Mission Accomplished - Balibo Village

Mission Accomplished

Volunteers Ross & Virginia McMillan sign off in Balibo
The past 6 months have been among the most productive in our 8 year involvement with the Balibo Community, in Timor Leste.
Rotary Volunteers, Ross and Virginia McMillan have left their mark on the towns civic buildings and in every resident’s heart! Six (6) months was not ever going to be enough time to build and fix all that is necessary & desirable for the community, but so much was accomplished!
Virginia taught English at the Community Learning Centre (CLC), at the San Antonio Boardinghouse School (Balibo Convent) and to the staff at the Fort House Hotel. She also home-schooled their 10 y.o. son, Charlie.
Ross started by making improvements & building a new toilet at their rental home. (lucky landlord!) Then added a room and installed a new water-tank at the Balibo 5 Kindergarten, the kindy now has a capacity for 80 kids. The CLC was a BIG winner: The English Language classroom got a new roof and the Resident-Volunteers apartment got new stairs. The Cafeteria was expanded & improved and there is new water-tank. There is also an improved storage room and a brand new Mechanic’s Training Shop.
Ross also supervised the construction of the Victorian Government funded new Conference Room at the Fort House Hotel and made significant improvements to the fresh water supply to the hotel and the CLC complex.
Importantly, the larger Kindy, the Conference Room, the Cafeteria and the Mechanic’s Shop will add 8+ permanent new jobs. The buildings are all used for Vocational Training of aspiring mechanics, cooks and waiters. Ross & Virginia were sponsored by RC Port Melbourne and RAWCS, but all the above works, materials and labour, including the yet to be delivered fit-out for the Conference Centre and Mechanics Training Shop were funded by the Rotary Balibo Partnership, made up by RC’s of Keilor & Port Melbourne [District 9800] Berwick, Pakenham & Mitchel River [District 9820] and RC Windsor, NSW. A very generous District 9800 Grant was also part of the funding for these projects.
We welcome back Ross, Virginia and Charlie and thank them for their generosity and humanity. Our thanks also to Michele Ranking, Rufina, Marino and Mario at the CLC, and everyone at Balibo House Trust, for their help and support for our Rotary Volunteers.