Júlio António Sousa Costa, SJ - Jesuit Social Service, Timor Leste - Region of East Timor
[From “Jesuits 2022 - The Society of Jesus in the world”]
A social Jesuit project in Timor-Leste that brings water and the love
of God to many.
I am the present executive
director of Jesuit Social Service - Timor Leste (JSS-TL). In April 2020 during
the upsurge of Pandemic Covid-19, I went to Tocoluli, a village in Ermera
district, where I saw a scene that occurs nearly everywhere in the country. In
fact, I was significantly disturbed as I saw a group of women carrying buckets
of water heading towards their house. Minutes later, I got even more concerned
as I saw a large number of students, kids in fact, walking towards a nearby
primary school carrying 5 liters of water in one hand and books and stationery
in the other.
As my curiosity grew, I looked for the cause of
such a distressing situation. I discovered that like many other schools, that
primary school lacked a basic water facility. Consequently, each student was
required to bring 5 liters of water to school daily. These disheartened scenes
promptly stirred within me a convincing call to respond to the need of these
people. At once, our team decided to implement a water project in Tocoluli, and
5 months later, it was successfully completed. I feel great joy that the
students and 62 households now already have access to clean and potable water.
Tocoluli is one of 18 localities where JSS-TL has implemented its water