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The Fruit of a Longstanding Relationship between the sister parishes of St. Canice in Australia and Railaco in Timor-Leste

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Among the many good fruits cultivated by the two parishes is Jesuit scholastic, Bonifacio Bano Lay Ribeiro SJ. This 23-year-old Railaco parishioner has just taken his first vows as a Jesuit. 

Bonifacio first experienced the St Canice / Railaco relationship as a child benefitting from the Children’s Feeding Program, and also studied and graduated from the Railaco Jesuit Secondary School, NOSSEF.

Railaco Parish in Timor – Leste and St. Canice’s Parish in Australia have cultivated a very fruitful long-distancerelationship since the year of 2004. St. Canice’s parish in Australia has been supporting the Railaco Jesuit Mission in various humanitarian and education programs such as Feeding Program, Clinic of Nain Feto Virgem Maria, mobile clinic, and NOSSEF high school. Throughout these years and through these programs, we can see the impacts and the fruits of this longstanding relationship.

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The New Water Facility in Matata Supplies Clean Water to 180 Households

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On December 30th, 2019, the community of Matata and the Jesuit Social Service (JSS) inaugurated the newly established water facility that was constructed through close collaboration between the people in the community themselves and the JSS team. The residents of Matata were very enthusiastic on that day to welcome the local authorities and the Director of JSS, Father Albino Gonçalves, SJ that was there also to bless the facility. Indeed, it was a celebration of contentment for the community to have clean water available near their houses, which means a life changing and a solution to 180 households that in the past had been struggling in getting clean water for their daily needs.

Before the establishment of the water facility, each and every household in the area struggled and found it very difficult to get clean water for their daily needs. For several years, the community of Matata did not have access to clean water supply. Also, given the long dry season, the community struggled so much in getting water for their needs. Many water sources and streams dried out and all the households could only get water from the stream down at the bottom of the hill that is far from their houses. One could not imagine how hard it was for all the houses to go and fetch water from only one source. Many elders, children, women and men had to line up every day to fill up their water containers to bring home for cooking and washing.

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