100% of funds raised from the Blue Mountains Trek for Timor have gone and will continue to go directly towards education, empowerment and development projects in East Timor. Read further below for the Projects we have supported from past Treks in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
The 2016 Trek aims to raise funds for the following projects:
- Water and sanitation projects for schools in the Hatobuilico sub district in the remote mountains of East TImor
- Continual support and resources for the staff and students at the Taurema Public School, which was built with funds from 2012 and 2014
- Responding to requests for new projects benefiting East Timorese communities
In 2014 the generous trekkers raised $53,927. This money has been allocated to some incredible projects and we are pleased to update you on the progress.
The funds from the 2014 Trek for Timor have gone towards development projects in East Timor in order to educate, empower and increase the opportunities for the people of our close neighbour. As in previous years, we have focused mainly on education but have also undertaken new projects based on community feedback. We are seeking to achieve community driven, sustainable education outcomes through our relationships in Timor-Leste and specifically the remote community of Hatobuilico.
Through the funds raised from the 2014 Trek we have prioritised;
Provision of resources for Eskola Primaria Taurema including toilets and wash facilities
Ongoing support of the new Hatobuilico Senior Secondary School
Scholarships for students from Hatobuilico to access high school and university
Outcomes: Increased access to education in Hatobuilico; Hatobuilico students graduate equipped to achieve employment that contributes to Timor-Leste’s ongoing democracy and the Hatobuilico community & economy.
In 2012 the wonderful trekkers raised $94,315.55. This money was allocated to some very worthwhile projects and we are pleased to update you on progress.
Eskola Primaria Taurema (Taurema Primary School). Some trekkers may remember from the 2010 trek an amount was allocated to this very remote and under resourced school to provide tables, chairs and other classroom essentials as well as repairs to damage caused by violent storms. But the storms continued and the Trek for Timor committee decided to devote the main allocation of funds raised in 2012 to the construction of a completely new and sustainable school building to suit the extreme mountain conditions and to ensure the ongoing education of the young students of Taurema.
After a very long project development phase involving rebuilding a whole new section of unusable road, the Taurema Primary School was completed in late 2014 and an official opening ceremony was held in June 2015. This was attended by a number of the Trek for Timor Organising Committee volunteers and many thanks goes to the gracious work of the Goodwill Ambassador for Education of the Democratic Republic of TimorLeste, Kirsty Sword Gusmao for enabling such a project.
Ramelau Senior Secondary School. Senior secondary students in Hatobuilico had to move to Dili or other large towns for their senior education. The new senior secondary school is an initiative of the Hatobuilico people to allow students to live at home. As an interim measure, teachers volunteered to work for no salary, but obviously this is a short term solution. Trek for Timor 2012 committed to providing salaries for teachers and has also provided school learning resources
Hatobuilico Adult Learning Centre Support of this program has given adults the opportunity to develop their IT and English language skills.
Maulelo Music Project. Over hundreds of years, occupation by foreign powers has meant that many traditional practices have been lost. We have supported first staging of Maulelo for many years. This is a combination of dance, theatre and ceremony performed over seven days and nights at the time of the full moon. It is unique to the Mambae who live in the Hatobuilico area, is only known by very few elders and has been performed rarely since Indonesian occupation. A short documentary will be used to teach the Maulelo to younger generations from the area and so keep the tradition alive. Click here to read all about the performance
Dili Film Works (DFW) is an NGO and is East Timor’s leading film and television training and production facility formed in 2010. The Trek for Timor committee will contribute funds to DFW’s training program targeting youth and specifically young women. The project will develop a new feature film based on the stolen generation of children taken from Timor by the Indonesians. Thousands of children never returned to Timor after the war ended and this film will tell the courageous story of a number of Timorese children who escaped a world of forced labour in Indonesia to make the epic journey home to their families, set against the violent backdrop of the 1999 vote for independence.