A Ray of Sunshine in East Timor

Destruction of Dili continues while in the towns and villages life goes on. Baucau, the next largest city is the home of “Nacarras” group. Evis Gonçalo, regrouped his band to share a message of peace with the people of Baucau. The Pentecost Sunday Concert was a ray of sunshine to the thousands of locals and Internally Displaced Persons gathered at St Antonio’s Catholic Church Plaza to listen to songs that called the people to peace, not people from East or West, but as one people. When asked, why do this“ to open the minds of the people to not be Loro Muno or Loro Sae” was Elvis’s reply. Another member of the band “Nacarras”, which means  Rays of Sunshine, Nelson da Costa said about the current problems “it is a concern to respond too, this situation in East Timor. It’s good to do!”   This group were forthright enough to suggest in their lyrics that some is manipulating the splintering of the people! 

Baucau has absorbed over 5,000 people from Dili seeking refuge from the troubles of Dili. Many  locals opening their homes to family friends and relations. Caritas Australia and Catholic Relief Services of America quickly responded to the shortage of water and food for the township with help that has enabled the refugees to settle. The efforts of these young band members provided hope and spirit to the people through their music. Elvis and Nelson are both computer technicians on the staff of the Catholic Teachers College in Baucau. Their talents were enhanced through  education and training provided by St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill over these last 5 years. The continued support by different local businesses and NGO’s will hopefully allow the message of peace to take hold in the country that is suffering a fractured existence.

Br Mark Paul
Catholic Teachers College
Baucau, East Timor.