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Despite an exceptional challenging year for the people of Timor Leste facing major floods in April and the continued Covid-19 lockdowns forcing schools to close, a great amount has been achieved. The Salesians of Don Bosco communities and schools have used this time to conduct much needed repairs and maintenance. Unfortunately, the challenge to find funds for salaries and general running costs remain as the absence of government support continues.
Floods devastated Timor-Leste, however the students lept into action, buoyed by the kind efforts of donors!
At the Flood Victims Camp, within the Don Bosco Technical Training Centre, Comoro, a bore was drilled to provide clean water for those residing in the grounds. To improve the conditions for families living in tents and sleeping on the ground, the school students have constructed beds to provide a healthier living environment. We provide food, supplies and assist with utility bills.
Students have recently returned to the classrooms in Comoro after ongoing lockdowns to complete their studies, graduations have been delayed until early 2022. The Scholarship support from the Australian Ron Archer Trust and the John Herbert Foundation is always welcomed as it enables marginalised students to develop a career in either general construction, automotive or office administration.
With more than 75 per cent of the population deriving their livelihood from farming, Don Bosco Agricultural College, Fuiloro plays an important role in improving traditional farming methods. Students are taught ways of increasing the yield from crops through practical experience.
Through the school’s work experience program, students meet potential employers and use skills they have learned. We are thankful for the continued support of Dominic College, Glenorchy for providing scholarships for poor students who otherwise would not have the opportunity of an education.
The food produced on the farm is consumed by the students in the boarding house, thus helping to reduce the overall running costs. Fr Jose reports, “with the replacement of the roof now complete, our aim is to become more self-sustainable by increasing farm production of corn, animal feed, horticultural production, coconut oil production and improved livestock intake.
St Dominic Savio Orphanage
Sr Olga Belo from the St Dominic Savio Orphanage in Venilale is pleased to report the completion of the replacement of the dormitory roof and ceiling which houses 100 girls between the ages of 6-16 years. It has certainly improved the living conditions of the girls, as they are no longer concerned about a leaky roof especially with the oncoming rainy season.
The Salesian Sisters Medical Clinic
Sr Carolina works hard for the people of Timor-Leste, and is much loved in return!
The Salesian Sisters Medical Clinic assists the poor in the surrounding remote villages of Venilale, otherwise they would not receive any medical care. It is an essential service where patients are treated for common ailments such as malaria, tuberculosis, asthma and pneumonia with a focus on care for mothers and children.
As a high proportion of the local population live in poverty and experience food shortages, access to the Clinic is an important alternative to a hospital visit, which is both costly and difficult to access.
Sr Carolina said “It has been particularly concerning this year as the focus shifted to the pandemic, with attention to other medical issues being neglected. We ensured that the Clinic remained open so that we could continue conducting health checks and education on Covid-19.”
Don Bosco Technical School, Maumali, Maliana
With the generous support of the Montagner-Zembruzuski Family Foundation, the Don Bosco Technical School, Maumali, Maliana has completed the piggery and poultry construction. The students and boarders from the surrounding villages have welcomed this new venture in the caring of livestock.
Emergency repairs to the water system and replacement of part of the educational workshop roof were undertaken with the support of Australia donors.
Salesian Sisters Training Centre
In Balide, a tank was installed at the Salesian Sisters Training Centre to provide clean drinking water to those from rural villages attending the secretarial and computer courses.
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Salesian Missions Australia