David’s Photo Diary – Timor-Leste 2018

5 October 2018

In August, Baroness Cox and David Thomas (Projects Co-ordinator) travelled into the remote areas of Timor-Leste, the country with the 3rd worst rate of malnutrition (at least 46%) and child stunting in the world.

HART has partnered with HIAM Health, an in-country NGO, for 14 years; and we visited this year for a week. HIAM seeks to combat malnutrition by giving women some control over the lives of themselves and their families, widening the nutrition, and diversifying the family’s own food production.

Click here to read David’s report on HIAM Health’s work.


It was marvellous being with communities, planning their future with HIAM and proposing the communal sharing of land because they wanted to be more involved with the work that HIAM is doing. They wanted the whole community to share and benefit. This photo shows one of the two groups I met. HIAM has already supplied irrigation and water storage to these communities, as well as instructions and seeds to individuals.


Two ladies farming neighbouring gardens with a great variety of crops, including Moringa. Rosaria the Director of HIAM in the blue top and myself with the hat!!


HART visits the Centre (the MREC) in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. Caroline Cox and Jill of HIAM on the right. Antonio (kneeling) the Project and Centre manager and one of the agricultural workers at the centre. Rosaria (the Founder and director) and myself.


Displaying a variety of seriously delicious recipes using the nutritious moringa plant. HIAM have now been able to print the Moringa Recipe Book, following the exploratory project for it paid from Isle of Man funding.


A newly constructed fish pool, deliberately placed in a well-shaded area, enabling extra protein for the community. This interested local child is continuously watching and learning for when it is her turn to grow food for the community.



This garden displays mixed planting, including moringa. HIAM teaches communities to gradually build up their soil beds, for better mulching and water retention to survive the long dry season.


Example of a water storage unit supplied by HIAM Health.


This young unmarried woman is one of the community mobilisers who received a more intensive training during 2016-17 in order to teach their communities. She is now extending her own garden and building a new house with the offer of turning her old home into a moringa processing plant for the whole village. I wasn’t sure why she fell into a fit of giggling and asked Rosaria what she had said to her. Rosaria, an indigenous Timorese and married woman, explained she had said, “With your new home and your prosperous garden, you are going to have many men chasing after you – choose carefully”


Finally, a lovely wife and husband who showed me their HIAM established garden in a remote area. This photo encompasses what can be acheived by teaching and involving the community for the good of the people and children of Timor Leste.
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