Welcome to our first newsletter for 2018.
We are at an exciting point: launching a lot of new activities with Maluk Timor, hiring new staff, meeting a lot of potential volunteers and partners, and finding new opportunities everywhere we look.
It means our imaginations are running wild, as we speculate on new ways of facing up to old challenges (like tuberculosis or malnutrition). Our organisation has many strengths, but two that we’ve been focusing on recently are volunteerism and agility…..
The lifeblood of Maluk Timor, like Bairo Pite Clinic before it, is the extended group of volunteers and contributors that drive it.
There isn’t a single non-Timorese person drawing a real wage from the organisation: everyone is in it because they are passionate about it. And people will do things for love that they would never do for money.
We look around at many other NGOs or agencies here and know that their international staff are on big salaries, with relocation, living costs and school fees thrown in. There’s a boomerang theory about aid: that most of the money given by international governments goes back into the pockets of people from their own countries. Not a lot of it reaches the destination, in the truest sense.
We want to be different, and due to the many volunteers we have, we are different. Even if we do eventually attract big grants or serious aid funding we intend to be very careful to guard the spirit of volunteerism that powers this organisation.
Agility is the word we are using to describe the creativity and versatility we’ve needed to not only reshape ourselves over the past five months, but also to make the best of opportunities that arise here each week.
Sometimes it’s a matter of taking hold of a potential volunteer whom you meet in passing: Dili enjoys a very high turnover of expat professionals, and many of them are looking for something interesting to do. At other times it’s about connecting an interested donor with a big unmet need. And then some days it’s just about dodging falling palm trees (metaphorically, and literally).
As a lean and independent organisation we’re able to adjust quickly to change, seize opportune small-scale innovative projects. Some of our partner NGOs have big engines, but also very big turning circles. We see ourselves as light and nimble, creative and opportunistic. There’s never a dull day here: it will only get dull when we run out of imagination, and there’s no sign of that yet.
We are gearing up for the regular Board meetings here in Timor to ensure we are all across the issues.
Thank you for your most loyal support and please feel free to contact us anytime.
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Dr Jeremy & Dr Chris
What has been happening with Maluk Timor?
Update on the Rheumatic Heart Disease program…
Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) are helping fund the training room renovations..
We are eternally grateful for the committed group of supporters who are the life blood of this charity