The Peter Trust Secretary’s Report to the Trustees

The Peter Trust
Secretary’s Report to the Trustees
Visit to East Timor May 16th- June 3rd 2009

Saturday May 16th
Arrive Dili 1515hrs after one-hour flight delay. Met at Nicolau Lobato airport by SPC and OP Sisters, the latter with about 40 orphans from the Dili home who greet me with songs and presentation of a tais. Driven to SPC new convent in Kuluhun Kraik and later that evening taken to sea-side restaurant by SPC.

Sunday May 17th
9.00am Preside at Mass for SPC community, local people and orphans from OP home.

10.30am Go to Bhakti Luhur Sisters’ new convent and care base for their work with handicapped/traumatised to which PT(Peter Trust) made a contribution. Welcomed with tais and speeches of thanks. Participate in buffet lunch prepared for all who have come: viz. about 40 children, 12 very severely handicapped with their families, about 80 people in total. Bhakti Luhur own the half acre of land on which the facility is built, which includes their own convent, meeting rooms, and smaller rooms for short-term residence of disabled people.
The Sisters visit 52 homes using the motorbike provided by PT and teach methods of easing disability/deformity. They also extol the value of such children who are often rejected – their affliction being perceived as ‘a sign of God’s curse’; married couples may blame each other; and siblings may spurn the disabled because they are ashamed of them. Or these children may be neglected (e.g. lack of washing, feeding, etc) if there is no improvement in their condition. They are sometimes hidden away in the back of the house. The Sisters host General Meetings every two months to support families in responding to the needs of the children appropriately.
The Bhakti Luhur Sisters would like PT to continue with its financial support ($2000pa) and asked for an increase to pay for the fuel for the motorbike purchased by the Trust. They really now need a four-wheeled vehicle (open van) to expand their work further, and beyond Dili. [Note: This vehicle has subsequently been provided by appeals made in Australia by a relative of one of the journalists murdered by Indonesian armed forces in Balibo in 1975 at nationwide screenings of the 2009 film drama of that name which tells the story of the invasion of East Timor including that particular event]

12.30pm To Railaku, en route visit the new bronze statue of John Paul II erected above Tasi Tolu in commemoration of his visit there in 1989. Greeted at Railaku with dancing and a tais by about 70 children benefiting from the ‘feeding programme’ (nutrition supplement) which PT has been funding….. ….

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