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Susan Kendall AM, 2016

The NGO PRADET, (Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Development in East Timor), is now well established in Timor Leste. It has grown rapidly and achieved much in a short period of time, in the face of some significant challenges. This document traces the history of PRADET by charting key events in its development from 1999 till 2006, followed by a summary of key developments/events from 2006 till 2015. It may be noted that some staff who commenced working with PRADET in the early days are still there.

1999. PRADET commenced in late 1999 as an Australian NGO (non-governmental organization), when a group of mental health specialists, led by Prof. Derek Silove at the University of New South Wales, obtained AusAID funding to assist East Timor to respond to the high levels of trauma and mental illness, resulting from a brutal 25 year occupation by Indonesia. The focus was on developing a mental health program and building local capacity to implement it.  The Australian consortium formed by Prof. Derek Silove, initially consisted of the School of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW, the NSW Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation for Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) plus the Victoria Foundation for Survivors of Torture. The Australian Association of Social Workers NSW and Northern Territory branches, joined in late 1999 after Susan Kendall at a September NSW branch meeting, raised the need to support the women and children in East Timor, having viewed on television the horrific events following the referendum. 

Ramos Horta was the first patron.

14 people were selected to undertake initial training in Australia with a view to becoming PRADET staff. 4 were recruited from Timorese refugees in Australia, who had fled the violence in 1999 and 10 from Timor Leste. It is not clear how they were selected.

2000. All came to Sydney in February 2000 to complete a 7 weeks training on mental illness facilitated by the UNSW School of Psychiatry. Those recruited in Australia by Kristina Tang, who was the first Director of PRADET, were Luisa Marcal (midwife), Mira Martins da Silva (midwife), Olga dos Reis Marcal (midwife) and Aristides Soares. Those recruited in Timor Leste were Florentino de Carvalho, (nurse) Diamontino de Jesus (nurse), Ivo Ireneu Freitas (nurse), and Marcie Soares (midwife), Dr Aniceto Barreto, Manuel Mausiri (nurse), Sandra Rangel (resigned 2001), Renata de Jesus (resigned 2001), Severino (Resigned 2000) and Paula, (resigned 2000). Aristides and the last 4 people were not health workers. At this stage it became obvious that mental health case workers should have a health background.

The new PRADET believed that trauma from sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse was an essential component of mental illness/health and asked for training in these areas. As one of the trainers, Susan Kendall, then Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital, met the new staff. A picnic to welcome the visitors, interrupted by a typical Sydney southerly then ended at Susan’s house. Thus began a long term connection between Susan and PRADET that continues today. As well as face to face classes the course also consisted of visits to a number of mental health facilities including STARTTS, St John of God and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.

In April-May 2000 all newly recruited staff returned to Dili with “Chefe” Kristina Tang as the only international staff, and PRADET began in a room in the nursing school in Lahane with few resources. For the first 3 months, 12 staff worked in 1 fire damaged room with no transport, no telephones, no power, no water, 12 wooden chairs, 1 blackboard, 1 table and many mosquitoes. Because there were no lights, work had to stop at 4.00pm because the room was so dark. Kristina was working hard to get physical resources to repair a small building in Lahane consisting of one room and 2 toilets that was to be the office for PRADET and a dormitory close by to provide accommodation for internationals. This included getting water, power, repairing the building damaged in 1999, office equipment and a vehicle. It became obvious the team needed a clinical mentor. The staff were asked to choose someone they had met during their trip to Sydney.

In June 2000 “Mother” Susan Kendall arrived to assist the then 12 Timorese staff by helping them to become a professional team, help them to arrange a national consultation and decide priorities for a new mental health program. She arrived to cranky staff, no smiles to greet her and threatened strike action because a UN decision meant the salary offered was lower than expected. At that time UN was actually governing the country as there was no Timorese Government until 2002 and so UN had decided the salary scales for health workers. Timorese salaries are still much lower than international salaries. A difficult beginning. Fortunately Ivo and Marcie spoke good English and assisted with communication, another challenge, as it was important to talk things through. The ice was broken when everyone started telling funny stories about themselves. The group’s love of humor won through and staff accepted the lower salary because they were really committed to helping the people of East Timor. This humor and commitment remains a strong feature of PRADET today.

