Staff Feature: Responding to Floods in Timor-Leste

Humans of Adventism is featuring 4 stories of ADRA staff working within the Asia region and their experiences living through and responding to emergencies.

I was beginning to recognise a pattern. In two other ADRA positions I had started, I experienced a natural disaster about five months into my contract. When the rain started to come down in a prolonged intensity that I had not experienced in the four months and ten days of rainy season that I’d been in Timor-Leste – I suspected that the pattern would be repeated.

The power went off in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning. I knew that life was about to get busy for our small ADRA office. Daylight confirmed this as I watched the river of murky knee-deep water flowing past my compound – where just the evening before there was a road.

Other parts of Dili fared worse, with landslides killing several people and contaminated water washing through people’s houses – leaving knee-deep mud. Disaster requires coordination with other government and non-government agencies, so the next three weeks were a blur of increased relationships via email, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, in-person, phone, and Whatsapp. So many communication tools clamoring for attention – so many relationships to be fostered, renewed or begun.

As country director, my job is less about frontline distribution and more about coordinating staff and navigating meetings, writing proposals for funding and, in the process, ensuring that ADRA serves the most vulnerable. Keeping those in need close to my heart is important to me to provide motivation for working in the chaos.

Written By: Virginia, ADRA Timor-Leste

Original post by Humans of Adventism: HERE

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