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Young Catholics give impoverished Timorese children a health boost for Year of Youth

medicines for Timor

Generous youth: Alice Grogan and Zuzana Horniak, from the St Stephen’s Cathedral Young Adults Ministry, collecting medicines for poor children in Timor Leste. Photo: Supplied

PANADOL won’t be literally out of reach for children who visit a small medical clinic in East Timor thanks to a group of young Catholics from Brisbane.

Members of the St Stephen’s Cathedral Young Adults Ministry will send more than $5000 in donated medicines to a clinic in Maliana, Timor Leste, which serves impoverished families who can’t access basic healthcare.

The clinic is run by Sr Cristina Macrino, a member of the Congregation of Sisters of Reparation.

Former Order of Malta Ambassador to Timor Leste David Scarf introduced the young people from YAM to Sr Macrino’s clinic last year.

Young Catholic woman and YAM member Alice Grogan said she visited another medical clinic in Dili which was in a similarly dire condition in 2014.

She said parents would carry their children in the blistering heat just so they could access basic medicine and healthcare, which was still in limited supply at the clinic.

“It was sad to see the conditions the families had to endure,” Miss Grogan said.

The introduction inspired the group to start an appeal for everyday medicines as an initiative to mark the Year of Youth.

The appeal was done in partnership with the Young Order of Malta volunteers, who have previously run a project sending medicine to young Timorese.

YAM chair Zuzana Horniak said the simple appeal had already raised more than $5000 in medicine and donations.

Miss Horniak said the appeal was supported by various parishes in the archdiocese who heard about it through their young parishioners.

The Order of Malta will send the donations to the Maliana clinic later this year.

Miss Horniak said some YAM members hoped to travel to Timor to “see that people’s generosity is saving the lives of many”.

She said the project highlighted the popular phrase “from little things, big things grow”

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