In June 2000 the first East Timor Women’s Congress was held in Dili. This helped to set the scene for the future work of PRADET. At this Congress, women from all parts of Timor Leste made it clear that now the Indonesians had gone they wanted the issue of violence against women and children, particularly domestic violence and sexual assault, to be a priority for the new Government. Dn. Micato (Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves) was elected by the Congress participants to become the Timorese head of the new Women’s Unit under UNTAET, a very popular choice.

June-August 2000 was devoted to planning the national consultation in August about the way mental health services were to be delivered and deciding on the PRADET vision and mission statement that has remained unchanged to this day, (see Appendix 1), repairing and moving into the new office and rehabilitated dormitory a few meters from the office, and collecting office equipment and furniture, sent from Australia, from the barely functioning port in Dili. A new caramel colored Toyota land cruiser arrived, clearly distinguished from the white UN vehicles, with “PRADET 1” as its number plate and nicknamed “Basil”.

Joanna was employed as a cleaner and later went on to train as a nurse.

At this time there were serious problems in getting water connected. As Director, Kristina thought it was her job to get the water fixed but the local residents were ignoring her and stealing the taps. Finally Diamontino and Florentino insisted on being involved, (Kristina thought they should concentrate on their jobs as mental health workers) by saying “we are men of Timor Leste, you must let us be involved” and the water was successfully connected after a community consultation. This was an important lesson on how to work together, for the international (malae) to learn the Timorese way.

In July 2000 Craig Knowles, then NSW Health Minister, came to PRADET and after a wonderful dinner prepared by staff, by candlelight as there was no power, committed to funding an Australian psychiatrist for one week per month to work with PRADET for 12 months. He was treated to the first of PRADET’s famous feasts after one live pig and 5 live chickens had been purchased in the central market, transported in an old taxi with no windows or windscreen, and dispatched to the cooking pot just outside the newly rehabilitated office.

In August 2000 a National Consultation about the design of future mental health services was held in Lahane to decide what the people of Timor Leste wanted. Over 200 people attended from all over Timor Leste, including UN officials, despite having no telephone, fax or email. Invitations were all hand delivered or sent by bus or microlet to the districts. The new office was blessed by the priest and then opened by Xanana Gusmao and local girls danced the tebe tebe to welcome and entertain the guests. The consultation lasted for 3 days.

A strong message from the participants was that people wanted PRADET to “do something about the crazy people wandering in the streets” who were “a danger to themselves and others” and “to help the veterans with their trauma”. This shaped the decision for PRADET to focus on serious mental illness as there was no western style service for treatment, no psychiatrist and many unhelpful myths supporting judgmental attitudes about people with mental illness. People with mental illness were often at risk of violence because people threw stones at them and women were especially at risk of violence and homelessness. Traditional forms of medicine were not helpful for people who had psychosis so those people were usually tied up or locked up, sometimes in stocks. In Indonesian times such people were often sent to a hospital in Bali, heavily drugged and usually only returned home “in a box”.

The work plan of PRADET had to fit with the UNTAET plan for health and Kristina was required to undertake complex negotiations. For example UNTAET wanted the service to cover all districts and there was a lot of pressure to start treating patients immediately. This with a staff of 12 people who had only had 7 weeks of formal training in mental health and only 1 vehicle. PRADET wanted to do what was “do-able” in a few selected districts and resisted seeing clients until staff were ready and properly resourced to do so professionally. To do otherwise was to risk failing.

At the end of the consultation the report was submitted to UNTAET and AusAID.

