Itโ€™s a quantum step forward for our relationship with Railaco to have a group of interested people around a table at the new St Canice Hub. They are keen to know more about how our Railaco relationship works and curious about how we raised a million dollars in a small parish environment since the start of the program.

๐“๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐„๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ
From our perspective, itโ€™s important to have a representative group of new people of different ages to come on board to better understand the achievements in Railaco, and hopefully to get personally involved. They bring new eyes to what we view as our long-established Railaco activities. With their energy, creativity, and extensive social networks, this new and largely younger cohort can go great-guns to expand the reach of our message and contribute to our fundraising.

Reflections from Sue and Peter, who came to Railaco with our parish immersion group in 2019, were very touching. Two enthusiastic young men from our new St Caniceโ€™s Colombiรจre Social Enterprises (CSE), Dan and Aidan, shared details of a project in Railaco that creates real social impact. More on that in a minute.

๐‚๐š๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐๐จ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž? ๐˜๐ž๐ฌ!
In our ongoing relationship with Railaco, doing as good neighbours do, we are delivering happiness, creating joy, and generating hope. In return, those of us who have visited Railaco come back so happy and joyful, knowing that the little that we do is so appreciated. Can we do more? Yes!

๐‘๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐จ ๐Œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ก ๐š๐ญ ๐’๐ญ ๐‚๐š๐ง๐ข๐œ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐‰๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฒ
The month of July will be โ€˜Railaco Monthโ€™ at St Caniceโ€™s. In the lead-up to St Ignatius Feast Day weekend at the end of July, we will have a wonderful program of stories and videos to share with you. We really want you to know better whatโ€™s been achieved up there through your generosity; to feel a part of such a splendid Jesuit organization and thatโ€™s doing so much work for people who have relatively nothing. The funds that we send up go such a long way in Timor.

๐„๐ง๐ ๐š๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐  ๐€๐๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฌ
New to St Caniceโ€™s is Colombiรจre Social Enterprises (CSE), a large new doorway in Fr Daveโ€™s โ€˜Vision for the Parishโ€™. Itโ€™s a parallel initiative of young men passionate about serving others that serves to build a bridge to the next generation. Some have already visited Railaco to discuss their plans with the Jesuits. They are now busy on their first project involving local Timorese people that will create social impact. Helping set-up small business will create employment opportunities not only for enterprising Timorese, but potentially, also for graduates of Nossef, our Railaco parish secondary school. This initiative offers our parish a chance to learn from the young too.

๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก๐ฒ ๐‹๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ
Our Railaco Project represents a combination of worthy lives โ€“ Australians and Timorese. East Timorese are worthy people, predisposed in their generosity and commitment to Australia during wartime; worthy in their struggles with Indonesia for their Independence; worthy in the vision to create a just, free, and open democratic society; worthy in their spirit of gratitude to us. Our worthiness exists not just by our donations, but in our doing, what is right; compelled by gospel value to serve others.

๐‘๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐จ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐–๐ข๐ง๐ง๐ž๐ซ
Weโ€™re backing a winner with Railaco. The whole St Canice Railaco project is a combined success story. The Feeding Program, Medical Clinic and Secondary School have ultimately been about social empowerment. Starting from pure handouts when they really needed it after the departure of Indonesian occupiers, the Railaco project has been evolving towards empowerment.

Itโ€™s a winner and itโ€™s going somewhere. The Railaco parish needs us more than ever to maintain the momentum. From a financial point of view, this wonderful educational institution does not take a lot of funds. The parish secondary school Nossef has an enrolment of 338 students in 2023 and operates on such a low budget compared to Australia. Inflationary pressures like everywhere else must be met.

With the other programs, we are doing so much for people who have relatively nothing, and any extra funds that we send up to Railaco go such a long way. We recognise that there are many new appeals both here at home and around the world. But Railaco is a proven program with demonstrable outcomes and ninety percent of the donations go direct to the cause.

Michael Musgrave
Railaco Ambassador