News: A focus on wellbeing

Brendan accepts the cheque from Alan Castleman, Chairperson of Australian Unity Foundation
On July 2nd, Palms Australia was one of several organisations to receive a $25,000 grant from Australian Unity Foundation (AUF).

The grant has been made to support Palms’ volunteers working with Fundacao Lafaek Diak (FLD) in Triloka in the Baucau District of Timor-Leste.

Like many of our Timorese partners, FLD has limited resources and cannot meet all of the costs of hosting skilled volunteers for the duration of their stay.

After a remarkably painless application process, Palms convinced Australian Unity Foundation of the value in supporting the placements of Damian Rake and Rebecca Blundell as a Clinical Training Officer and Organisational Development Officer respectively.

Damian, a nurse, is providing assistance and basic nursing training to FLD staff to provide urgent health services, including a focus on reducing infant and maternal mortality, both of which are particularly high in rural areas of Timor-Leste.

Rebecca is assisting FLD with organisational development. FLD delivers programs in education, income generation, agriculture and health. In addition to administration and project management, Rebecca and her local colleagues are building systems for improved reporting to foreign donors and identifying and developing sustainable local sources of income.

AUF supported Palms’ application because it fitted with Australian Unity’s focus on promoting wellbeing and because they recognised the value in providing opportunities for Australians to volunteer.

As Brendan was accepting the cheque, Christine was visiting Damian, Rebecca and our partners at FLD, providing support and discussing the organisation’s progress towards its immediate goals and exploring future directions for our partnership.

Our Timorese partners and volunteers continue to achieve sustainable change in their communities. Australian organisations, such as AUF, deserve credit for ensuring that these partnerships can continue.

This is just one example in a growing trend of Australian organisations recognising the effectiveness of Palms’ approach to development, one of walking humbly with our partners in mutual exchange.

Students at a workshop run by Fundacao Lafaek Diak
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You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. - Kahlil Gibran