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Railaco – Our Sister Parish in East Timor

Railaco – Our Sister Parish in East Timor2020-08-12T22:20:56+10:00

While the wider Jesuit community in East Timor 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.

We would like you, our St Canice’s Community, to better understand the activities in Railaco that are supported by your generosity. Through your largesse we can continue to fund a feeding program for babies and young children, a mobile medical clinic that visits remote communities, and eleven specially-trained teachers at the secondary school.

The annual funding for these programs is approximately $70,000.  In the fifteen years since inception of the special relationship, the St Canice community has raised in excess of $800,000.

St Canice’s has made the sure foundation with Railaco Jesuit Mission

Upon withdrawal of the Indonesian Occupation Forces at the turn of this century, the East Timorese people were left without any government, teachers, doctors, civil servants, and any form of enterprise. Not only scorched earth, but the East Timorese people were left with virtually nothing.

In creating a sister parish relationship with the Railaco Jesuit Mission in 2004, St Canice’s joined the East Timorese people on their long road to building better lives by creating opportunities and bringing hope. This was done through supporting a Children’s Feeding Program, a Mobile Medical Clinic, and a Secondary School.

In effect, in 2004, we planted an acorn and continued nurturing it through to the present day. Now, we can see a beautiful oak, with many branches – branches supporting more developments that will improve the lives of the families of Railaco and give them hope for a brighter future. New donors are stepping-up to fund these additional developments.

The humanitarian works of the Railaco Jesuit Mission continue. St Canice’s remains committed to supporting the daily ‘bread and butter’ requirements of the Mission; ensuring that children receive a nutritious meal, families see a doctor, and students receive the best secondary education. At the same time, other donors are funding new growth opportunities.

St Canice’s has laid this sure foundation. And we thank you all for your ongoing support.

July 2019

Railaco 2019 Barbara

The students of NOSSEF, the Jesuits' Railaco secondary school of nearly 400, see the blessings that their education brings them and therefore they focus on their studies. Last year, all students passed the national exams and the school came 2nd in the country only to be pipped by the Jesuit-run school outside of Dili. Amazing achievement because these are children from poor villages who have experienced the brunt of their recent brutal history.

Railaco – Malcolm France

It had never occurred to me that after PNG, East Timor is Australia’s closest neighbour. Far closer than other neighbours we may be more familiar with such as New Zealand or perhaps Fiji. Australians can travel to the capital Dili on a comfortable modern jet from Darwin in less time than it takes to fly from Sydney to Melbourne. Our neighbours in East Timor of course live in a very different neighbourhood. But the smiles and the welcomes are as warm as any we could hope for from our neighbours back home.

Mother-Love

The key observation I made during our visit to Fatu Besi was that the people have great need, but they are NOT needy. We can make friends with our neighbours in Timor Leste, we become equals. We are not the givers and they the takers. We can inspire each other as friends do, help each other as friends do, love each other as friends do.

Meeting the people of Railaco – GOLD!

The visit from parishioners of St Canice’s was a momentous occasion, especially for the residents in the remote villages of Railaco. It was also a golden opportunity for the parishioners of St. Canice to witness and meet the people – children, students, teachers, elders, youth – whom they have had such a successful long distance relationship with.