Over Easter weekend, Cyclone Seroja devastated Timor Leste causing powerful flooding which claimed 42 lives and damaged more than 25,000 homes. The raging waters engulfed households, belongings and critical infrastructure leaving thousands homeless and livelihoods ruined.

Immediately, Carmel Impact organised an emergency appeal to support those suffering, which saw over $141,000 AUD donated by everyday Australians and our international supporters to help our struggling Timor-Leste neighbours. This financial support together with the Carmelite team on the ground has helped to provide immediate relief to flood-affected families.

Humbled by the Love and Support from Donors

Carmel Impact and the Carmelites have dedicated themselves to serving people in need for over eight centuries. In the aftermath of the floods that ravished the Timorese countryside in April, we worked to provide urgent relief to flood-affected families. We were humbled by the generosity and support of our caring donors who instantly heeded the call and gave donations and hope to the Timorese devastated by the floods.

Together we Make a Difference!

Our donor support was able to facilitate work in four major areas:

1. Immediate Relief and Long-term Practical help:

While aid agencies were doing their best to provide relief, some segments of the community were being overlooked. Immediately after the storm, the Carmel Impact team, often traveling by foot because roads were impassable, identified these families and distributed water, food, sanitation items, clothes, and cooking utensils. Months later we’re now supplying building materials to help replace or repair homes which had been damaged by both water and mud.

Thousands of Timorese were left homeless, and fresh food and drinking water difficult for many to access. By providing both building materials and labour, we’re helping to rebuild homes and restore their lives.

2. Rebuilding Community Water Supplies:

pipes which pumped fresh water in from underground springs. We worked together with these local communities to rebuild their water systems, including two large new cement water tanks. These systems are now fully operational allowing residents to drink, cook, wash, and bathe again. Unfortunately, in other areas of Timor, many still have no access to water, electricity, toilets, food, or money, as people have been unable to work.

3. Repairing Roads and Infrastructure Washed Away by Floods

Working together with local volunteers, we’re unblocking and repairing drains which were making it difficult for the waters to subside, and subsequently blocking all road traffic to and from major areas. We’re fixing roads and cleaning up washed-out streets to bring life back to some semblance of normality.

4. Fixing Up Our Damaged Schools

Many of the children from our schools lost all their belongings including their homes, school items, and access to food and water. In addition, the torrential deluges and high winds damaged the tin roofs of two Carmelite primary schools in the Zumalai sub-district. Water leaks marred ceilings, walls, and verandas, so we’re working together with several volunteer teachers and labourers to repair and replace the affected buildings.

Youth and education have been our core focus in Timor, as we believe they are the essential building blocks for genuine prosperity. Ensuring our schools are back in operation and functioning is of paramount importance.

Help Us Give Hope Back to Timor

Carmel Impact is committed to creating lasting, positive change in Timor-Leste. In a nation where the cycle of poverty is already hurting its people, this recent disaster has made the situation worse. We’re so grateful to our donors and to our team in Timor who are working hard to repair the damage and bring hope back to this proud nation.

Your donation can help make a massive difference to so many people’s lives. Join Carmel Impact now!

We’re reaching the unreachable places. We go to places where no-one has gone yet. And when they see us, they just start crying. Like one place which is in the hills behind our community. We provide material support, emotional support, and our presence. People will say, “You are the first people, the first group who have come here and visited us and offered us something.”

Make a difference in the world! Every action has its impact.

Carmel Impact’s education programs in Timor-Leste contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals of: No poverty; Good health and wellbeing; Quality education; and Gender equality. 

You can make an immediate difference by actively supporting community development projects in rural Timorese communities. All donations over $2.00 made to Carmel Impact are tax deductible.