who we are image

Who we are is right there in our name: Hamutuk Ita Ajuda Malu. In English, it means “Together we help each other” and that’s at the very core of our approach.
As a Timorese-led organisation finding practical local solutions to local challenges, we know community empowerment is the key to overcoming even seemingly insuperable problems.
By providing a combination of education, equipment and advocacy, we believe the communities we work with have the ability to lift themselves up. This is just common sense – no solution will be sustainable unless those directly involved feel a sense of ownership.
Our logo underscores this. In Timorese culture, two hands with the palms up signifies “My hands are free and ready to serve you.”


where we came from

HIAM Health was founded in 2003 in humble circumstances but with the ambitious goal of reversing the blight of child malnutrition in Timor Leste.

What started in a borrowed room at the national hospital in 2003 has grown over the following 20 years.

The malnourished children being helped back then are now fully grown and so too is HIAM Health, which has its own training and rehabilitation centre in Dili, works throughout Timor Leste and is boosted by a network of partners in the Government, throughout the community and around the world.

What we’ve strived to maintain despite all these changes is the approach that is central to everything we’ve achieved: community empowerment.


where we're heading

We believe in a country free from malnutrition. Originally we addressed that by helping a succession of young mothers and their struggling babies back to health.

Now we see our remit in much broader terms and focus more on eradicating the factors that cause malnutrition rather than simply helping those afflicted by it. It makes much more sense to build a fence at the top of a cliff than to have an ambulance waiting at the bottom.

This holistic approach is why we are involved in agriculture training both at our centre in Dili and in the districts, why we’ve emphasised the importance of nutrition-sensitive agriculture, sought to link farmers in the districts with markets for their produce, and promoted the nutrition-boosting superfood Moringa.

We believe that given knowledge, equipment and support, the people of Timor Leste will rise above the challenges that have afflicted past generations and create a healthy future for themselves and those who follow.


what others say about us

Timor Leste president Jose Ramos Horta
“Our great fighter Rosaria and all the great people at HIAM Health have carried out magnificent work over the years, for the sake of our malnourished families, children and mothers.”

Robyn Pickrell, Australian volunteer nurse
“HIAM Health staff are amazing, and I saw something that filled me with hope for this poverty-stricken country.”

Baroness Cox of Queensbury, founder of HART, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust
“HIAM Health is doing genuinely life-saving work in the field of child malnutrition and it became our privilege to support their work.”