A shelter home that serves many purposes


Fr. Richard Daschbach, a native of Pittsburgh, USA is the founder and director of Topu Honis Shelter Home in East Timor. Topu Honis was founded in 1993 and provides a loving happy home for children. The mission of Topu Honis Shelter Home is “To provide a home for those who don’t have one.”

The Shelter Home is a safe haven for orphans, children from extremely poor homes, disabled adults, and women fleeing unwanted marriages or abuse. “Topu Honis” means “guide to life, leading by the hand” in the local Metonese language. Children in Topu Honis Shelter Home are given food, clothing, education, shelter and, most importantly, a loving home. They are also equipped with skills and resources to choose the direction of their lives when they leave the Shelter Home. Children learn agriculture, animal husbandry, cooking, and many other life skills alongside their academic education in local schools. Additionally, staff members who are widowed or fleeing abuse or have disabilities receive shelter, food and clothing.

Topu Honis is located in one of the world’s poorest countries. Timor-Leste has a per capita GDP of $536/ year (2010 IMF estimate) and a child malnutrition rate of close to 50%. A patriarchal culture results in high rates of domestic violence and limited opportunities for girls and women. Topu Honis not only meets the practical needs of food, shelter, and clothing for its members, it also works towards gender equality and
women’s empowerment. Fr. Daschbach has lived in the region since 1966 and has dedicated his life to serving the people of the Oecussi Mountains. This year he also celebrates the golden anniversary of his priestly ordination.

Topu Honis website

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