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 used by children for take home information. A further request by the 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 will arrive at Klibur Domin in good time for use.
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 KB 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.’
Ryder-Cheshire Victoria Ballarat Support Group