Travelling into a remote sub-district, Khoda meets and shares a meal with children of the village. The Railaco Jesuit Mission in Railaco has been driving out to this village for fifteen years now. Khoda got busy chopping onions and garlic to help make the meal, before climbing aboard the stormtrooper to drive up the mountain to the village and help serve the kids. Imagine how big and round their eyes were when Khoda alighted from the back of the stormtrooper he was travelling in with his mum, Odelia Potts, and started marching up to the gathered kids playing his bagpipes.
On the very first day on our Railaco 'immersion' experience for my group of six, we leave the sealed road from the coast up to the mountains and at an appointed junction, we fall-in behind Fr Bong in his carbon-belching old 4WD.We jolt over almost impossible dirt tracks, hewn through thick bush by local villagers with pick and shovel to permit access to the outside world. And us! There we are, bones rattling, holding-on for grim death, but so excited, nonetheless. Our confident Timorese driver, Edu, manoeuvres around huge pot holes, deftly avoiding cave-ins, and using his gears to escape wheels spinning in slippery muddy patches.
Timor–Leste is one of the developing countries that is still food insecure. Many people in the rural areas of Timor are still living in poverty and around seventy percent of the population rely on subsistence farming for their livelihoods.
While the wider Jesuit community is ‘nation-building’, we at St Canice’s have been making what is seen by the people in Railaco as a monumental commitment to their welfare, healthcare, nutrition, and educational needs of their children since 2004, and we are committed to continue. We would like you, our St Canice's Community, to better understand the activities in Railaco that are supported by your generosity.