Mahjong group supports a midwife in East Timor
MAHJONG is alive and well in Mansfield.
Every Thursday a group of women meets at The Deck on High in Mansfield to play this enticing Chinese game.
In fact mahjong was banned in China from the time the communists took power until well after the end of the Cultural Revolution.
It certainly hasn’t stopped The Deck Hands from enjoying this competitive but fun pastime.
When the group heard that Anne and David Foster were going to Mansfield’s friendship town of Venilale in East Timor to do volunteer English teaching for two months in 2013, they decided to support one of Friends of Venilale’s projects there.
After learning about the scholarship program for secondary, university and trade students, they chose to fundraise for the midwife scholarship.
Over a period of eight months the group members put in their spare small change each week until the target of $530 was reached.
The scholarship recipient is Jesuinha Guterres, a mature age student, who is pres- ently working at Venilale’s new maternity centre.
Her part time studies at the University of Dili will allow her to become fully qualified in midwifery and so help towards reducing East Timor’s high infant mortality rate.
The mahjong group presented the funds to Georgina Sarmento, visiting Mansfield to improve her skills in English, IT and accounting as sponsored by Friends of Venilale.
Georgina is FoV’s project officer in Venilale, coordinating initiatives in education, tourism and women’s craft co-operatives.
A little goes a long way in East Timor and the mahjong group can be commended for their fundraising resolve to improve the health situation there.
Friends of Venilale hopes that other Mansfield groups could also be inspired to help the people of our friendship town.
Annual scholarships for junior secondary students are $100, it’s $120 for a senior secondary student and $240 for most university scholarships.
Health scholarships are the most expensive at $530.
HELPING OUT: Members of The Deck Hands (Mahjong) (from left) Pat Martin, Georgina Sarmento, Helen Hunt, Irene Rice, Josie Brelaz, Julie Warren and Anne Foster take a break from mahjong at The Deck to offer assistance for a scholarship in East Timor.