22 June 2022 – Dili

Around the time Timor-Leste gained independence, a small group of dedicated people decided it was time for Timor-Leste to have their own Red Cross.  Each of these 16 men and women, had their own story about Red Cross – be it Portuguese Red Cross, PMI (Indonesian Red Cross), or ICRC (International Committee of Red Cross) - which had all been in our country over the decades.

22 years later – Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste is still here and stronger than ever. Today we celebrate CVTL Day.

“We have grown into a vital, respected and trusted organisation that is auxiliary to the Government of Timor-Leste,” said Ms Vidiana Xareal Acting Secretary General of CVTL.

Through floods, pandemics, landslides, droughts, hunger, conflict and much more – Red Cross is there. The women and men of CVTL, our staff and volunteers (both past and present), have dedicated their lives in supporting the community.

Estanislau Guterres – a founding father and Technical Adviser to CVTL said today, “Red Cross saved my life as well as many thousands during the Indonesian occupation. We wanted to set up our own Timor-Leste Red Cross to support Timorese people during disaster and conflict. We wanted an organisation to support people through difficult times and to help vulnerable people.”

This week we celebrate CVTL Day with our theme, “CVTL – together strengthening humanitarian action”. We celebrate our volunteers, our communities and our country. With many activities including a limpeza, COVID vaccinations, and blood donation drive as well as a Talk Show on Metro Radio with a founding father.  

“We are all proud to be part of such an important organisation of CVTL. Today is a day to celebrate life and to thank everyone throughout the decades who have helped and supported CVTL including the Red Cross movement who has supported us since we began”, concluded Ms Xareal.