PRADET began in Dili in May 2000. Staff undertook a consultation with approximately 300 community members from across Timor-Leste to ascertain what kind of psychosocial service East Timorese people regarded as a priority.
Formally established as an East Timorese NGO in 2002, PRADET has its origins in an AusAID-funded program beginning in 1999 prior to Indonesian military withdrawal. The aim of this program was for Australian psychiatric health specialists to devise a strategy to attend to trauma in Timor-Leste and to build the capacity of local workers. After the horrific events of 1999, a number of East Timorese health workers – primarily nurses and midwives – were selected to undertake counselling training in Australia, with a view to becoming PRADET staff members. Some of these health workers were taking refuge in Australia after fleeing the destruction of 1999.
In the early stages, outreach and promotion work was concentrated in the districts in the western area of Timor-Leste. The organisation focused its limited resources on those districts it deemed had experienced the greatest concentration of trauma in the aftermath of the Indonesian occupation.
As PRADET gained experience it broadened its resource base by branching out its service delivery into other districts.
more history to come ...............