During the challenges of 2020, Alola Offices in Dili and Baucau were closed and staff worked from home. Core programs, such as Infant and New Mother Care, Early Childhood Education, Women’s Cancer Support, and Economic Empowerment, were forced to stop. The Alola CEO and Management Team worked urgently to develop new plans to respond to the COVID challenge.
- Public Health and Education: Alola shared important health information via community radio and social media – about how the virus spreads, and simple methods to prevent infection. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Mother and Child Health Team led this public health work across Timor-Leste. Staff educated communities in remote villages, making house-to-house visits distributing information about COVID and sanitation packages. Staff monitored hand-washing facilities in every house, sometimes teaching families how to make simple hand washing facilities, as for example from used jerry cans.
- Sewing Masks: Alola, together with other NGOs, made more than 250,000 masks enabling students and teachers to return safely to school.
Alola’s immediate action and commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste is a tribute to excellent leadership. The 2020 global COVID-19 crisis has reaffirmed Alola’s deep commitment to working for change for the peoples of Timor-Leste.
Franksiscus Xaverius reporting from Fundasaun Alola – Dili