Thank you! Kind regards Kim and Deborah
Loosely translated, Liman Hamutuk means ‘putting helping hands together’ – as happens at this Centre for disabled children in Hera, a town just east of Dili. Branca, a Brazilian missionary, established the Centre some 15 years ago.
Each Wednesday, the Centre’s mini bus collects students & their carers, delivering them for a morning of activities, breakfast, songs & lunch before heading home again. A doctor usually helps out with medical issues too.
Kim from Australia, & Deb from Switzerland, whose husbands are both pilots with MAF, volunteer at the Centre – facing challenges beyond their previous experiences working with children with special needs & disabilities.
They’ve found the children really happy, & keen to participate in any activities. The children’s only support is from their families & the Centre staff.
Their lessons need options for those who can hear or not, those who can write or draw or not, those who can sign & those who can speak – every task needing planning & diversity.
Coloured pencils, crayons & colouring books are luxuries for most families here – but offer artistic expression & learning opportunities to which the children respond & love. Kim & Deb have also taught the children ‘pretend play’ with old kitchen utensils & ‘dress-ups’ with old clothes, as Aussie kids do.
Peter & Ima delivered donations to Liman Hamutuk recently that were greatly appreciated.
Peter was particularly struck by the wide range of needs for which the Centre must cater.
On my very first visit at the centre I met a group of kids with no chance of getting some education, because of their disabilities, but with a hunger to learn and to embrace life. Among their mums I saw shame and insecurity. And I saw Timorese staff with a heart for these people, but with very little knowledge and resources to meet these needs.
The Packing Crew think that’s reason enough to work outdoors in 38 degrees (as a ‘bakers dozen’ of us did last Saturday) loading C34 with bags of hospital curtains, boxes of little kids library books & games, kitchenware, kids sports clothes, bags of shoes, bed linen, medical supplies & even an electronic keyboard. Extra help from Jose & Hamish that day was welcomed.
The header photo shows children, carers & staff visiting the MAF hangar at Dili International Airport. The children had never seen a real aircraft up close or been inside one – & were completely spellbound. Deb & Kim are making a real difference in Hera – offering opportunities for these kids & their carers to live.