Mother-of-eight Sousa is a force for change in her community.
As a ChildFund Community Health Volunteer, the 33-year-old is an inspiring role model to the women and girls in her remote village in Timor-Leste, helping families ensure their children can grow up safe and healthy.
She plays an important role, organising
support groups to ensure mothers know how to best care for themselves and their
children. She also regularly visits parents in their homes to monitor the
growth and basic health of their children. If there are any signs of childhood
illnesses or malnutrition, it is Sousa who will raise the alarm and refer the family
to a health professional.
With the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), ChildFund Timor-Leste is training female Community Health Volunteers like Sousa in remote disadvantaged villages and helping to empower women to become leaders and make a difference in their communities.
“Since I joined ChildFund’s activities I learnt the right nutrition and care for children aged five and under,” Sousa says. “I share the knowledge that I learnt during my training to other women in my community.”
Sousa also helps her husband on the family farm, growing maize, squash, peanut and string beans, and makes tais, a traditional woven cloth, (pictured above in main photo) to sell at the markets.
Her priorities, however, are being there for her children when they need her, and her work as a Community Health Volunteer.