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.

Following a traditional Timorese welcoming ceremony, the new MDR-TB Cottage, Female TB Cottage 4 and the new Volunteers’ Cottage were blessed and opened by Fr. Ted Burns and a local Capuchin Franciscan Priest.

With the completion and opening of these new buildings, the number of buildings has now risen to over 20, taking the number of beds from 50 in 2000 to over 80, once the cottage for students is completed. Ryder Cheshire Australia has played a very important role in the continual development of Klibur Domin, with approximately $4 million being given for projects and operating costs over the last 18 years.

Invited guests congratulated Klibur Domin on its many achievements over the last 18 years in a number of speeches. Tribute was paid to the many programs which bring about the mission of Klibur Domin, The Relief of Suffering, to many Timorese people on a daily basis; including the inpatients and disability programs, the mobile TB and CBR programs, the TB and MDR-TB wards, the Dental Clinic and the Respite Centre. Acknowledgement of the generous contributions; both monetary and in kind; of many individuals and organisations was also given.

In the President’s speech, by the Chief of Staff, he offered his congratulations and thanks to Joaquim Soares, the Klibur Domin Managing Director, and to all those who have worked so hard to ensure Klibur Domin’s success over the past 18 years. He said that with the “fullness of spirit, today we have witnessed the inauguration of the new buildings to continue to accommodate patients and their families”.

The cutting of the magnificent cake and the unveiling of the Founders’ Day Plaque were followed by a traditional Timorese banquet, music and dancing late into the afternoon.

Congratulations to Klibur Domin on this fantastic celebration and to all who made it possible.

Kim Butler