- Continue to develop secondary school education in Hatobuilico. The Blue Mountains are the primary funder for ESCANFER, the Hatobuilico Secondary School, building in student numbers and capacity to provide quality educational outcomes for over 140 young people. We fund a stipend for volunteer teachers (more than half of Timor’s teachers still work without a salary), books and school materials, musical and sporting equipment, a bursary system for particularly poor families and an IT learning facility. Last year saw extraordinarily strong examination results with 5 students receiving almost perfect scores.
- Constructed and fitted out boarding facilities for students who live far from the school
- Provided a salary for a local development worker who has been instrumental in a range of outcomes including support for women, students and necessary communication with us
- Contributed to construction of a student house in Dili called “Uma Ramelau” where young people from Hatobuilico can live while they undertake university education
- Supported the establishment of a set of 6 women’s groups from around Hatobuilico (total membership over 120) who are each developing small economic enterprises – weaving tais, sewing clothing, making pots and ornamental objects, growing crops, baking bread, running a café, tourism initiatives. The longer-term aim is to build women’s leadership and we actively have promoted this by funding a “conference” of the women’s groups each year, providing the opportunity to share skills and experience and also to develop new skills. This project is supported in Timor through the Alola Foundation.
- Built a women’s centre in the remote area of Mauchiga. This centre especially supports women victims of sexual violence during the Indonesian occupation to rebuild their lives.
- Supported a learning centre for young people in Mauchiga. They learn English and IT.
Our work in Timor is extremely valuable and it is valued. We are inspired, energised and buoyed to continue our important work there, within Hatobuilico and in other parts of the country.