A Half Marathon is a challenging and rewarding event, however one of our Running Group members, Tess Bright, has made the upcoming 21km Run Melbourne an even more inspiring goal. Tess had the opportunity to spend some time with some people much less fortunate than us, and has decided to dedicate her run to them. Here is her amazing story…
Written by Tess Bright, HBF General level running program
Timor Leste (East Timor) is a new nation, whose recent history has been marred by a violent struggle with Indonesia for independence. Independence was officially declared in 2002 and Timor Leste became the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.The country is situated 1h northwest of Darwin by plane. The health of the Timorese people is poor by world standards. They lack the financial resources, as well as the skilled professionals, needed to improve their healthcare.
I have been lucky enough to travel to Timor Leste as a volunteer audiologist (hearing specialist) on three occasions. The trips are organised by the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS), a not for profit organisation, and funded by the Australian government overseas aid program AusAID. RACS has participated in international development projects such as this since 1994 in various locations including Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Their aim is to provide specialist medical care and training to the people of these countries and ultimately to improve their health status and outcomes.
Gender equality is a serious issue in Timor Leste. Women do not have a great amount of independence. There are still many women who die during child birth. Whilst I was there I discovered a not for profit organisation called the Alola Foundation. The organisation aims to improve the lives of women and children. Founded in 2001 by the then First Lady, Ms Kirsty Sword Gusmao, the organization seeks to nurture women leaders and advocate for the rights of women.
As part of my Run Melbourne half marathon, I am trying to raise money for the Alola Foundation.
If you would like to donate to the cause please visit my fundraising page: http://runmelbourne.everydayhero.com.au/tess_bright
We wish Tess and all our runners an awesome run on July 15th. We’ll be at the finish line to see you all!
If you’d like to wish Tess all the best, please leave your comment below…