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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 3,300 poor youth across 11 Salesian centers in East Timor have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable. The rice-meal donation was shared with Don Bosco Co-Educational Technical School, Don Bosco Agricultural College, the Salesian-run Maddalena Morano Center, the Don Bosco Technical School Fatumaca and Don Bosco Orphanage, among others. This shipment, received in October 2018, is among two shipments sent to Salesian centers in East Timor.

Youth attending 10 Salesian schools, centers and parishes in East Timor also received a shipment of rice-meals from Rise Against Hunger. The rice-meal donation was provided to the Don Bosco Foundation in East Timor and shared with several Salesian parishes, the Don Bosco Fuiloro Technical High School, Don Bosco Maliana Technical High School and other programs. This shipment, which arrived in January 2019, provided donated rice-meals to youth during the school day to ensure students had a healthy meal each day and to seniors and other youth who attended Salesian programming in parishes.

In addition, youth accessing programs through the Maria Auxiliadora Foundation, operated by Salesian sisters, have access to better nutrition thanks to the Rise Against Hunger rice-meals, which were distributed to Salesian sisters programming in Dili, Venilale, Laga and Fuiloro. The rice-meals were provided to girls in the Laga Laura Vicuna Orphanage, which is home to 98 girls, aged 6 to 16 years. Through education incorporating studies such as theater, dance, music, sewing and sport, girls are encouraged to develop their skills and talents. Nutritional meals are provided five times a day thanks to support from donors.

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 and health issues.

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.

The Don Bosco Agricultural School is educating 1,000 students from elementary to senior secondary grades in the Lospalos district of East Timor. Agriculture education plays an important role in promoting better care of livestock and increasing the yield from crops. The school is aiming to become more self-sufficient by increasing farm production of corn, animal feed, varied horticulture and coconut oil, along with improved livestock intake.

School buildings, however, are in urgent need of renovations. Some are more than 50 years old and the roofs and ceilings need replacement. In the past year work has been done on upgrading the dormitories, but there is still work to be done in the bathrooms. Donations have been directed to the running costs of the school, namely for student fees, scholarships and transport costs, as well as vehicle maintenance. The agricultural program is helping to produce goods on the farm that are consumed in the boarding house.

In Maliana, the Don Bosco Co-educational Technical School, with the generous support of the Montagner Zembruzuski Family Foundation, built a new basketball court for the students for socio-sports education and replaced the roof on the boys’ dormitory. In addition, a training seminar was held for the electrical trade teachers and participants from the Don Bosco schools in Comoro and Fatumaca. The training helped teachers access the most up-to-date information in the field in order to pass that knowledge onto their students.

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From East Timor

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From East Timor

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EAST TIMOR: Rise Against Hunger rice-meal donation helping girls in Maria Auxiliadora Foundation programs to have access to better nutrition

The fortified rice-meals have helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian orphanages and programs. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 24, 2019) Youth accessing programs through the Maria Auxiliadora Foundation, operated by Salesian sisters, hav

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EAST TIMOR: More than 3,300 youth attending 11 Salesian centers have access to better nutrition thanks to shipment of rice-meals from Rise Against Hunger

The fortified rice-meals have helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian schools and programs.   NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 14, 2019) More than 3,300 poor youth across 11 Salesian centers in East Timor have access to better nutrition t

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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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