Sutomo to attend the official opening of Barbara Cottage.

We will miss her warmth,concern for others and her work for the relief of suffering.

May she rest in peace.

Chris Hannan

Klibur Domin Celebrates Founders’ Day

Klibur Domin paid tribute to its Founders, Leonard Cheshire and Sue Ryder, at a special celebration on Wednesday 5September; the inaugural Founders’ Day.

Over 400 people gathered together to congratulate and give thanks for the past 18 years of service by Klibur Domin to the people of Timor-Leste.

Among those present, were the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Republic, the Director General of the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion; the US Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Kathleen Fitzpatrick; representatives from the Australian Embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency; Ex-Prime Minister, Dr. Rui Maria de Araujo; members of the Klibur Domin Board, including current Chairperson, Dr. Jose Teixeira; representatives of RCA, Air Commodore Peter Newton AO and his wife Helen; Rotary representative, John Kirby; Rev. Fr. Ted Burns; the very first volunteer at Klibur Domin, Joao Martires; current and past Klibur Domin staff, patients and volunteers; along with local community members and supporters of the Foundation. Continue reading Klibur Domin Celebrates Founders’ Day

An Australian Team of Dental Volunteers visited Timor-Leste in July 2018.

This is Their Story!

Our Dental Team of Dentist Dr John Denton, Hygienist Lyn Carman, and Dental Assistant Jodie Billinger, arrived in Dili full of excitement and anticipation. We were met at the airport by Joaquim Soares, Director of Klibur Domin, and Patricia McDonell, our Rotary Team Leader. Joaquim shepherded us through customs with our 90 kilograms of dental instruments and supplies. We had each filled our cases full of dental stuff and carried all our clothes for the 10-day adventure in our back packs. We quickly made ourselves at home in the new, very comfortable, Klibur Domin volunteer cottage.

Next morning, we were keen to meet our new local Dental Therapists, Efi, Luis and Maria. Luis and Maria graduated from Dili University, and Efi did a similar course in Indonesia. Their training enables them to perform simple diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases, including fillings, extractions, Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) use, scalings and oral hygiene instruction (OHI).

Dr Ian Ridley and I were very pleased when these local clinicians came on board the KD Dental Clinic Project. Co-operation between Maluk Timor and KD has advanced the KD Dental Project three to four years ahead of our projections. Our Australian volunteer dental team roles have changed from us doing everything, to doing some of the operating and much more mentoring; a role we found very satisfactory and satisfying. Efi, Luis, Maria and Juvita, a student Dental Nurse, were very keen to learn from us and eager to help us with translating and support. Continue reading An Australian Team of Dental Volunteers visited Timor-Leste in July 2018.