Orphan Support Programme
Timor-Leste has a high number of orphans and no state welfare system to care for them. With high mortality rates of mothers in childbirth and basic poverty preventing families from supporting extra children, orphanages play a vital role in society. The Order of Malta has ‘adopted’ the Carmelite Sister’s orphanage in the town of Maubara, and with the help of volunteers from Australia has reconstructed the bathroom and laundry facilities at the orphanage which were in dire need of repair.
In addition the Order of Malta is facilitating the construction of a Carmelite Home for Young Women and a Community Centre in the capital Dili. This building will eventually be the home for those orphans who have ‘outgrown’ the Maubara orphanage and who wish to continue their education to high school and university. To assist with the education of these orphans, the Order has established the Order of Malta Scholarship Program which will fund the girls’ accommodation and tuition fees. The First Lady of Timor-Leste, Ms Isabel Ferreira has generously agreed to be the Patroness of this important program.
Since Timor-Leste became independent in 2002 the Order of Malta has undertaken varied humanitarian initiatives across the country. The Order’s Embassy supports the medical infrastructure of the island, through projects such as funding the construction of a tuberculosis clinic at Venilale and a birthing clinic at Malabe, as well as donating a container full of birthing equipment to the Ministry of Health for the hospital in Baucau.