Timor Leste

Mercy at a Glance

FoundedArea of MinistriesWebsite
2003Education, Health Care, Youth Work, Community Development, Up Skilling Women, and Support for Victims of War and Violencewww.institute.mercy.org.au

Two Sisters of Mercy, both members of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, live and minister in Timor Leste. They minister in Aileu a three hour drive from the capital Dili and in Fohorem, a remote community of 4,500 people in the country’s southwest. Mercy Works Inc., a ministry of the Institute of Australia and Papua New Guinea which supports local and overseas relief and development activities, is involved in health, education, and community development projects in both locations.

Mercy Works Inc. assisted a basic Christian community in Aileu to build a centre for women. In this centre, women participate in formal literacy, numeracy, sewing and craft classes, and they also learn cooking and health care. Another Mercy ministry there is the establishment of youth groups in 26 villages of the parish. These groups offer support to the youth and a range of activities such as sports, music, educational and discussion forums, and personal and spiritual development sessions.

The work of the Sisters of Mercy includes teaching, training teachers, and community development initiatives; the provision of a Maternal and Child Health Centre that is working to reduce the excessively high maternal and infant death rates; a women’s group that seeks to develop skills and work opportunities for young women, and support for women who were victimized by the extreme violence inflicted during Indonesia’s occupation of Timor Leste.