The design plan was for PRADET staff to assess, diagnose and commence a treatment plan. Services would commence in the western districts of Oecusse, Covalima, Bobonaro, Liquica, Ermera, Ainaro, Aileu and Dili. It was considered by the participants in the consultation that people in these districts had experienced the most violence and trauma, (relatively speaking). Local health workers would be trained to provide repeats of medications, follow-up counselling and monitoring of the person’s condition. PRADET would provide regular visits to each district to review current clients and assess new referrals. As well as medications, support from families and communities was an integral part of treatment. “The family is the nurse and the community is the hospital”. An inpatient facility was not part of the plan as it was seen as too expensive and too easy for patients with mental illness to be kept permanently in hospital and not be reintegrated into the community. It was recognized that mental health workers need to be part of a team that works together, so the primary team was to be based in Dili working with local district health workers to follow-up and report back any problems. Initially all medications were brought in from Australia.

September 2000. With these limited resources work commenced in the western districts. AusAID had agreed to pay for a psychiatrist to visit for 3 weeks every month. Dr Kim de Vahl Baker commenced in this position in September 2000, until December 2001 with her translator Andre Belo (now Dr Andre Belo) also commencing in September.  Andre stayed until 2002 when he went to Bandung to train as a doctor after being inspired by Dr Kim and all staff. Treatment began to be provided to people in Oecusse, Aileu, Ermera, Ainaro, Liquica, Suai, and Bobonaro. Psychiatrist Dr Angie Chan from Singapore also came for several visits, accompanying staff to Ainaro, Ermera and Liquica. Both psychiatrists covered Dili. Dr Kim’s capacity for car maintenance and repairs became legendary.

A visiting psychiatrist from NSW also came for 1 week every month supported by the NSW Department of Health as promised by the NSW Minister of Health. This was challenging for the visiting psychiatrist and PRADET staff as it was usually a different person every time who had never worked in a country like East Timor.

This was very new work for all staff. Dr Kim instigated a program of case presentations with all staff attending every morning for 1 hour, and each mental health worker taking it in turns to present a case. This was an excellent teaching method. One of the problems was to get the staff to write progress notes for the visiting psychiatrist. Their experience of Indonesian occupation and the clandestine was to never write anything down, a challenge that continues to this day!

There was also a complication with medications. The dosages recommended for Australians were too high for the smaller framed Timorese patients, many who had suffered malnutrition and so Dr Kim introduced the concept of “start low, go slow” meaning people were started on lower doses that were monitored and then increased according to the need.

October 2000. Susan Kendall returned to Sydney and was replaced by several other social workers from Sydney, including Sheila Truswell, Jill Davidson who were experienced senior social workers who mentored staff about management and human resources and Alison Rowlands who wrote training and a manual for Community Development strategies.

Susan returned in November/ December 2000 to provide more training with representatives from STARRTS and The Foundation.

It was at this time that the visiting malae learned something more about the culture of trauma in Timor Leste.

The International police (UNPOL) arrived at Lahane one morning looking for one of the participants who was receiving training about trauma. They had discovered the remains of her husband who had been missing and needed her to go to the police station to identify him. The international trainers from the Torture services were shocked that none of the other participants offered to accompany her to the police. It was unthinkable to the visiting trainers that she should go alone to identify her husband’s remains. So they cancelled the training and went with her to the police station. The other participants were furious saying “she was a lucky one as her missing person had been located and the family can give him a proper funeral. It’s much harder when you don’t know where the missing person is”. “For us this training is more important”.

Another valuable lesson.

December 2000. Kim Robertson a social worker from the Victorian Foundation took over Susan’s role in team building, support/consultant for casework for 3 months until February 2001.

March 2001. Susan Kendall came back as clinical mentor for an initial 2 months that was extended to 8 months.

Diamontino de Jesus became the new Timorese Director of PRADET mentored by “Chefe” Kristina.

An international agency delivered 12 huge bales of clothes from USA. Staff gave Susan the sexes, sizes and ages of all client families and took a week for individual bundles to be made for staff to deliver. Some of the clothes were enormous so the material was used for other smaller items to be made.

