In Timor-Leste people with a disability continue to face many barriers to social and economic inclusion. The Royal Australasian College Of Surgeons, through the Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium, has been delivering Orientation and Mobility (O&M) training courses in Timor-Leste since 2010 to help people who are blind or have low vision to increase their safety and independence.
In a tiny rural community high in the mountains of Timor-Leste I sit on a rickety old wooden bench among a group of elderly Timorese. They wait patiently and excitedly, creating a buzz of chatter and curiosity. The mobile eye clinic has arrived and the team are setting up. The mountain is so high that we are sitting above the clouds, but what lies hidden from view is a tiny village without electricity; without running water; without a health clinic and with only one classroom.