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. Continue reading Time at Klibur Domin→
Danny died suddenly and peacefully on Wednesday 14th March 2018.
Danny joined Ryder-Cheshire when the new home was started in Timor-Leste in late 2000. Initially she helped with sorting and packing donated goods ready for despatch to Klibur Domin. Subsequently she spent six weeks there as a volunteer, arriving a few days after Christmas 2000. Her nursing skills were put to good use setting up medical procedures and records and she is pictured here admitting the first patients to Klibur Domin on 31 January 2001.
Danny was an important member of the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation Victoria team, always positive, cheerful and very capable, and was active right up until her death. Her contribution involved support for many fund-raising endeavours, including her special project, organising visits to the Costume Collection. She also took on being the official archivist and spent many hours sorting, conserving and cataloguing a jumble of archival material – now in apple pie order. Of great importance in her life were her beloved daughters and grand-children. Danny was loved and is sadly missed. Rest in Peace
The seven weeks that I spent in Klibur Domin, was nothing short of memorable and humbling. Prior to the commencement of my volunteering period, Ryder Cheshire Australia liaised with Klibur Domin and drafted some tasks which I could possibly assist with, based on my work experiences. I also had the opportunity to speak to a recently returned volunteer, to understand better the environment and hear about his experiences. These helped me to have a better idea of what to expect and prepare myself mentally.
Whilst at Klibur Domin, I spent most of my time helping out in administrative tasks including drafting of finance reports, reviewing policies and editing documents written in English. With my academic background in psychology and some research, I gave a brief presentation on the mental health landscape in Timor Leste, and basic information about a few mental illnesses, which some of the residents in Uma Barbara are suffering from, to a group of nursing students who were doing their practicum and some staff at Klibur Domin. I particularly enjoyed my time out of the office interacting with the residents of Uma Barbara, guiding them in doing simple craft activities, drawing, blowing bubbles, or just simply chatting with them. Continue reading “Klibur Domin – memorable and humbling” →
In August 2017, Peter and Helen Newton visited Klibur Domin for two weeks. It was Peter’s eighteenth visit and Helen’s fourth. Neither had travelled to other than the capital Dili, Tibar village (where Klibur Domin is located) and a few other remote villages to observe Klibur Domin’s outreach programs. The rest of Timor-Leste was a closed book to us.
On this visit, the Home Manager, Joaquim Soares and his wife Maria decided to take a week’s leave and drive us 855 km around their beautiful country, much of which Maria had not seen, and there were even a few of the places we visited which were new to Joaquim. It was a voyage of discovery for Helen and me and opened our eyes to the delightful Timorese people, the extreme poverty in the remote villages, the great natural beauty and the tourist potential of the country. However, much is needed to improve the roads and communications and to provide suitable accommodation and restaurants before a tourist boom could occur.
Our first week was spent at Klibur Domin where we were impressed with the tremendous progress made since our last visits. Ryder-Cheshire and Rotary have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past five years to undertake essential improvements and maintenance work which has significantly improved the facilities at the home and its operation. Continue reading Visit by Peter and Helen Newton to Klibur Domin→
In his first year as the National President of Ryder-Cheshire Australia, Rory McEwen, has recently returned from a visit to Raphael. Below is his report.
My visit to Raphael commenced with two one day trips, the first into the foothills of the Himalayas where our jeep driver managed to deliver four of us safely to a small school in a tiny village to meet with around 50 parents and their disabled children. The journey along narrow winding mountain roads was not for the faint hearted. Marvelling at the women struggling up steep inclines, almost buried in huge loads of vegetation balanced on their heads, took our minds off the perils of the journey.
The gathering that awaited us at the end of our four hour trek had assembled for a briefing on managing and modifying challenging behaviours and to discuss sexuality and the disabled. Our talented presenters spoke in Hindi. Luckily the accompanying slides were in English so I could get some feel for the animated discussion. Some of the parents, particularly the men, didn’t seem to take kindly to some of the frank discussions but it was an overwhelming success. Continue reading NATIONAL PRESIDENT, RORY MCEWEN, VISITS RAPHAEL→