As a representative of Development and Peace, our delegation was given a special Certificate of Appreciation by the Bishop of Dili, Bishop Ricardo. The Bishop has been full of praise for Development and Peace and urged us to continue in our work as the job is not yet done. It has been very rewarding to us get this recognition as it’s easy to see the challenges at work here and this praise from the Bishop has made a big impression on us all.
We have now met with over half of our partners, many of their staff and volunteers and have seen a glimpse into what they do and what they are all about. We will continue to see some of their specific programs in action over the next few days as we also will meet with the rest of the partners here. All have expressed their sincere thanks for the support that Development and Peace has given to their organizations. It is clear that this has not been lip service as many owe their existence to Development and Peace for providing the seed money to get started, providing continued funding and resource support to make then sustainable. Many have expressed the importance of having received the encouragement from Development and Peace to seek other funding so their existence was not reliant on this single source.
“Mr. Jess” as our esteemed Program Officer, Jess Agustin is called here, is somewhat akin to a national icon himself as his work is constantly praised by everyone we meet. The model of funding for the in-country support person, Edna has also shown how Development and Peace has enhanced its presence here. The glowing is enough to make one’s head swell except that it is clear that their work is not done and though these people and their organizations may have tireless energy; changing a society is not done overnight and will require every bit of that dedication.