East Timor – An infirmary for Laga orphanage

17 September 2020

(ANS - Laga) - The "Fondazione Opera Don Bosco Onlus" of Milan launches a new global appeal: the goal is to create an infirmary that takes care of and accompanies the 104 girls staying in the orphanage of Laga, in East Timor.

The project has set itself the goal of safeguarding the health of the girls who are the orphanage's guests, creating an independent area with related services in which to treat cases of illness without involving all its guests. Allowing the separation of sick girls in an environment other than the two dormitories would ensure a lower spread of contagious diseases and provide better care of sick children with a general improvement in the girls' health and, consequently, also a more constant attendance at school.

After the liberation of Indonesia in 1999, East Timor enjoys political freedom, but the conditions of the people, especially in rural areas, has remained critical. Added to this is a high percentage of women dying in childbirth - East Timor is one of the countries with one of the world's highest maternal mortality rates - often because they refuse health care, preferring the help of relatives and acquaintances. Thus, one of the consequences of this situation, added to a condition of general poverty, is the presence of a large number of orphans.

The Salesians arrived in East Timor in 1959 precisely with the intention of supporting the local population in a path of growth and formation, dedicating themselves especially to young people and to the many children left without a family or in need of daily support.

One of the country's Salesian houses is in Laga, a town located by the sea, made up of many villages scattered over the surrounding hills and mountains. The orphanage, run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and named after Blessed Laura Vicuña, was inaugurated in 1996. Today it houses 104 girls aged 6 to 17: some are orphans of one or both parents, others are daughters of divorcees and have been abandoned, while others, despite having one of their parents alive, were abandoned due to diseases such as tuberculosis and other social problems. There are also girls who come from distant villages who, if they were not hosted by the Salesians, would leave their studies; and, finally, there is a small group of girls who have suffered abuse in the family and who have been reported by the area's social workers to the Salesians.

Today the Laga orphanage can carry out its activities mainly thanks to the help of long-distance adoptions and occasional benefactors from abroad or locally. The construction of the infirmary will be essential to ensure a better lifestyle for the many girls present inside.

Further information is available on the website of the Fondazione Opera Don Bosco Onlus.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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