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East Timor

East Timor

East Timor is home to 1.26 million people and according to the Human Development Index, the country ranked 133 out of 188 for life expectancy, access to education and standard of living in 2016. The World Bank estimates that East Timor has close to 42 percent of its population living in poverty with over one-third of the population regularly experiencing food shortages. In addition, close to 50 percent of the population is illiterate.

Salesian missionaries in East Timor have been providing programs to help residents recover and rebuild in the wake of a devastating civil war in the country that claimed countless lives, decimated entire communities and resulted in living conditions that are among the worst in the world. Now that the violence has subsided, efforts are being focused on helping the poor, restoring hope and providing new opportunities for the future.

More Missions In East Timor

Provide technical & vocational training

The Don Bosco Technical School in Fatumaca provides vocational education that helps youth gain an education and prepare for the future. More than 250 students, 11 percent of whom are girls, attend the school taking three-year courses in carpentry, mechanics and electronics.

The technical school is part of the broader Salesian complex of Don Bosco Fatumaca, which provides diversified services and educational programs to best fit the emerging needs of its students. Tony Jurd, an electronics engineer who spends several weeks at the school each year, worked with the technical school students to set up an FM radio station in the school. Today, the radio station operates for a few hours each day and is very popular in villages that are up to 50 km away. In addition to providing information on health and other matters, the radio station broadcasts segments responding to local music requests.

In 2013, with the help of Jurd, the school developed an electronics project that included the creation of a television station that broadcasts to surrounding villages. The station was fully operational at the end of 2014 and has now garnered a great deal of interest and enthusiasm from both teachers and students. Transmitting to a radius of about 30 km, the television programs include locally produced Tetum material, educational sessions and local information. The students have installed secondhand television sets enabling the surrounding villages to receive the broadcasts.

As part of the project, students are trained to operate and maintain the television transmission unit as well as to build and install antennas. Managed entirely by teachers and students, the television and radio stations provide electronics students with hands-on broadcasting and facilities operating experience and up-to-date training opportunities for future employment in the media.

Rescue children facing adversity

Salesian missionaries in Dili are giving children with disabilities a chance at a brighter future at the Ahisaun Disabilities Foundation. Here, youth with disabilities are provided education and training as well as access to basic needs like health care, food, clothing and shelter, all with the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty and helping youth to become independent and self-reliant.

Ahisaun was established in 1999 by Salesian Father Adrian Ola, with the goal of meeting the enormous need for educational and job placement opportunities for youth with disabilities. Students at Ahisaun can take classes in hospitality, music, horticulture, computers, shoemaking and farming while also participating in organized social activities. Small group learning opportunities have also been created for skill development and English language tutoring.

Build orphanages & shelters for homeless youth

Salesian missionaries are in the process of seeking funding and donor support to help renovate Don Bosco Orphanage, which is located in Lospalos, a city 151 miles to the east of Dili, East Timor’s capital. The orphanage was originally constructed to accommodate the orphans of those who had died in the war against the Indonesian occupation which happened between 1975 and 1999. After independence from Indonesia, Salesian missionaries began to accommodate hundreds of orphans and poor children from different districts of East Timor.

Over the years, the infrastructure has deteriorated seriously as a result of lack of resources for maintenance, and it is now seriously damaged. The ceilings, windows, doors, pipes for water and energy systems have all suffered major damage, and the building currently has too many problems for people to continue to live in it. The orphanage normally hosts about 100 children. The goal is to have the funding to repair and renovate so it once again becomes a safe place for children to live and concentrate on their studies.

The Don Bosco Orphanage provides for children’s basic needs such as housing, nutrition, clothing and education. Schooling at the orphanage aims to impart life skills such as responsibility, self-discipline and organization, as well as offering traditional early education to prepare students to go on to mainstream high schools. The orphanage owes much of its success to donors who have helped to provide everything from beds and furnishings to school uniforms, clothing and school supplies.

Empower girls & women through education

Salesian missionaries also have a focus on educating young women and girls in East Timor. The Salesian-run Madalena Morano Center in Fuiloro offers women courses in computing, basic office management and sewing. There are 54 women who come from families facing high poverty. Many graduates secure work in Dili or Baucau. In Laga, 98 girls aged 6 to 16 are provided a home, an education and a secure environment at the Salesian-run Laura Vicuna Orphanage. Traditional education is taught in addition to studies in theatre, dance, music, sewing and sports to encourage young girls to develop their skills and talents.

Respond to disasters & emergencies

Salesian missionaries in the country have been providing programs to help residents recover and rebuild in the wake of the devastating civil war that claimed countless lives, decimated entire communities and resulted in living conditions that are among the worst in the world. Since the violence has subsided, efforts are being focused on helping the needy, restoring hope and providing new opportunities for the future.

Deliver life-saving meals

More than 1,100 students participating in Salesian programs run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians have access to better nutrition thanks to a recent donation of fortified rice-meals. Offered at orphanages, boarding homes, schools and a medical facility spread across six towns and villages in East Timor, 11 programs were the recipients of the donation which was made possible through an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger.

Through the programs, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians provides for the basic needs of young East Timorese including housing, nutrition, clothing and education. Educational programs aim to impart life skills such as responsibility, self-discipline and organization in addition to offering traditional schooling that enables students to advance to technical and skills training programs to prepare for the workforce.

Improve health services

The Maria Auxiliadora Medical Clinic, located in the town of Venilale, has been serving poor residents of Venilale and 13 surrounding villages for many years. Placing special emphasis on caring for mothers and babies, employees of the clinic frequently deliver boxes containing essential baby care products to local families in need. In addition, the clinic provides free community education that focuses on first aid, health issues and family planning.

The most common health issues treated at the clinic include malaria, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, hypertension, malnutrition (especially in children), skin diseases, asthma, and urinary and lung disorders.

Improve infrastructure

The Don Bosco Technical School in Fatumaca provides vocational education that helps youth gain an education and prepare for the future. The technical school is part of the broader Salesian complex of Don Bosco Fatumaca, which provides diversified services and educational programs to best fit the emerging needs of its students. Tony Jurd, an electronics engineer who spends several weeks at the school each year, worked with the technical school students to set up an FM radio station in the school. Today, the radio station operates for a few hours each day and is very popular in villages that are up to 50 km away. In addition to providing information on health and other matters, the radio station broadcasts segments responding to local music requests.

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From East Timor

From East Timor

Funding Opportunities

in East Timor

Agriculture Training Programs

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Feed a Child

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Technology Program

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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