Peterborough’s East Timor community rally to raise donations and thousands of pounds for flood victims in Southeast Asian country
Residents of East Timor descent in Peterborough have been collecting donations and raising thousands of pounds for victims of deadly floods and landslides back home.
On April 5, flash floods and landslides hit the neighbouring islands of Indonesia and East Timor in Southeast Asia, with at least 113 people thought to have been killed.
In East Timor alone it is estimated that around 50 people lost their lives, with more than 10,000 people becoming homeless as a result.
East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, gained its independence from Indonesia in 2002 but remains among the poorest countries in the world. It has a land mass of roughly 15,000 which is settled by its population of over 1.4 million.
It is believed that most of the fatalities have occured in the country’s capital city, Dili.
In response to this, the East Timorese Association Peterborough (ETAP), which has approximately 900 members across Peterborough and the surrounding villages, began to do all they could to offer relief to residents of the country.
This has included beginning a GoFundMe page which has raised over £2000 in donations, as well as collecting items such as clothes, toys, bicycles, food items and much more, which will be shipped over to East Timor.
The items were stored at the Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association (PARCA) community centre on Northfield Road and were donated by organisations across Peterborough such as the Lithuanian and Portuguese communities as well as Youth Inspired, Families First, PCVS and Morrison’s.
ETAP have even hired their own container that will carry the 135 large boxes of goods they have collected over to East Timor. The ship is set to depart the UK at the end of the month and arrived in Asia at the beginning of June where the goods will be received by the East Timor Floods Disaster Support.
Celso Oliveira, ETAP Organiser said: “I would like to say thank you to all of the people who responded to the appeal and for their support. We are keeping the GoFundMe live for anyone who would like to donate and it means so much to me and the people back in East Timor that so many people have donated so far.”
Peterborough MP Paul Bristow, who visited the community centre on Friday to offer his support to ETAP added: “We have a strong and important East Timorese community here in Peterborough. It’s been inspiring to see how the community has pulled together to support those in need back in East Timor.
“I have also heard about others, such as the Lithuanian Society and PARCA, who have also supported these efforts. Peterborough is proving again what a caring City we are.”
To donate to support the victims of floods and landslides in East Timor, visit www.gofundme.com/f/east-timor-floods-disaster-support.