Relief work is not what we normally do. However Simon Fenby, one of our directors, was in Dili when flood waters rushed through on Easter Sunday 2021. 50 people died, 13,000 were displaced and the damage to houses and villages was devastating. People lost everything and didn’t have the money to buy basic items like food, clothes and blankets.

Because we were on the ground we were able to act to provide immediate help. Simon recruited volunteers and formed a partnership with SABEH, a local medical NGO which had contacts into the communities and knew what was needed and where. An appeal to our volunteers brought in a staggering A$194,848. As with all our school projects, all administrative costs were funded by our founders, so 100% of that money was used as follows:

Total Money Raised and Spent: A$194,848
Villages and Refugee Camps Supported: 35
Number of Families Supported: 3,200
Number of Students Stranded in Dili Supported: 300
Approx Number of People Supported 12,000

The items we have bought and distributed include:

73,170 kg rice
5,358 litres of cooking oil
136,040 packets of noodles
3,940 kg of flour
3,255 kg of sugar
4,716 eggs
200kg of onions
200kg of garlic
2,750 tins of sardines
2,963 tins of beef

A$10,400 of medicine
2,995 kg second-hand kids’ clothes
1,875 kg second-hand adults’ clothes
5,040 packets of sanitary pads
3,239 mattresses
5,480 blankets
2,220 mosquito nets
752 tarpaulins
53 kerosene stoves
6,048 bars of soap
3,060 spoons
2,280 plates

A$7,800 of medicine

Dr Andre, Joni Kay and their group of volunteers at SABEH (many of whom lost everything in the floods themselves) worked around the clock for weeks to help us do this. The gratitude and grace of the people we were able to help was overwhelming and humbling.