INDEPENDENT NEWS

World Vision Aid Helps Clean Up Dili

Published: Thu 21 Oct 1999 05:40 PM
by Scoop/World Vision Correspondent, James Addis
In amongst the burned out rubble-strewn streets of Dili, a team of local labourers - 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 (true at Oct 20), 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.
Selwyn Manning - Scoop Auckland
Evening Report - independent interactive debate.
EveningReport is designed with realtime interactivity in mind. Along with published articles, columns, and analysis it will webcast video debate and interviews on-site in realtime and on-demand. Public and audience interaction is also key to EveningReport's brand.
Contact Selwyn Manning - Scoop Auckland
Website:
Phone:
Twitter:
Email:
Media Contact:
Editor@EveningReport.nz

Next in New Zealand politics

Auckland Pride remains committed
By: Auckland Pride Festival
PM welcomes state visit by Korean President Moon Jae-in
By: New Zealand Government
Changes to drinking water standards and health
By: New Zealand Government
Police detention was unlawful but reasonable
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
Joint Statement by Sebastián Piñera and Jacinda Ardern
By: New Zealand Government
Top academics call on government to take climate action
By: UNITEC
New plan for high quality early learning
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland Pride Parade statement from Vodafone Rainbow Whanau
By: Vodafone NZ
Police Banned From Marching in Uniform at Auckland Pride
By: RNZ
Water regulation and funding reform on mid-2019 deadline
By: BusinessDesk
Wellbeing and Water – a necessary conversation
By: New Zealand Government
LGNZ welcomes drinking water reform, urges pursuit
By: Local Government NZ
Need for water sector reform reflected in proposals
By: Water New Zealand
Right time to discuss the role of local government
By: Infrastructure New Zealand
Time to address the dry topic of water
By: EMA
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media