Charity Quilts

March, 2018.  We have been advised that the 80 items sent before Christmas have arrived at Ryder-Cheshire Foundation’s Klibur Domin.  Of this shipment 40 were made by the Helping Hand Quilters of Deception Bay, Queensland and consisted of 18 patchwork quilts and the rest were Polar Fleece blankets and bunny rugs.  The other 40 were from Victoria and NSW.  This was an amazing effort and many thanks to all concerned. Some of these will be distributed to hospital patients and the rest will be distributed through outreach workers who visit patients in their own villages.

January, 17,  Word of thanks has come from Klibur Domin, the quilts have arrived and the residents and patients have them on their beds. They wish to thank all those people who have contributed and let them know how happy they are to receive the quilts. 

October,16.  Another 30 Quilts are on their way to Klibur Domin and should arrive just before Christmas.  We delivered them to the Rotary container last weekend and they left last Tuesday.  Many thanks to all the ladies who made the quilts.  They will be cherished by their recipients in Timor Leste.

January 2016.  Updating Charity Quilts.  This project is on-going and this year we are expanding to include the Ryder Cheshire Home, Klibur Domin at Tibar, Timor Leste.  This home has been in operation since 2000 and it cares for frail aged and people undergoing treatment for serious illness and is located near Dili. Klibur Domin conducts outreach services testing and treating people who have TB.  They also have an outreach service for disabled people and are doing amazing work.   For more information on the work of Ryder-Cheshire go to their website at  The quilts required are roughly 48 x 60 inches.  Weighing about 1 Kg finished quilted and bound.  Light weight wadding such as Hobbs fusible cotton, bamboo or poly without bulk is what is needed. I can help out with fabric or wadding if you have the time to make a quilt.  Although Timor Leste has come a long way since independence most people are living on less than $1 a day and poverty, illness and disability are commonplace.  Your help will be greatly appreciated.  It gets quite cool at night and the gift of a quilt will not only keep someone warm and comfortable but in the spirit of Ryder-Cheshire, help to relieve the suffering.  For more information or to contact me see my home page.  Thank you,  Carole McLennan.

February,2016.  Thank you to Wendy and the team at the Specialist Medical Clinic at LRH for donating the blood pressure testing equipment, bandages etc.  Thank you to everyone who has sent me crutches.  You’ll be pleased to know these have been gratefully received by the president of Ryder Cheshire in Melbourne, Peter Newton and will be sent to Klibur Domin, Tibar home near Dili, Timor Leste.  Gifts of this nature are helping relieve the suffering of sick and underprivileged people in Timor Leste.

July,2015 another 29 quilts were delivered to disabled and underprivileged youngsters in Timor Leste thanks to generous ladies who gave their time and materials for these very deserving recipients.  We took crutches for the youths at Ahisaun Disability Centre in Dili and heaps of school bags and supplies to the primary school children at Malimea.  They gave us a very warm welcome in English which was a lovely surprise.  It was a very successful trip, met some great people and it was sad to say goodbye.

We are going to Timor Leste again in July, 2015.  Enquiries welcome.  Generous people are making more quilts to take with us for disabled and disadvantaged children there.

Well over 130 quilts have been delivered to East Timor and more are required as Ahisaun Disability Training Centre has new houses at Railaco and Hatolia.

At the end August 2014 Tony, Melanie and I travelled to Timor Leste and had a fantastic time.  As the plane touched down an enormous pod of dolphins seemed to welcome us. We travelled up and down mountains and saw wonderful sights and met great people doing amazing things.  For six days we had a driver and 4 wheel drive.  Our first stop was at Ahisaun Disability Training Centre in Dili where we handed over another 15 quilts.  We met Padre Adriano and some of the staff and young people living there.  I gave them my old crutches as I don’t need them anymore. Two young boys were using bamboo poles to get around and they were delighted with the crutches and took one each.  We then travelled to Gleno to the Hope Orphanage and gave them 15 quilts.  On up the mountains to Atsabe where we unfortunately missed seeing Natalia but stayed at her brother’s house overnight.  Google maps said the trip from Dili to Atsabe is 43 minutes but that must be by helicopter.  It took us 7 hours as the roads are very rocky but we took in the sights and had smiles on our faces as everyone says Bondia (good morning) or Botadi (good afternoon) through the car window and some even shout it to you from their houses. Timorese people are warm and friendly. It was cold overnight so no question the quilts are needed. Maria cooked us a meal and a teacher friend of Melanie, Manuel came to visit us.

Next morning we went to Manuel’s village and met his family and the ladies weaving tais.  Manuel is now the principal of the government secondary school in his village and his wife served us coffee in his home. We then travelled on to Maliana, a very large town where there was still evidence of much destruction by the Militia and we saw sites important to the vote for independence.  We were there for the annual formal independence consultation celebration day.  Overnight we stayed at a lovely new hostel and the next day travelled on to Balibo and saw the flag house which has been restored to a museum.

