Loreto Ostico Building Project
Partner | Fundacao Loreto Timor-Leste
Location | Ostico, Timor-Leste
Building a community centre and residence for the Loreto Sisters in the village of Ostico will enable the sisters to take part in the community’s life and make a lasting contribution to its educational, spiritual and human development.
The Loreto Sisters have faithfully served the people of Timor-Leste since 2006. Having successfully built a pre-school and a community development centre in Gari-Uai, they now plan to assist the neighbouring village of Ostico.
With an estimated population of 1700 people, the village of Ostico will work alongside the Loreto Sisters on a range of initiatives that promote their basic human rights, including the right to education. Investing in education helps individuals achieve their potential and leads to positive changes within the community and the social fabric of a nation. Improved educational attainment promotes economic growth and employment opportunities, results in healthier families and communities, reduces infant and maternal mortality rates, and leads to empowerment and greater socio-political involvement.
Timor-Leste has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. National lockdowns and movement restrictions within the country have slowed down the supply of materials, resulting in delays to the project construction schedule.
Thankfully, work onsite has continued throughout the year, albeit slowly. The local builder is working with the project manager and engineering consultant to ensure construction is completed as soon as possible. To date, excavation works have been finalised, boundary fences erected, the water bore installed and the building foundations laid.
This project will allow the Loreto Sisters to make a lasting educational and spiritual impact in Ostico through the delivery of equitable learning opportunities at the community centre. In keeping with Loreto’s core vision, a particular focus of these programs will be the identification and empowerment of local women with leadership potential.
Loreto Sisters’ residence
The residence will provide a permanent home for up to eight Loreto Sisters and young Timorese women interested in joining them in their mission. The residence is vital in cementing the ongoing commitment of Loreto to the people of Timor-Leste by ensuring there are enough qualified people to enable the Ostico community to access education, health, clean water and employment.
The community centre will provide Ostico with a permanent space to conduct quality learning programs. It will also provide a place large enough to hold community events and meetings.
Significantly, the community centre will be equipped to act as a base for volunteers to reside when contributing to the growing suite of community development and educational activities.
The main project activity is the construction of a community centre and permanent residence for the Loreto Sisters. Given the complexities of building in such a remote area, in a country with limited infrastructure, this project could take two years to complete.
The community centre will consist of two rooms for local community use, two classrooms, an office, five bedrooms for volunteer and visitor accommodation, while the residence will be able to house up to eight Loreto Sisters.
Mary Ward International Australia thanks the Noel and Carmel O’Brien Family Foundation for their generous support of this project.
In Peru, the Loreto Sisters have worked and lived in Jicamarca, Peru for over 15 years. In partnership with the Jesuits and the local community, the Sisters established a primary and secondary school. Tailoring workshops have now also been established, encouraging women to gain employment and start their own business.
The Loreto Mission in Rumbek, South Sudan has assisted the Maker Keui community through the provision of education, health and employment. This project will improve the standards of personal hygiene of 1477 primary and secondary school students and young women studying in Loreto Schools, Rumbek.
MWIA currently supports the work of the Loreto Sisters in Vietnam by providing educational scholarships to ensure students have the resources and support to complete tertiary education. MWIA is proud to help women access a university education and create a brighter future for themselves and their families.