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$30K Grant From National Co+op Grocers Impacts Rural Coffee Farming Communities in East Timor

A $30,000 grant from NCBA CLUSA member National Co+op Grocers to Cooperativa Café Timor’s Lauana Mobile Clinic Team is supporting critical healthcare in rural East Timor.

The grant, disbursed between May 2018 and April 2019, allowed the mobile clinic team to provide health services to seven rural coffee farming communities in central Timor Leste (East Timor). Over 10,000 coffee farmers and their families have received medical assistance as a result of the grant.

Established more than 20 years ago with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and organizational support from NCBA CLUSA, Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) is a large Timorese agriculture cooperative. With a membership of 24,000 small organic coffee farmers, CCT is now the country’s largest private-sector employer. NCBA CLUSA has partnered with the cooperative since 1996, providing technical and marketing assistance.

Since 2000, as a benefit for cooperative member families and their communities, CCT has provided primary healthcare services. During that time, over 2.5 million health treatments have been provided for the 110,000 people in coffee farmer families and communities, making it Timor Leste’s largest healthcare service provider.

CCT’s Lauana Mobile Clinic team delivers healthcare services to remote coffee farming communities in Letefoho and Atsabe sub-districts of Ermera District in central Timor Leste. For these villages, the mobile clinic team is the only local healthcare provider.

During the grant’s 12-month disbursement, more than 10,000 people requested treatments and consultations at Lauana mobile clinics. The mobile clinic’s staff of five traveled to rural villages, making house calls and setting up in community buildings, verandas and even under trees. The clinic provided a wide range of services including general medical consultations, maternity care, school health lessons, dental treatments and more.

Additionally, 372 children under the age of five were screened and received follow-ups to determine their nutritional status. Less than 1 percent were found to be at risk of or suffering from malnutrition, and 97 percent of children using CCT health services had completed their full schedule of immunizations before age two.

In an effort to lower Timor Leste’s high maternal and neonatal mortality rate, the mobile clinic team also offers supervised birthing options at a family birthing suite or by home delivery supervised by the mobile team’s midwife.

The funding for CCT’s ongoing health services comes primarily from premiums earned on Fairtrade and other certifications from the cooperative’s coffee exports. Additional support for medications comes from the Government of Timor Leste.

The Cooperative Development Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of NCBA CLUSA, was the fiscal sponsor of the grant.

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