TIME members - meet Filomena! She is Bairo Pite Clinic's brand new HIV program counselor, who I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing during the last couple of days of my whirlwind visit to BPC. Her employment is the direct result of over $3000 of fundraising by TIME UQ this year, something both she and TIME is thrilled about!
Filomena comes highly qualified for the position. She was educated at university in Dili in management, and it was there that she first found her passion to work in the area of HIV and AIDS, after seeing one of her lecturers pass away with the condition. A long time volunteer at her local church, she begun volunteering at HIV peer support group, Estrella, before being offered a paid position. She used her managerial skills to create a new treatment and tracking system for members, which she will eventually apply to the BPC program.
From my discussions with Filomena, she is animated, talkative and quick to smile, no doubt contributing to her ability to build good relationships with the patients of BPCs program. She has passion for the job, and couldn't even pick her favourite part of her job when asked - "it's all great!" she insisted. From my brief time with Filomena, I have great confidence she will do well in the position and look forward to updates on how her employment is making a difference to the support and management of PLHIV in Timor-Leste. Watch this space!
By Bethany Holt