sexta-feira, 4 de julho de 2014

Tragic end when there is no hope

Photo, © Ted McDonnell
Ted McDonnell – The Australian - July 04, 2014 - Reprinted by permission of the author - Ted McDonnell © The Australian © Ted McDonnell

The trees in the foothills surrounding Dili are littered with ropes. That’s the preferred way young men and women, who have lost all hope of employment and their futures, take their own lives. One such young man who lost all hope was Rui*. Rui finished his education in Dili and came to Australia on a training visa working in hospitality for two years until his visa expired.

During his time in Australia, he earned $500 -600 a week and sent much of the money home to support his parents, brothers and sisters and extended family.

He was a proud and happy young man. To his family back in Dili, he was their hero, and a shining example to his community of what East Timorese can achieve.

When Rui eventually returned home he faced what more than 70% of East Timor’s population face - no work. And, eventually when he did find work it was for $5USD a day for a 12 hour shift. But, as many young people find, the work did not last due to East Timor’s economy.

Currently, East Timor is churning out record numbers of young people with degrees and certificates, but with no hope of work. Youth unemployment rates are one of the highest in the world. Last week, Rui took his life.
He was in despair and deep depression. There was no sign of enough work to support his family and little hope of returning to Australia due to restrictive work visa policies.

Suicide amongst the youth in East Timor is a tragic epidemic, however, East Timor is a catholic country and most families sadly say their children died of “sickness”. Rui was a proud and smart young man, like many others, who die in despair. He is a great loss to his family and his country’s future.

*Rui's name has been changed to protect his family.

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