Ermera, 29 February 2024

Citizens José Sarmento and his wife Berta de Jesus, aged 60 years old, live in poor condition. José has been paralyzed for almost 5 years and his wife has been in underline health issue for almost 20 years. They live in Manucati village, Coliate-Leotelo subdistrict, Hatolia Administrative Post, Ermera Municipality.

When the team from the Presidency of the Republic through the Civil Society and Social Affairs Service (SSAS) provided support to their 5 grandchildren, they also visited citizens José and Berta who live nearby the grandchildren.

José and Berta’s residence is covered only by tarpaulin, made of wood and zinc measuring just 4 square meters which includes their sleeping and cooking area. They have 1 son aged 21 who lives in Gleno to support his siblings. José said that during the rainy season, they have to take shelter from the rain leaking through their dilapidated hut and when the flood comes in, they have to endure it until the sun comes out the next day to dry them up.

José Sarmento took this opportunity to thank President Ramos-Horta for the support and requested if he could assist them especially in health and housing. “We are very grateful to President Ramos-Horta. We live only on vegetables, corn and cassava flour. We can no longer work. Usually neighbors and family members provide us food including rice. When there is no more food, we just sleep like this. We ask President Ramos-Horta to help us with housing and health conditions,” said José. Meanwhile, the support provided such as tarps, nails for the hut, blankets and other basic foodstuffs can sustain them for a few months ahead.