In 2002 I met with Maria Dias, Founder Director of PAS Clinic in Dili, Timor-Leste, and heard a tragic story of her young brother dying in the hospital crying out in vain to go home to die in his village with family. He was not allowed to go home and so he died a lonely, anguished death in the hospital. When we told Maria about our Dying At Home Program she said, “I must bring this to my people”.
Our shared dream to help dying Timorese people be cared for at home was realized in October 2016 when Maria Dias, together with our little team of dedicated teachers, Gerard and me, Kathleen and David Dansie (IT) and Anthony Mannion (visual media) were able to go to teach in Timor-Leste through the generosity of supportive friends.
Two hundred and sixteen enthusiastic and excited local people attended our training programs learning in depth the culturally adapted Dying At Home Program and how to enable best care by family Carers of dying relatives and friends in their villages, hamlets and towns. The first training was held in Dili and then further trainings were held in Aileu, Maucatar near Suai, and remote villages Navan, Holpilat, and Nadak.
Our trainees endorsed the gift our program offers, namely to build a new culture of care for the dying person and their Carer and bring forth a compassionate response of all involved in that care. It is planned to extend the Dying At Home Program throughout all of Timor-Leste as more people continue to be trained.