Carrying on the legacy of Australia’s first Saint.
Sister Kathy shares her story with Mary MacKillop Today about working with some of the most vulnerable and remote communities in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.
Saint Mary MacKillop believed in the power of education to lift communities out of poverty.
At Mary MacKillop Today, we are inspired by Australia’s first Saint to empower vulnerable people to realise their dignity through education, health and sustainable livelihoods. We work with communities in Australia and overseas, in Timor-Leste, Peru, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
A dedicated member of our team, Sister Kathy, has an inspiring story to tell. She has spent twenty years living in Papua New Guinea and, more recently, two years in Timor-Leste.
Sister Kathy shared how she made the move between the two developing countries:
Sister Kathy is an incredibly resilient person. She wasn’t deterred by the shocking living conditions – she was motivated to get to work and overcome challenges.
It wasn’t long before Sister Kathy gained the confidence and the local know-how to connect with communities. One of our favourite things to hear her talk about is her outings with our Mobile Learning Centre – a colourful bus that travels to some of the most remote areas of Timor-Leste visiting schools, orphanages and disability centres. It’s filled with creative tools such as puppets and musical instruments to teach kids literacy and numeracy through fun workshops.
It is a slow process, taking many visits to the community but at the end of the process the children from this group are ready for “big school” and some dedicated community members have been trained how to continue this “ready for school work”, while the Mobile Learning Centre moves to begin again in another remote community.
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Article and photo provided by Mary MacKillop Today. Used with permission.