Our Name. Our Calling.
HIAM Health derives from the acronym of our tagline in Tetun, Hamutuk Ita Ajuda Malu. In English, it says “Together we help each other”. Because only together, can we eradicate the misery of malnutrition. And in local culture, the two hands with palms up in our logo means “my hands are free and ready to serve you”.
Who We Are
A cornerstone of community empowerment, HIAM Health educates and leads Timorese to eat healthy and live well. A local NGO established in 2003 with focus on empowering women and rehabilitating children, HIAM Health is a vital voice in Timor-Leste’s fight against malnutrition.
We believe in a country free from malnutrition. Our goal is to reduce the unacceptably high rate of malnutrition in Timor-Leste sustainably through education and sound horticulture practise. Our focus includes educating mothers so there will not be another malnourished child in Timor Leste. Enabling this environment through nutrition sensitive gardens, good health and sanitation practise, cultivation of the superfood Moringa and livelihood development.
Where We Stand
Currently in Timor Leste, 58% of children under age 5 are stunted, 19% of children under age 5 are wasted, and 45% of children under age 5 are underweight. With 200,000 children in this age group, this translates to 25% of Timor-Leste's population. An alarming reality.
We envisioned an inpatient rehabilitation centre to give young lives a fighting chance. A haven of hope that doubles up as a school for mothers to learn child-rearing practices and nutritional know-how.
In 2009, we shifted to our very own Malnutrition Rehabilitation and Education Centre (MR&EC) after being based in the grounds of the Dili National Hospital for six years. Since then, our rehabilitation and education programs have steadily helped children get healthy, and mothers have been equipped with preventative strategies to break the malnutrition cycle.
Three months after a child is discharged, we conduct follow-up home visits. With an 80% success rate of a child sustaining or gaining weight, we believe educating mothers in our food and nutrition workshops is the sustainable way forward for a healthy nation.
How We Feed The Malnourished
To combat malnutrition, we have developed a unique program delivered to mothers by their peers in a “hands on” approach. As a residential in-patient facility, we conduct intensive 30-day training and skills development programs for mothers while they are at the MR&EC.
To ignite a total nutritional revolution, we regularly teach communities across Timor-Leste to implement home or community gardens. By equipping Timorese with practical agricultural knowledge, we empower them to become agents of sustainable change.
Feeding Children, Nourishing Minds
More than just a feeding centre, the MR&EC is a teaching centre for sustainable good. Our multi-layered outreach programs focus on changing mindsets and behaviours for proper nutrition for life. Taught by locals for locals, we are able to establish rapport and effectively address the cultural beliefs and local food taboos that prevent good nutrition.
Our Recipe to Sustainably Reduce Malnutrition:
Rehabilitation. Education. Horticulture.
Medal of the Order of Australia, General Divison
Jill Hillary was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in The Queen's Birthday 2013 Honours List for her service to international relations through health programs in Timor-Leste.
In celebration the reigning monarch's official birthday, it also the ocassion to recognise Australians for their diverse contributions and service to fellow men in Australia and internationally. Approved by the Governer-General, Her Excellency the Honourable Bryce AC CVO, Miss Bryce says:
“Awards in the Australian Honours System represent the highest level of recognition accorded by our nation for outstanding achievement and service... They elevate the concept of giving to others. They heighten our respect for one another, and they encourage Australians to think about the responsibilities of citizenship in our democracy.”
As Hiam Health's Organizational Capacity Builder and Financial Adviser since 2004, Miss Hillary is awarded for her significant role in the growth, funding, training and development of the organization, its holistic programs and activities. Miss Hillary is rcommended for her efforts in implementing sustainable measures of education, rehabilitation and prevention of malnutrition in young children and mothers. With unceasing compassion and commitment, Miss Hillary focuses on the education and empowerment of mothers, equipping them with vital skills and knowledge to become community change agents, to reduce the high incidence of malnutrition in Timor-Leste.
Sergio Vieira De Mello Human Rights Award
During his term as president, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta awarded Timor-Leste's third Sergio Viera de Mello Human Rights Award to HIAM Health, in recognition of their contributions, respect, protection of social, cultural, and economic rights. More
In May 2012, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta became a patron of HIAM Health. More