The Inclusive Health Program (IHP) is a core activity for the Mission Directorate, St Vincent’s Health Australia and is inspired by the teachings of
Sr Mary Aikenhead rsc. While vulnerable people being cared for by SVHA facilities in Australia are the main focus of this program, the IHP is also committed to supporting overseas programs for vulnerable people.
One project supported over the past three years has been the Jesuit Social Services (JSS) in Kasait, Timor-Leste. This ministry was formed in mid-2013 to facilitate a more active role for the Jesuits in Timor-Leste’s social development, after the withdrawal of Jesuit Refugee Service from the country.
The Timor-Leste JSS have created a secondary school, a teacher education institute, a mission parish and health-care programs. The program is also engaged in projects in three geographical areas where the Jesuits have a long-term presence – Dare, Hera and Kasait. The projects include; water and sanitation, agricultural development, social innovation and public health development. In addition, the JSS has created a unique media productions centre that seeks to promote peace-building and sustainable development through audio-visual productions.
It has been an honour for the IHP to have been able to support this important work in a country rebuilding itself with pride and hard work.