TIMOR-LESTE: Internships take students into workforce
Don Bosco Agricultural College courses cover agriculture, veterinary science and fisheries
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries operate Don Bosco Agricultural College in the village of Fuiloro, Timor-Leste. Don Bosco Agricultural College courses cover agriculture, veterinary science and fisheries. In partnership with international, national and local agencies, the college has paired classroom learning with hands-on job experience through internships that last from February to April 2023. Students are working in Dili, Baucau and Lautem.
With an agriculture assignment, students are introduced to a combination of traditional and modern agriculture techniques. They learn about production, capital gain, input intensity and crop consistency. Students are also being introduced to mass production with machines.
Given the challenges with global warming, students are learning more efficient, safer and more environmentally friendly techniques. In some parts of Timor-Leste, there is barren soil and, with the advances of technology, students are working to improve the soil’s fertility. This practice is called agro-ecology.
In the veterinary field, students are introduced to veterinary science and the prevention of transmission of animal diseases to people. Veterinarians also play a critical role in environmental protection, research, food safety and public health. In-depth studies allow the students to learn best practices to benefit people and eventually contribute to the development of veterinary science in Timor-Leste.
Through the fisheries internship, students are introduced to raising and harvesting fish and other aquatic life. Students practice combining traditional and modern ways of fish farming. Students are also introduced to marketing and commercial ideas to prepare them for a labor market that has been demanding in the past decade. Aside from preparing the students for further study, the internships will also help them in the area of entrepreneurship.
“Internships such as these provide a great way for students to bridge the classroom and the workforce,” said Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian missionaries provide a range of educational and social development services at educational centers and programs in Timor-Leste. Poor youth are able to access education and social programs including health services, nutrition, education, and general support services that help them to lead healthy productive lives.”
Timor-Leste is home to 1.3 million people and has close to 49 percent of its population living in poverty with over one-third of the population regularly experiencing food shortages. In addition, close to 50 percent of the population is illiterate, according to the World Bank.
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Salesian Missions – Timor-Leste
World Bank – East Timor/Timor-Leste