Education has always been a primary focus for Across the Timor Sea, and has resulted in the establishment of the Baretto/Nicolay Scholarship program. In 2018, the Across the Timor Sea scholarship has grown to 10 students receiving support for their Secondary Education.
Timor Leste` is a very young nation, and gaining independence came at a great cost. Many schools were destroyed at that time. We have come to understand that Timor Leste` lost 20% of Primary teachers and 80% of Secondary on gaining Independence, and 95% of schools were either damaged or destroyed.
Since that time there has been work towards recovery and rebuilding, however there is much to make up for.
We admire what is being achieved at St Francis of Assisi School (which is the preferred school by Ailalec Village parents and Ailalec Council), and Jan has noted much enthusiasm for achievement and overall wellbeing of the students there.
There is justified pride in the building construction Jan saw when she was last at the school. The new building will enable school numbers to increase, providing accommodation for the nuns and female students. Included in their vision are plans for indoor sports and a sewing room.
All at ‘Across the Timor Sea’ were delighted to hear about plans for a dedicated Sewing Room, because in some of the container shipments sent there, we have included donated sewing machines and materials. This was in the hope that students would be taught sewing skills, and on returning to their home village, be able to start a cottage industry of some sort, or at least enhance their community in some way.
This program could not operate without the generous support of Sponsors.