Whitefriars’ Walk for Timor-Leste 2018 generated over $26,000. What this means in practical terms for the people of Timor-Leste is a means to open opportunities in their futures. A large portion of the money raised this year will help fund the Carmelite Scholarship Program. This program enables Timorese males and females to receive an education they would not otherwise receive, due to the poverty of their families.
Right now, there are twenty-six people benefiting from the program. Of these, fourteen are undertaking undergraduate degrees at university and the remaining twelve are completing high school. The students at university are enrolled in the following degrees:
- Four studying to be teachers
- Three working toward a degree in IT
- One each studying in the following areas
- Public Health
- Tour and Travel Management
- Mechanical Engineering
- Petroleum Industries.
In a country, where only about 36% of the population gets any education, a university education allows these students to make major changes in Timor-Leste. Other money from the walk will sponsor programs such as Days for Girls and to supply educational materials for the Student-Staff Immersion Program.
We asked our students to get five $5.00 donations. Thanks to the students who did so and those who went beyond the $25. As an educational instruction, many of our students accept education as a given. Parents and others make sure bills are paid so that our students can enjoy the benefits from the learning. Few, probably, reflect on what it would be like not to have an education. Unfortunately, the reverse is true in Timor-Leste. Most children do not receive any education. One of the lessons learned from our students who have gone to Timor-Leste with the Immersion Program in June is the energy and enthusiasm the Timorese students put into learning. The Timorese see education as a means to improve. These students view education not as a given, but a privilege. Our returning students often reflect on how lucky we are to live in Australia and the education we receive.
Thanks, once again, for those who are making a difference to the Timorese future.