Katrina's story as a volunteer in East Timor led to her re-examining her concept of home. Katrina felt so ‘at home’ in East Timor and the people of that war ravaged nation took her in to their homes and hearts.
This is a story of much pain but of courage and presence in that pain, of listening, of ‘being there’ and of discovering in relationship with some of the poorest people on this planet – the gift of ‘home’ – of a place where one can feel valued, important and grow in your sense of self.
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'Uma': Katrina's Response Tips
Medium term: Learn more about the history of occupation by Indonesia and the process of independence in East Timor by reading people’s stories on the truth and reconciliation website.
Longer term: Familiarise yourself with the United Nation's Millenium Development Goals and their aims in majority world countries like East Timor.
Medium term: Advocate for the Australian Government to honour its commitment to raise foreign aid to 0.7% of GDP.
Longer term: Encourage conversations and dialogue around the Millennium Development Goals with key people in your community. This could include inviting candidates in your electorate to a function where they explain their stance on the MDGs.
Medium term: Gather friends and family to celebrate the anniversary of independence in East Timor on 20 May. Connect with the local Timorese community in your area and celebrate!
Longer term: Develop a twinning relationship between your community (workplace, church, and neighbourhood) and a community in East Timor. Organisations like The Alola Foundation can help.
Medium term: Join or create a fair-trade Christmas shopping tour to places like Oxfam, Good Sheppard Trading Circle. Invite family, friends and work colleagues to join you in buying presents that help trade women out of poverty. Companies like Justice Products can be a good start. When you are making decisions in your life, do as Ghandi did and first think of the poorest person that you know, then ask yourself how your decisions will impact on them. Ensure that the impact is positive!
Longer term: Join a volunteer program for a year and spend some time supporting the development of East Timor.
Here are some websites to help you on your way: