This year Raphael celebrated its Diamond Jubilee.
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.
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.
Klibur Domin provides In-Patient Care, TB and MDR-TB treatment, and Community Based Rehabilitation for persons with Disabilities.
Klibur Domin is located at Tibar, in the District of Liquica, 17 km from the capital of Dili.
On the 16th October 2017, I flew from Brisbane to Timor-Leste, arriving at Dili Airport via Darwin. The purpose of my travel was to undertake the role of volunteer at Klibur Domin.
On arrival at Dili airport, Fabiola, the Manager of Klibur Domin, welcomed me. That first day Fabiola and other staff answered my many questions about potential work, the sense of place, culture and expectations for a volunteer. I had become both extremely nervous and excited at the same time. I absorbed everything like a sponge. During the next couple of weeks, I was able to meet all the staff and residents. The staff were extremely respectful and it seems that it has become natural for them to engage with volunteers in every aspect.
During my tenure, I was encouraged to learn Tetum, one of the official languages of Timor-Leste. I found learning Tetum challenging but I was able to develop an understanding of simple words and phrases. The staff and I found ways to work around the language barrier and it was fortunate that many of the staff could speak English. (more…)
My 8-week Occupational Therapy (OT) placement in Klibur Domin is one I will never forget. It was an experience that developed and enhanced my personal growth by facing the challenges head on, putting myself in an unfamiliar environment and having confidence in my own abilities. From the friendly and supportive staff to the highly motivated inpatients and outpatients in the community, my time in Klibur Domin facilitated and strengthened my learning and knowledge of the occupational therapy rehabilitation process. During my placement I have seen many improvements in patients’ health and wellbeing, which has brought a big smile to my face.
In particular, one 55yo male patient who had a stroke and a below knee amputation 3 years ago showed a huge improvement in his upper limb function. At my initial assessment his left arm shoulder flexion was 50 degrees and he was fully dependent on his wife with feeding, washing and transferring in and out of bed. With stretches and exercises over the course of 8 weeks he was able to achieve his goal in feeding and washing the majority of himself independently and transferring in and out of bed with minimal assistance from his wife. His constant motivation to adhere to daily OT training made him a pleasure to work with, as was his lovely wife and supportive family. (more…)
In January/ February, we were given the chance to go and volunteer at Klibur Domin. From the moment we were picked up at the airport we were welcomed with warm East Timorese hospitality from all the staff and locals. Despite supposedly being wet season, we were able to do a considerable amount. Our ﬁrst project was to repaint and make some minor improvements to Uma Barbara (Barbara Cottage) both inside and out. After ﬁnishing that task (which we had fundraised), we helped Gregorio and the maintenance guys doing activities such as mowing all compounds lawns and ﬁxing windows. Our highlight however, was our last weekend when we got to take the children of St Damian’s Respite ward to the beach. It was lovely to see the smiles on their faces. Our Time in Timor L’Este, despite being short, was very enjoyable and we loved every second of it! Not only the volunteering side, but also the things volunteers can see and do on the weekends. We would like to thank everybody at Ryder Cheshire and Klibur Domin for giving us this opportunity of a life time and we both highly recommend giving it a go if given the chance. We will deﬁnitely be back.
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.
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
I first met Cheryl at the beginning of 1968 in Sydney when my cousin brought her along to a Raphael fundraiser event. It was a Japanese luncheon prepared by Jenny at Barbara Coleman’s home in Sydney.
Cheryl joined Ryder-Cheshire for the next 50 years. She was a Director on the NSW Foundation for 12 years. We met again when she moved to the Hunter Valley and she joined the Singleton Ryder-Cheshire Support Group where, for many years, she was our President and Public Officer, maintaining her support of the Ryder-Cheshire NSW and the National Foundation. She sold copious Christmas cards.
With a background in Real Estate and Banking, her expertise and competence were invaluable. She was compassionate and generous, and had a unique balance of firmly standing up for what she believed was right, coupled with a sense of fun. She could turn her hand to anything, even running up the curtains forLocksley, the then Ryder-Cheshire Home in Singleton, NSW. It was under Cheryl’s watch that we incorporated and eventually wound up the Singleton Home, distributing the funds to other Ryder-Cheshire projects. She was delighted with the progress reports of that money being promptly utilised where needed. (more…)
I recently returned from six months volunteering at Klibur Domin, from February to July 2018. It was a very rewarding and enjoyable experience and I would strongly encourage anyone with even a short amount of time to make the journey to Timor-Leste to see Klibur Domin (KD). I spent most of my time supporting the administration, although every day was a little bit different and over my time there I ended up with great variety of activities both in and out of the office.
I have been thinking about what really grasps me the most about Timor-Leste and KD. The solidarity and teamwork of KD’s staff and the passionate efforts of supporters have been inspirational, and the beauty of the country, its mountains, its coastlines and its oceans have all had a great impact.
Going out into the community with KD’s Tuberculosis (TB) and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) teams made clear the scale of the work KD is undertaking to address healthcare needs in Timor-Leste. It is easy to underestimate the distances and the time needed to reach patients in Timor-Leste.
A large proportion of the communities impacted by KD are in the mountains and as a result there is a tremendous logistical component to KD’s community work. To illustrate the vertical scale of Timor-Leste’s mountainous terrain, the ocean trench off the coast is 3,000 meters deep, and the narrow island rises to 3,000 meters above sea level at its peak. This makes it both a beautiful and challenging country. (more…)