April 2001 Kylie Tallo Australian volunteer (AVI) commenced with PRADET setting up the office computers as well as translating into Bahasa Indonesian all the training packages being produced mostly by Dr Kim and Susan. At that time it was felt there was not enough vocabulary in Tetum for medical terms though only Tetum and English were spoken in the office.

June 2001. AusAID suddenly stopped PRADET’s funding without any warning to PRADET staff and no explanation. All funds were transferred to PRADET through the University NSW. Kristina went to the bank one day to collect salaries for staff to find there was no money! It is still not clear to this day why this happened but there were clearly political reasons. It MAY have been related to the decision by PRADET with their limited resources and only 12 mental health workers to begin working in the western districts first with a view to establishing services in those districts before extending to the eastern districts. There are also other theories related to the oil and gas treaties with Australia. Support from the Australian Consortium disappeared. This was very distressing for all staff especially as PRADET was treating over 200 clients with serious mental illness in the western districts.

Many of these people had been assisted by UNHCR to return from West Timor. All returnees were seen/assessed in a health clinic established by UNHCR in Batuguarde where PRADET held a regular clinic. This meant there was already a strong professional link between PRADET and UNHCR so when UNHCR senior staff heard about the sudden impending closure of the program they agreed to support all PRADET including 3 international staff, (Kristina Tang, Dr Kim and Susan Kendall), till December 2001. The funding commenced immediately. This also included another vehicle, “Babette”. US Aid gave PRADET a minibus. Kylie continued as an AVI. It was hoped that PRADET would somehow continue in 2002.

There was a constant challenge to provide medications. The Central Pharmacy was not yet established and all medications had to be bought in from Australia.

Dr Kim advised the new Central Pharmacy (SAMES) which drugs would be suitable and available for TL in the future. Most of the medications recommended by Dr Kim are still used, partly because there has been no updating or review.

August 2001. Dn. Luisa and Dn. Olga left PRADET to go to Ministry of Health as midwives. As widows, they were both were concerned about their future capacity to support their children and there was no guaranteed funding for PRADET after December 2001. Two staff who replaced them were Teofilo Tilman and Antonia.

Diamontino left for Ministry of Health Human Resources Department. Manuel Mausiri became Director of PRADET mentored by “Chefe” Kristina.

December 2001. As the UNHCR funding came to an end there was a high level of distress with staff wondering what would happen to the service they had established and the patients they were treating. Prof. Derek Silove won the AusAID bid for the next 3 years and approached PRADET staff to stay but trust had been broken and many staff had already found other jobs. The new government mental health program, called Saude Mental began with a new manager, Tim Armstrong, to replace Kristina. Manuel Mausiri, Teofilo, Florentino, and Mira stayed with the new program that would remain in Lahane. It was hoped that Manuel Mausiri would remain as Director of the new service and thus be able to carry over the ideals of the original PRADET. By December 2001 all other staff had found new jobs.  All goods and resources, including computers, training materials, and transport had to remain in the office in Lahane to be handed over to the new program.

Meanwhile it was agreed that Kristina would stay as volunteer to help establish a new PRADET as a National NGO. The original design agreed to in the consultation in August 2000 was to establish PRADET as a service provider, that would be handed over to the new Timorese government and then establish an NGO to assist and complement the Government service. The plan to achieve the last phase was just started earlier than expected!

January 2002. This was the second beginning …starting again.

The new NGO PRADET was established.

Started by Kristina Tang, working as a volunteer, it was located in Vila Verde, in one rented room. Because all goods and services had been left in Lahane it was essential to obtain funding for everything. Kristina and visiting trainers could no longer stay in the house in Lahane so she had to find other accommodation. Private funds were raised in Australia to help establish the new service including the salary of the first PRADET (mark 2) Timorese staff member Ivo Ireneu Freitas who had just returned from study in Malaysia.

As the new Lahane program was called Saude Mental, PRADET was able to keep the name “PRADET” and the good reputation that had already been established. However because there were only 4 original staff who remained with the new Saude Mental program more mental health nurses had to be recruited and trained resulting in a serious gap in follow-up treatment of patients already assessed and being treated.

