HELPING those in need in Timor-Leste has given a group of students from the University of Notre Dame an “eye opening” experience.
Part of the university’s Experience the World program, and teaming up with not-for-profit organisation Caritas Australia, students spent the 10-day trip working alongside locals in women’s shelters, collecting coffee beans, harvesting vegetables and helping in schools.
Student Phoebe Whittington said the experience was both eye opening and humbling.
“Seeing the sheer workload this group of women had to undertake was hard to swallow,” she said.
“Despite the challenging environment, we were constantly overwhelmed by the warmth, generosity and hospitality of the Timorese people.
“The bonds formed throughout the immersion left us all with a strong sense of solidarity.
“The friendships formed also enabled us to gain deep and personal insights into the challenges they face and a sense of what it is actually like to live in a vulnerable community.”