Loreto Pre-Primary School
Timor-Leste, located over 400 kilometres north of Australia, is one of the least developed countries in the world, with basic health, literacy and income levels similar to sub-Saharan Africa.
Over the past decade, the newly independent country has travelled down the path of reconciliation as part of the healing process trying to recover from its violent and traumatic history. Most Timorese live in rural areas and many households have insufficient food to feed themselves all year round. According to UNICEF two thirds of the population are under the age of 25, approximately 40% of children are malnourished and more than 58% of the population is illiterate. With so many young children in need of education the school system is simply under-resourced.
The Loreto Sisters along with MWIA are committed to addressing the lack of educational opportunities facing the Timorese people in the remote area of Gari-uai by building the first Loreto Pre-Primary School in Timor-Leste. The iterim Pre-Primary school opened on 1 June 2015 in a refurbished community building, and will later move to the new building once it is completed.
Alongside this project and keeping in mind that education can never be divorced from the needs of the community new facilities for a Community Centre will also be built.
The path to realising this dream began in 2002 following an invitation from the Superior General to all Loreto Provinces asking them to have the courage to move to new places to “take some risks, however small in moving out from safe and familiar situations” to places that would benefit their work.
Currently Australian Loreto Sisters, Margie Bourke, Natalie Houlihan, Diaan Stuart and Francine Roberts are living in Timor-Leste.
They work together with friends in Timor-Leste and Australia to realise this dream. Your donations will assist the Loreto Sisters and the community of Gari-uai to sustain and complete this project.
Join us today in making a sustainable difference by helping children receive an education which will last a lifetime.
Loreto Sisters Natalie Houlihan and Diaan Stuart ibvm are a part of the team helping to build the first Loreto Primary School in Timor Leste.
MWIA currently supports two Educational Scholarships and the Children’s Rural Library Program in Vietnam. Ensuring students have the resources and support to complete tertiary education is an important step to creating brighter futures. MWIA is proud of its commitment to the Scholarships which helps young female students attend university.