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Amelia in front of her house

Amelia Conçeição

Amelia Conçeição has said enough.

When the Indonesia invaded Timor Leste, Amelia fled with her family to the forest without having a chance to take any belongings, including any important documents and papers. They stayed in the forest for three years. Since then, fleeing to the forest had become like a habit.

In 1980 her, her husband, and four younger siblings left after receiving personal threats from Indonesian forces; leaving her mother, father and uncle in the house. They fled to the coffee plantations. She knew later that her parents and uncle were killed by Hansip. Their bodies have never been found to this day. Hence, Amelia believes in the importance of truth and justice for her missing loved ones.

There should be justice for my family tragedy, for the loss of our parents. We want to know where our parents are.

After Timor-Leste’s independence, she and her husband worked hard to establish their farm. Today to support their 13 children, she and her husband also has other job besides being a farmer. Her husband works as a day laborer on a project, earning $3 an hour, while she works as clothes washer to her relatives. Every day Amelia used to walk one hour each way. “With the money I earned I was able to help my child finish senior high school.” To make her life easier as well as to earn extra money for her family, she has a small kiosk in front of her house. However, those efforts are not adequate to send all of their children to school. She hopes for government assistance.

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