Leeton resident Maryanne Nolan is working to create better lives and facilities for those with a disability in East Timor.
Ms Nolan has been living and working in Timor Leste since August last year and, since then, she's achieved plenty already.
She has fostered a partnership between local students and a disability organisation in Dili.
This co-operative effort is helping to create a better environment for those living with a disability in what is still a small, developing nation.
Ms Nolan and her co-workers at the Ahisaun Foundation recently hosted year 8 students from the Dili International School, who helped to repair and revive some of the organisation's facilities.
The foundation is a non-government organisation that has been operating formally since 1999.
Ahisaun's mission is to work with young disabled Timorese people to develop their potential through formal and informal education, so that they can live independently and contribute to society.
During the recent effort, Ms Nolan, along with the students, helped to make improvements to plumbing and lighting in the organisation's kitchen, improved drainage and added gauze to windows to prevent exposure to mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
Students also built a garden and new chicken coop so the centre will be able to produce its own food.
The group also made up teaching resources and storybooks to ensure people with a disability can have reliable access to education.
Ms Nolan was recruited to Timor Leste in East Timor by Palms Australia through its overseas placements program to work with Ahisaun.
Palms Australia is a registered charity which has been working to reduce poverty through long-term, skilled volunteering for over 50 years.
Ms Nolan will work as an administration mentor with Ahisaun for the next 18 months.
Part of this work will be to develop partnerships that will improve the organisation's capacity to deliver high-quality care and services for Timorese people living with a disability.
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