In Pictures - Building community resilience in Timor-Leste

The Red Cross of Timor-Leste, Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste, has introduced a unique Integrated Community Based Risk Reduction (ICBRR) programme that supports and increases the resilience of remote and vulnerable communities by addressing multiple risks they may face – from water, to hygiene, health, disaster risk reduction and livelihoods.

These photos capture some of the Red Cross' ongoing activities in these communities.

To read about Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste’s achievements over recent years, please download ‘CVTL's 5-year report 2010-2014

For updates on their work, please visit their Facebook page

All images were taken by Bernadino Soares/IFRC 

In Pictures - CVTL leading CBDRR_1

The Red Cross' community-based preparedness and risk reduction component efforts are focused at the community and school levels, providing training and promoting a culture of safety. 

In Pictures - CVTL leading CBDRR_2

Over the last five years, teachers have received training and approximately 5,000 students in 12 districts across Timor-Leste have an increased understanding of disaster risk reduction thanks to the Red Cross.

In Pictures - CVTL leading CBDRR_3

“With 34% of Timor-Leste’s population between 12 and 30 years old, the role young people will play in future development of our nation is critical and something that the Red Cross values immensely.” - Timor-Leste Red Cross Board President, José Pereira da Conceição

In Pictures - CVTL leading CBDRR_4

“Simulations are important for the community to elevate their knowledge, so that in the future they know how to respond to a disaster – for example how to evacuate and give first aid treatment to victims.” - Timor-Leste Red Cross Disaster Management volunteer, Ernania Fernandes Marques

In Pictures - CVTL leading CBDRR_5

Sara Sosemali Armenia, 37, from Suco Atudara aldeia Bia-Teho:  “The natural disasters that usually occur in my area are floods and windstorms. We all know how to prepare ourselves when they come because Red Cross volunteers have come door-to-door to teach us. They explained that to prevent damage, we need to take action: to clean the waterways and dispose of trash so that when the rain comes, the water can flow properly. And if there is a windstorm, we should close and lock all the doors and windows.”

In Pictures - CVTL leading CBDRR_6

Timor-Leste’s location and topography make it vulnerable to a range of natural hazards that threaten the lives and livelihoods of a mainly rural population. Working with communities to promote early warning systems is an important component in the prevention of disasters and preparedness for various hazards and threats. 

In Pictures - CVTL leading CBDRR_7

"I became a volunteer because I wanted to elevate the community’s knowledge on issues of health, hygiene, and natural disaster preparedness. I conduct door-to-door visits with communities twice a month to talk about disaster preparedness, for instance, the importance of  cleaning their house, water flows, toilets, garbage disposal and planting trees. The Red Cross plays an important role in the community. People show a lot of interest when we come to share information and they follow our instruction. As a volunteer I feel very satisfied with this progress." - Timor-Leste Red Cross volunteer, Joaquim do Santos (28), from Suco Atudara Aldeia Bia-Teho.

About Timor-Leste Red Cross

The Timor-Leste Red Cross, or Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste, was established in 2000 and legally recognised as an auxiliary to the Timor-Leste Government through a decree law 6/2005 on the 14th September 2005. It has 2,367 members, 164 staff, 2,858 volunteers and a network of 13 branches across all of the 13 municipalities in Timor-Leste. Its headquarters is located in the capital, Dili. The Timor-Leste Red Cross is the 183rd member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.