February 2002. At the request of PRADET staff in 2001, training programs about the nature, effects and impact of child abuse as part of mental health existed, so the new service was well placed to successfully obtain funding from UNICEF to conduct a Preliminary Study of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking in Timor Leste and provide training on child abuse and child rights in the 4 Child Friendly Spaces being established in 4 districts. Funds now were available to employ staff, Ivo Ireneu Freitas, Jose Mesquita, Andre Belo and Kristina with Kylie as AVI (Australian volunteer). UNICEF also loaned a vehicle (blue).

The Preliminary Study on Child Abuse and Exploitation was the beginning of research on child abuse and exploitation conducted by PRADET and was followed later by a larger report on “Abuse, Violence and Exploitation –Children in Timor Leste” in June 2003. This was the first research on child abuse conducted in the new country.

Dn. Mira, though she was working with Saude Mental, took holidays and travelled to Sydney to present a paper with Susan Kendall at the International Conference about Violence against Women held at the University of Sydney. During the conference Susan appealed to the participants for funds for the new PRADET raising $3,000.00 and a new computer was donated. Another room was rented in Vila Verde, making PRADET office 2 rooms.

March 2002. Kylie, Ivo, Jose, Zeca and Andre commenced work on the extended UNICEF program.

About this time Ivo and Zeca commenced producing a half hour radio program talking about mental health and related issues. This was a wonderful form of community education and promotion for PRADET. By this time most people had access to a battery radio. This program continued for a couple of years until payment for radio time was demanded.

PRADET was constituted and registered as a National NGO.

April 2002. Dn. Mira resigned from Saude Mental and joined the new PRADET, first as a volunteer until salary was found for her.

May 2002. Preliminary negotiations had begun with CBM (Christian Blind Mission Germany) to establish a psychosocial service for people with mental illness. This meant that PRADET could continue the work started in 2000. This was a huge relief as there was still a serious gap in treatment and support of existing clients as Saude Mental was still training and recruiting new staff. As there were veterans of the first PRADET, the PAMM (Programa Assistensia Moras Mental) program soon commenced on a small scale (pilot) until the following year and substantial funding was secured.

July 2002. People who were psychotic were often sent to prison as there was no other facility to contain them.  In 2000 and 2001 PRADET had provided services to prisoners with mental illness in Becora prison so they had a good connection with the prison authorities. After the wife of a Dutch Protestant Minister had volunteered in PRADET she returned to Holland to negotiate with Global Ministries (Protestant Church Services based in Holland) to fund the Child at Risk Program, (later called PDAJJ Programa Democracia Assistensia Justisa Juventude) to provide a psychosocial service to young offenders in Becora Prison. Initially for 3 years, it was extended for another 6 years in 2005. From 2011-2014 it was funded by JSSF, (AusAID).

Luisa de Jesus, midwife, and Joao Viegas commenced working at PRADET. Luisa working with the Becora Prison program and Joao as Office Manager.

August 2002. Desperate for space, PRADET approached Xanana Gusmao President of Timor Leste. Xanana offered PRADET an office in the Veterans Compound in Taibessi, rent free. This compound had previously been an Indonesian military barracks. PRADET moved to the ex-Officers Building and Xanana ceremoniously gave them the key. Staff renovated the office, which included removing 10 open latrines, all in one room with 5 to each side of the room, and converting it to a kitchen- store room. Fortunately it had proper windows, unlike other buildings in the compound that only had slit openings for guns. A garden was planted in front of the office transforming the otherwise barren and dusty ex-parade ground. Unfortunately goats ate most of the new plants so a fence was built to enclose the garden enabling the plants to thrive.

September 2002. Dn. Florecensia (Cinza) started work as cook/cleaner. This was to assist staff having lunch at work rather than the long journey home for lunch that might take a couple of hours.

Antonio Esteves commenced as Finance Officer.