After reflecting  at Balibo we went on to Betugade on the coast, the border with Indonesian West Timor.  Then along the coast road back towards Dili where we saw men extracting sea salt on a coastal estuary and had lunch at an old Portuguese fort. The next day we travelled to Baucau, a very large Portuguese built town on the coast. Back in Dili we went to the Alola Foundation and bought up big, beautiful bags made from tais and gifts to bring home. Alola Foundation was set up by Kirsty Sword-Gusmao to give support to girls and women in Timor Leste. We spoke again to people at Ahisaun about what their needs are at present.  I will send them crutches and quilts with travelers from Australia. If you would like me to come and speak to your group about my interest in Timor Leste please get in touch with me through the contact-us button on this website. Carole.

crutches at Ahisaun AhiusanHope orphanage

Melanie adjusting crutches.                                           At Ahisaun.                                                           At Hope Orphanage.

tais weaver Tais group

The Tais weaver sits on a rice bag on a dirt floor.        The village tais group in their Sunday best made us feel very welcome.


Padre Adriano Padre Adriano wrapping up one of the boys. They love the quilts.



In June 2014 another 10 quilts were delivered by Audrey and the group travelling with Friends of Ermera.


Richard at Hatubilicko ns Lindsey, Richard, Sister Lilli & guides ns Hatubilicko quilt ns Sister Lilli looking at quilt ns

(September 2013) Lindsey and Richard travelled to Timor Leste and graciously carried 18 quilts in their luggage.  Ten were given to Sister Lilli at Hatubilicko for the Ahisaun Disability Foundation house up there in the mountains. It gets pretty cold up there so the young people will enjoy the colourful warmth of the quilts. Lindsey and Richard arrived there late in the day and so Sister Lilli accepted them on behalf of the Foundation. Here she is looking at the quilts.  Richard is carrying a bag of quilts down a rocky path and outside Sister Lilli’s home with the driver and guide.  Eight quilts were left in Dili with Eco Tours owner, who has very graciously agreed to deliver them Natalia at the Women’s collective guest house at Atsabe as soon as he is going that way.  Many thanks to these kind people for being part of the Quilts for East Timor Effort.

This is due to the kindness and hard work of many quilters. Many, Many thanks for your efforts.

(July,2013.)  Natalia has given me her national dress and I am overcome with emotion knowing it was very precious to her.  She was referred to by Jose Ramos Horta as his hero in a talk he gave to Friends of Ermera to celebrate 10 years of Timor Leste Independence earlier this year.   Natalia gets up early and walks a long distance on mountain tracks to cook breakfast at the women’s collective guest house.  She then walks all the way back and teaches school for the rest of the day then goes home and looks after her family and foster children.  She set up the women’s collective and the guest house  to offer hospitality to travellers and employment for the local women.  The women’s collective will be receiving some lovely bright quilts this year so they can offer a bit more comfort to travellers.

(July, 2013.)   Over the past 12 months Quilts for East Timor has been my main charity quilt focus. After learning about the great work going on at the Ahisaun Disability Centre in Dili (see below.) I thought it would be great to send the young people living there a big hug (quilt) from Australia to let them know we care and to give them something special of their very own. I put the word out through my newsletter and Country Threads Magazine ran an article about it in March. Quilts came in from all over Australia and are still arriving.

Recently 37 quilts were delivered to the young people at Ahisaun Dili.  Over 100 quilts were donated, some finished quilts ready to go, some needed to be quilted and some needed to be finished.   Three more charities have been added to the list to receive quilts as well as the extra 13 quilts for those living at the new Ahisaun house at Hatabilico.    Many, many thanks to all the generous quilters who supported me in this effort.  With your help it will continue into the future as a gesture of friendship and love for the people of East Timor in the struggle to overcome disability and poverty as they build a new nation.   Special thanks to Paulene Cook and Margaret Dixon for their amazing work and support.  A big thank you to the tour group from St Paul’s Grammar who took the 37 quilts with them to Dili earlier this month.  Here’s some photos of Melanie handing over the quilts.  It was smiles all round.

If you would like to make a quilt for this project please contact me on and I will let you know approximate measurements and materials required. I am unable to finish uncompleted quilts so please don’t send tops. The finished quilt needs to weigh only 1 Kg.

Wheelchair Boys  Amiras quilt  Ahisaun boy with quilt Abilio with Mel


The Ahisaun Disability Foundation  Timor Leste is providing hope and a future to people with disabilities.  (2012.)

Visit for pictures and information.

Most Australians should be aware of the situation in East Timor and if you need an update  visit Caritas for a few facts and figures on the current needs and wonderful work on the ground there at the moment.

I am looking for donations of single bed quilts with light weight wadding, poly or cotton poly. Poverty is a way of life for most people in East Timor and especially difficult if you have a disability. The quilts will be a “big hug” to let them know someone here in our affluent society cares about them and encourages them.

Quilts for East Timor is currently underway and hopes to provide 50 single bed quilts for young disabled people living and studying or gaining work skills at the Ahisaun Disability Foundation.  37 are required for the Dili house and another 13 for a newly opened centre at Hatubilco in the mountains.  I am aiming to have these by the southern winter, June 2013.

You may telephone me if you have any questions or better still email

 Abilio in his wheelchair. Ordinary wheelchairs are no good in Dili because the roads are very rough.  They make these out of old bicycles.