Timor Immersion Report
Posted: 07-Aug-2019

Timor Sustainable Goal Participation

When first arriving in Timor, we straight away noticed the tight participation all individuals had within their community, initially we visited Sister Marianne Dwyer’s Organisation in Aileu  where we directly focused our attention to the gorgeous young children who were all very excited to see us arrive in their town, to the point where they chased our bus together to greet us when we stepped off. We both went to see the children at their playground where they all participated as a group greeting us and trying to understand more about ourselves, we noticed how even the youngest of children had such respect and kindness upon one another and everyone was FRIENDS.

Teaching at Santa Maria in Ainaro each morning for the week we noted how closely related all the school students were to each other and how it is so separate to Australia as everyone at the school were friends not depending on their year level and their gender, everyone got along. All the students were so interested in becoming friends with us and the group and coming in groups asking for our participation in their interviews.

Timor Leste is also a country that encourages women participation and equality within their communities and their political parties. During our Immersion we visited several museums and interesting historical sites that revealed to us what exactly has happened to Timor in the past and how they are all encouraging tight involvement from every individual to somewhat remember the past and use that as something that brought them all closer together.

We both had first been assigned to a class of roughly 65 students who were all wanting to be actively involved in what we were doing and to so strongly participate in their education. The school captain and vice-captain alongside with a small group of students from Santa Maria were chosen to come on several hikes with our group, they all happily participated and were more than happy to overcome our language barrier and try their hardest to form closer relationships with our Damascus College Group. They never once complained on our walks even though some may have been struggling up the large hike to the beautiful waterfall they all kept so positive and didn’t wipe the huge smile off their faces, which was a very good thing as this was the highlight of our trip to Timor Leste.

By Chloe Labbett & Ella Penfold

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