October 2002. UNICEF was audited and unfortunately the auditors did not agree with them lending PRADET a vehicle so UNICEF took back the car. Kristina lent money to Mira and husband Sr. Vicente to purchase a car that was used in PRADET and Sr. Vicente came as a volunteer driver until funding came later.

Susan came back to provide training to Caritas Australia then remained as volunteer for 2 months with PRADET.

Fatin Hakmatek. One of the recommendations from the Women’s Congress held in Dili in 2000 was the request to establish a service for people who had been sexually assaulted, particularly during the Indonesian occupation. Again PRADET was well placed to provide such a service as staff were mostly health workers with a good connection to the main hospital (HNGV) and they already had training capacity from the early days of linking the trauma of sexual assault to mental illness. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) gave PRADET US$8,000.00 to establish a service initially for victims of sexual assault, but later it was expanded to include victims of domestic violence, abandonment and child abuse. The new service was called Fatin Hakmatek (Safe Place).

November 2002. Fatin Hakmatek was established in 1 room in the old Maternity Unit in the National Hospital (HNGV). Luisa Marcal returned to PRADET as coordinator of Fatin Hakmatek and Natalia de Jesus Amaral (midwife) came later as nurse/counsellor. Furniture, desks, chairs for the PRADET office and Fatin Hakmatek was donated by ZONTA in Sydney and sent by shipping container.

Florentino Carvalho returned to PRADET from Saude Mental to work with PAMM.

December 2002. By the end of the first year PRADET had 10 Timorese workers employed to work in the 3 main programs that still exist today.

February 2003. Subsequent funding for Fatin Hakmatek was provided by UNFPA until 2010, though the amount varied in later years. Kathryn Robertson and Susan Kendall, funded by UNFPA, job shared a full-time position for 12 months as Mentors for Fatin Hakmatek.

Later this funding was reduced to half time and Susan continued in this role.

May 2003. The Psychosocial Program PAMM, successfully gained secure funding for 5 years from the German INGO CBMI, (Christian Blind Mission Institute). Initially this funding covered the cost of 6 counselling staff, 3 administrative staff and 1 driver. It later expanded to include another driver and administration staff. It also included a vehicle that arrived in October 2003. It was continued till 2015 though the last 4 years were significantly reduced.

New staff arrived, Evelio de Sousa, nurse Prison Program and Tobias Soares, nurse PAMM. Dr Angelina Chan, a psychiatrist from Singapore, came many times this year to support the PAMM program, providing training and mentoring. Other staff from Singapore (SIF) also came to support the Fatin Hakmatek and Becora prison program.

PRADET signed an MOU with the Ministry of Health to provide only psychosocial services. In the event of PRADET closing all goods and services would be handed over to MoH.

PRADET and UNHCR established the first Referral Pathway meetings for victims of assault.

December 2003 Kristina Tang finished at PRADET and went to work with the Ministry of Planning and Finance. Staff missed her and phoned every day for advice.

Mira Martins da Silva became the Director of PRADET.

This was a stressful time for PRADET PAMM staff. As a result  of the advice to the Minister of Health from the Australian led Saude Mental program, PRADET was no longer allowed to give medications and had to hand over the patients they were seeing. Staff were concerned about their patients as the new Saude Mental program, contrary to the initial proposal, was establishing a Director in Dili, 2 caseworkers for Dili and Oecusse but only one caseworker in the other districts. Apart from Dili and Oecusse who were given a vehicle, the only transport was/is a motorbike. Manuel Mausiri resigned from Saude Mental and Teofilo became the new head of Saude Mental. Saude Mental staff then accompanied PRADET caseworkers in the districts with Saude Mental providing the medications and PRADET providing transport, psychosocial support, including food, community education and training to other health workers. A psychiatrist from PNG, based in Lahane, supported Saude Mental for the next 5 years. The districts PRADET worked in were Dili, Liquica, Ermera, Aileu, Bobonaro, Ainaro and later Baucau and Manatuto, again focusing on the western districts and with limited resources, but able to maintain connections with the established clients.

