ATLAS undertook this project with the Brothers from Missionaries of the Poor in early 2020. Saburai is a village in the mountains about 12km from Maliana near the Timor-Leste Border.
The Brothers are now working with the children to address malnutrition which affects their physical and mental development, particularly protein deficiency.
The children enjoyed the program very much and they show evidence of tremendous improvement. The brothers feed around 100 to 110 children between 3 years old to 10 years old.
Unfortunately, this project was affected this year by COVID-19 restrictions. In March 2021, the Timor-Leste Government declared a state of emergency and lockdown in the capital Dili as well as heavy rain from cyclone Seroja damaging road infrastructure in Late March 2021 affecting the food supplies to the districts.
The project recommenced in July 2021 and was completed, as far as ATLAS funding was involved, at end March 2022.
The Missionaries of the Poor have now established a significant presence in Saburai through this project and are building a monastery and care facilities so that they have a permanent home among the villagers they serve and care for.