TIMOR-LESTE: Salesian students prepared for workforce
Salesian schools provide students an opportunity to gain the skills for employment
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries are focused on education in Timor-Leste to ensure students have the skills needed for employment. Schools offer both classroom education and hands-on work experience. At graduation many Salesian students are more prepared for the workforce than other youth. Salesians want youth to become self-sufficient contributing members of their community. Additional programs at the schools help students have a place to live, access nutrition and learn important life skills.
Don Bosco Co-educational Technical High School, located in Maliana, has boarding facilities and offers a three-year diploma course in general electricity. After school, students are encouraged to work in the vegetable garden, which provides food for the boarding home.
St. Anthony’s High School Baucau is a center of learning for poor youth in the region. The school has a special lunch program that ensures students have the nourishment they require to learn. Many students walk long distances to school without breakfast and have trouble concentrating all day without a healthy meal.
Don Bosco Technical School Fatumaca provides vocational education that helps youth gain an education and prepare for the future. More than 200 students have the opportunity to specialize in building construction, mechanical work, electrical installation and electronic communications. Partnerships with local radio and television stations provide hands-on work experience opportunities for the electronics students. Poor youth are able to access a range of programs including health services, nutrition, education and general support services. The school also offers room and board for students who need on-campus housing.
“Salesian missionaries provide a range of educational and social development services at educational centers and programs in Timor-Leste,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Poor youth are able to access education, social programs 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.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Salesian Missions Overseas Aid Fund
Salesian Missions – Timor-Leste
World Bank – East Timor/Timor-Leste