We support the following projects (and other similar projects), which were suggested by the people of Baguia. We work closely with a Timorese committee in Baguia that comprises of local government and community representatives to identify priorities. Education is our prime focus, as the Timorese consider this of vital importance to enable their children to achieve a better life, as they build their new nation.
1. Scholarships to the six High Schools in Baguia
These schools have a combined total of over 800 students. Fees and books are funded up to $A70 per year for each student. Over 100 scholarships are provided each year.
2. Desks and equipment for remote mountain Primary Schools
In some mountain schoolrooms children still sit on the dirt floor or on shaky bamboo poles. We support local village carpenters to build desks and blackboards. In some cases we provide funds for the materials to extend mountain schools that are built on volunteer labour by the villagers.
3. Salaries for teachers at Ossofulari Community Primary School
Situated high in the mountains over two hours walk down a steep mountain trail from the nearest Primary school, these 80 children would not have access to education without this village school. The cost to fund the teachers a 'token' salary is $A40 per teacher per month.
4. University Scholarships
Currently, six Baguia students are funded at University level. Most are studying in East Timor, but due to a lack of courses two of our students are studying at University in Indonesia and The Philippines. The cost is $A500 per year for each uni student.
5. English language classes
The official languages in East Timor are Portugese and Tetun but there is a strong demand for English, which is seen as an international language to provide future opportunities. Three local teachers are employed to run free English classes for adults and children. We hosted one of these teachers, Leopoldina, in Australia for 3 months to improve her English skills. Cost A$120 per month.
6. Tanks for Timor
Initated by Meagan Lowe from FoB Committee, to date this project has funded five tanks and the necessary guttering, piping and tank stands for Primary Schools. Three of the schools are located in the mountains and the tanks will provide safe drinking water, ability to instal or use toilets, water for cooking govt provided lunch. With the high cost of transport each tank has cost around $A1,800 to install.