March 2004. Manuel dos Santos joined PRADET first as a driver and then as Office Manager. He held this position until 2011 when he became acting Director of PRADET and then Director in 2012, a position he still holds.

June/July 2004. Nogueira Soares nurse joined the PAMM team and Jeremias M.M. Felipe commenced work as a driver.

Susan Kendall, with assistance from Amy Mouafi, wrote the first draft of the Medical Forensic Protocol to document injuries and other evidence for the crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. The one protocol provides the capacity to record injuries/evidence for adults and children, females and males. This was followed by much consulting and obtaining agreement from the Minister of Health, Dr Rui, (despite the fact that his advisor Dr Nurul opposed having adults and children in the one protocol) the Prosecutor General, Longuinos Monteiro and senior police in PNTL. Dr Augusto Junior Gusmao performed medical forensic examinations until he went to study overseas in 2005. The Cuban pathologists took over until 2010 when Dr Margaret Gibbons arrived to write a curriculum and train Timorese midwives and doctors.

Luisa Marcal Fatin Hakmatek Coordinator and Dr Augusto Gusmao went to Australia for a 2 weeks study tour of services for domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

August 2004. Kristina Tang left Timor Leste amid many tears and thanks for her tireless work to establish PRADET.

October 2004. The British Embassy that was closing down donated the famous red car.

January-May 2005. Candida Pereira, midwife, joined Fatin Hakmatek, Silvina Dulce dos Santos, nurse, Anibal Idalino Loe, nurse, and Maria Isabel de Jesus, nurse, joined the PAMM program.

July 2005. Caritas Australia gave Fatin Hakmatek $10,000.00 to build a custom designed Uma Fatin Hakmatek (Safe House) in HNGV. HNGV donated land near the Emergency Department.

Mr. Wes Baker commenced the first of 10 regular annual visits as a volunteer to establish the PRADET database system. “No data no dollar” became the slogan. Nogueira Soares became the PRADET Data Base Manager, (Mr. Wes Number 2).

October 2005. Hortensia de Fatima, midwife, joined Fatin Hakmatek. She is now deputy Coordinator of Dili Fatin Hakmatek.

The office in Taibessi was becoming too crowed to house the growing staff and PRADET was now required to pay rent to the veterans. The idea of raising funds and building its own building began to be discussed. However with all the land disputes it was risky to buy land. Negotiations began with HNGV for a grant of land in the hospital, specifically the vacant block of land next door to Fatin Hakmatek.

March 2006. The Fatin Hakmatek Safe House was officially opened in the grounds of HNGV.

May-June 2006. PRADET was closed for 3 weeks because of the outbreak of violence in Dili and the districts. However when they started again it was to work in the IDP camps supporting the internally displaced. Many staff were also in IDP camps themselves and some had their houses destroyed and belongings stolen. It was a difficult, fearful time. Even after staff returned to work there was continued violence in Taibessi so PRADET retreated to the Turismo Hotel for 3 days to participate in training about sexual health from visiting Dr Linda Dayan.

HNGV became a haven for IDPs and the vacant land surrounding Fatin Hakmatek was packed with people and tents. It became quite challenging for clients and police to access Fatin Hakmatek with any privacy and the height of the wall surrounding the building had to be extended for increased security.

TLPDP (Australian Federal Police program) funded PRADET to provide a one day Trauma Support Workshop for all PNTL (Police) as part of the PNTL reintegration program. With 25-30 police in each workshop it extended for 12 months. The amount earned by PRADET staff ($20,000.00) was to go towards a new office. This program really enhanced the strong relationship between PRADET and PNTL that still continues. PRADET staff also provided this workshop to a number of other INGOs and NGOs.

