Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

James Addis Reports On Dili, East Timor

World Vision Food For Work Scheme Feeds Family And Cleans Up City

by James Addis, World Vision Correspondent in Dili East Timor

Article provided by World Vision NZ

A World Vision food for work scheme feeds a family and cleans a city.

In amongst the burned out rubble-strewn streets of Dili, a team of locallabourers - men and women - slowly, but diligently clear up the mess.

They're participants in a World Vision food for work scheme. An initiative,which not only tidies war-ravaged streets, but keeps local people productively employed and well-fed.

It's intensely hot and one of the workers, Juliana Maria, is more than happy to quit sweeping to have a chat.

Her most recent memories are painful ones. She recalls how bullets ripped through the walls of her home while she, her four children, and her blind husband scrambled to get out.

The pro-integrationist forces - frustrated at East Timor's vote for independence - chased her family and fellow villagers for nearly seven kilometres.

"They kept firing into the air, we just kept moving," says Juliana sadly.

Her lips tremble as she recalls how she had to lead her husband by the arm - the pair stumbling to get away as their world caved in.

The family sought shelter in the village of Dare, just outside Dili, and lived for three weeks on cassava and wild fruit. When they returned home they found their home looted - the family was left with nothing.

Distressed at the extent of the destruction in Dili, Juliana says she would have cleaned the streets on her own initiative if she had not found out about food for work. Now, thanks to the scheme, she can help restore her city and put rice on the family's table.

"If I was not part of this programme I would not be able to get rice from anywhere," she says.

Commenting on recent events, Juliana manages some optimism despite the desolation.

"I feel sad but I don't want revenge. I don't take it to heart. Things are going to get better now - we have our independence," she says triumphantly.

Currently the food for work scheme is in its infancy operating in Dili's city centre and 21 of its suburbs. There are about 500 participants. Each participant is paid 3kg of rice for a four hour day.

World Vision programme officer Angel Theodora (Indonesian) says it's hoped to expand the scheme to 3,000 participants. Food for work inititiatives will move beyond street clearance to include the reconstruction of houses, clinics and schools.

Angel says for food for work schemes to be successful it's important the community set the priorities.

"We want all the ideas to come from the community. They tell us what they really need. The last thing we want to do is impose something on them which they don't want to participate in," she says.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation The South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster
The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector... More>>

ALSO:

Jan Rivers: The New Zealanders Involved In Brexit

There are a number who have strong connections to New Zealand making significant running on either side of the contested and divisive decision to leave the European Union. More>>

Rawiri Taonui: The Rise, Fall And Future Of The Independent Māori Parties

Earlier this month the Māori Party and Mana Movement reflected on the shock loss of their last parliamentary seat in this year’s election. It is timely to consider their future. More>>

Don Rennie: Is It Time To Take ACC Back To First Principles?

The word “investing” has played a major part in the operations of the ACC since 1998... More>>

Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO: