Caring for a disabled child in Australia can be difficult, but in developing countries - with a lack of basic care programs, specialised equipment and health workers – it’s an almost overwhelming challenge. Source: Australian Jesuits.
￼That is why you have to hand it to the Alma Nuns, who undertake such a hard task in East Timor, West Papua and Indonesia with virtually no support or assistance.
This month, two Alma Sisters will visit Australia on a much-needed fundraising tour.
Alongside Paulie Stewart, a project officer for Jesuit Social Services in Melbourne, they will visit eight colleges in Sydney and Melbourne, and attend Jesuit Mission’s famous Indian Bazaar fundraiser at St Ignatius’ College Riverview.
They will also be involved with a big benefit concert at the Seaman’s Mission Melbourne on September 22 featuring Australian/East Timorese soul band the Dili Allstars, the Travellers, the Flybz, Da Hypnotist and others.
Mr Stewart said that along with friend Gil Santos he had met the nuns while in East Timor recording the soundtrack for the movie Balibo in 2009.
“The movie was about the murder of five journalists by invading Indonesian forces in 1975, one of whom was my elder brother and HSV 7 Melbourne cameraman Tony Stewart,” Mr Stewart said.
“We had been asked to visit the nuns by friend Abel Guterres, who is East Timor’s ambassador to Australia. He said the sisters looked after 'the lowest of the low'.
“We met the nuns and were immediately impressed by their loving, persistent and life-changing work. They are living, breathing examples of the love of Jesus.”
Stewart said the Alma Nuns often faced financial difficulties and needed help, and so the fundraising visit was organised.
“In the past few years, the Alma Nuns have expanded their modest operations by receiving a donated van from Australia, constructing two classrooms at their premises for the children to learn skills, and by extending their work to East Timor’s poorer rural districts.”
Alma Nuns visiting Australia this month (Australian Jesuits)