SI Joondalup – East Timor delegation

Filed under: Events 2010 — admin @ October 2, 2010 2:38 am

Three members of Soroptimist International of Joondalup are travelling to East Timor; Jan Musk, Ailsa Rothenbury and Jennie van Driel.Jennie van Driel Ailsa Rothenbury and Jan Musk

They are going at the invitation of the Government, through the Prime Minister’s wife Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Founder and CEO of The Alola Foundation and Goodwill Ambassador of Education for East Timor.  Members will receive recognition for the excellent work the club has done in educating young women there.

There will be a ceremony on Thursday October 7th at the Ministry of Education in Dili, but this is not the only reason they will be travelling; there are six young  Soroptimist International Joondalup Scholarship winners who they will meet for the first time.  These young women are in diverse courses – the final years of secondary school, attending TAFE, The Institute of Technology or the University, all in Dili. It has been very difficult for young women in particular to finish their tertiary courses because of social and financial pressures, and the Soroptimists hope to encourage them with friendship and support to finish their courses and contribute to their emerging country.

They will be carrying gifts for the girls, and will buy Tetum/English dictionaries in Dili to help them learn English.

They will also be carrying gifts for the Kindergarten at Bauro in far North Eastern Timor:   pencils, colouring-in books, paper and sporting equipment.  Members of Soroptimist International of Joondalup were there two years ago and were shocked to see that the kindergarten had nothing in the way of educational supplies or equipment.

On their last visit the SI Joondalup Delegation was entertained in a Women’s Community Meeting House in the Lautem District, this is an area where a proportionally large number of men were murdered during the fight for independence.  It is here that the women gather to sew or do craft, while at the same time talking among themselves about their hardships and worries.  For them there will be lengths of fabric, knitting wool, craft magazines and sewing patterns.

There will be visits to child health clinics and for them they have baby scales and baby measuring devices and toys, and there will be visits to medical outposts.

Calendars of Perth and Western Australia, Australiana in the form of dishes, grooming and toiletry articles in the form of toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, hand cream and much more will be distributed to the contacts in East Timor who have kept in touch with the club, and those whom they meet during their investigation of circumstances in this poorest country in Asia.  The Delegation is also taking over $600 of privately raised money to subsidise unexpected travel expenses of two of the scholarship winners, and also to buy bags of rice and cooking oil for those who cannot afford to feed their families.

Excitement and anticipation run high as the departure date nears.  There are many arrangements to make, bookings to confirm and always something else to add to the large and weighty pile of goods for East Timor.  Our one concern is…“will we get it all on the plane?”

Ailsa Rothenbury Jennie van Driel and Jan Musk planning their trip to East Timor

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