2006 ended with PRADET gradually resuming normal services though it took 2 more years before all IDP camps closed. Many people had left Dili to stay with relatives in the districts living in overcrowded houses and there was a significant increase in trauma. A huge influx of Australian/New Zealand Army, UN Agencies, INGOs and UNPOL all came back. It was hoped that the army personnel carriers would flatten the speed bumps but they just increased the size of the potholes.

Conclusion/ Summary 2007-2015.

These years were marked by increasing staff and expansion of programs. Some programs/activities have been limited/stopped by lack of funding but the main programs have continued. PRADET staff continue to receive training from a variety of sources.

  • In 2009 PRADET won the Sergio Vieira de Mello Human Rights Award.
  • PRADET continues to receive many visitors including the Australian Governor General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce in 2009.
  • 4 PRADET staff completed a Certificate in Counselling from Southern Cross University.
  • The new PRADET office was built on land adjoining Fatin Hakmatek in HNGV.
  • Regular Strategic Planning Days and Production of the current Strategic Plan 2014-2018.
  • Significant improvement of Finance and Management with the help of Red Cross volunteers and others.
  • A PRADET Website has been established.
  • A competent data base has been established.
  • PDAJJ developed a 3 day community education program on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs and Management of Emotions, co-facilitated with Community PNTL. It has been delivered and followed-up in every sub-district. PRADET held a conference on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Hotel Timor.
  • PDAJJ developed a Personal Development Course for Changing Attitudes/Changing Behavior at a Suco level.
  • PDAJJ expanded the prison program to include assessment of young offenders in 72 hours detention in Dili Police Station.
  • PAMM facilitated a group program on Working with Families of the Missing in Liquica and Support for victims of conflict.
  • PAMM commenced a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Day Center in PRADET.
  • PAMM developed a program to assist ex-political prisoners to access medical and psychosocial services.
  • A psychosocial program for women prisoners in Gleno prison has commenced.
  • The Coordinator of Fatin Hakmatek, Luisa Marcal, was invited to speak at the UNWomen Convention in New York.
  • Fatin Hakmatek has expanded services to Suai, Maliana, Oecusse and Baucau Hospitals with new Fatin Hakmatek facilities in the hospitals in Suai, Oecusse, and Maliana. Plans to build Fatin Hakmatek facility in Baucau are proceeding.
  • Dr Margaret Gibbons and Fatin Hakmatek developed a curriculum and manual to train health workers to become accredited medical forensic examiners. The accreditation process is though INS (Institute Nasional da Saude). 50 doctors and midwife/nurses have so far been accredited including health staff from the hospitals in Maliana, Suai, Oecusse, Ainaro, Same, Lospalos, Viqueque and Baucau.
  • Fatin Hakmatek has developed and provided community education programs about Healthy Relationships to school children and their communities.
  • A 2 day training and manual for health workers on Recognizing, Respecting Responding and Referring patient/clients with Non-Accidental Injuries has been developed.
  • Tau Matan, a program for supporting victims of Human Trafficking has cared for victims and provided training to police and border guards plus community education.
  • An external evaluation was conducted resulting in a number of recommendations that have been/are being implemented.
  • PRADET continues to provide training and community education on a variety of topics nationally to school students, families and communities, community leaders and others as well as training to police, health workers and other service providers.
  • PRADET continues to have excellent relationships with relevant Government ministries such as MSS, Health, Justice and Departments SEPI/SEM, Prisons and Police as well as UN Agencies, INGOs and NGOs.
  • The main donor for PRADET in the last 4 years to 2015 has been JSSF, (AusAID) and now TAF Nabilan (Australian Aid). Others include CBM, AFAP, UNFPA, MSS, UNFPA, TLPDP and Trocaire.
  • PRADET has been assisted by a number of volunteers supported by AVI, New Zealand and Red Cross Volunteer organizations who have contributed to management, finance, website, data base, evaluation strategies, case management and proposal writing. They include Kylie Tallo, Jeanette Leslie, Louise Nash, Kelly Warner, Anais Arrighi, Kerry Nicholls and Bernie Mc Evoy.

 Further information can be found in PRADET Annual Reports 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.