Loving In Deed

Friday, 15 May 2020 Loving In Deed SIMaid is the aid and development arm of SIM Australia. The purpose of SIMaid is to practically demonstrate the love of God by helping to alleviate human suffering around the world. SIMaid’s Community Transformation projects work to see communities experiencing poverty transformed through holistic community development. One of SIM’s projects in this group is the e3 Community Transformation in West Timor.

The e3 project offers strategic and managerial support to non-government organisations that have a vision to see holistic transformation of marginalised communities in West Timor. Key focus areas are leadership development; peacebuilding and reconciliation; implementing water, sanitation and hygiene projects; and assisting local communities to develop relationships with other key stakeholders.

Since e3 started in 2013, local leaders identified that the greatest developmental need in villages of the target region was having access to household water. The region has a much lower number of people accessing safe drinking water compared to the national average. Praise God, e3 was able to assist a local foundation in implementing safe water access to the community.

The water system is now up and running with one spring-box harnessing water from a natural spring and four large concrete storage tanks continuously collecting water. With the construction of 6.5 kilometres of pipework complete, clean water is available within 500 metres of all households in the community, impacting the lives of over 670 grateful beneficiaries. This safe water access not only contributes to the health of the community, but it allows the women and girls to spend significantly less time collecting water. They now have more time for other activities, such as receiving an education. Involvement in community development gives local partners opportunity to build relationships with beneficiary families and make holistic change. SIMaid worker, Josh, shares how a local partner of e3 is assisting families.

Josh said, “Many families in local villages in West Timor have parents who are not married. There is a lot of social pressure to put on an expensive party, which is difficult for people with low incomes. Without a marriage certificate, it is difficult to get birth certificates for children, which then affects access to education, healthcare and church membership.”

“Our local partner has been encouraging families in our project area to see marriage as a special gift from God. Our local partner is also assisting local families to take action. One of the key project beneficiary families was married in November.”

“The community is now planning to hold a collective wedding for other families in the near future, which will make it easier for those who cannot afford to host their own wedding reception.”
 
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The description of the project is based on normal activities without social distancing and lockdown measures implemented in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
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