Following independence the people of Timor Leste quickly recognised that growth in education was key to the development of their communities and nation. Almost without exception, Timorese students express an insistent determination to learn and improve their English skills as an avenue to further education and employment. Heather Henderson, a teacher from Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, […]
Almost 4 in 10 primary school students in Timor-Leste drop out before completing primary school and those in rural areas often find it difficult to reach a school (source: UNDP in Timor Leste). While there have been major improvements in the last decade, volunteers like Heather Henderson are still essential to assist the poorest of […]
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Australian Embassy in Dili invited children of primary school age, in Timor Leste, to design a Christmas card. The winning design would be used for the official Embassy card. I saw this as an opportunity for the children to engage in a creative activity that introduced them […]
Palms Encounter group visiting a women’s cooperative in Morobo, Timor-Leste, July 2012 I’m often asked why Palms runs Encounters to Timor-Leste and Kiribati. After all, Palms isn’t a travel company and the communities that we visit are often not well equipped to accommodate tourists. I absolutely agree with these two statements and strangely enough they […]
We have another wonderful group of volunteers, ready to depart for Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.
Returning to Baucau years after she’d finished her placement, Monica Morrison came to the conclusion that “change can move so slowly when one is in the midst of volunteering. It almost seems imperceptible, but it can and does occur. “
“The approach of Palms volunteers was noticeably different to other volunteer sending organisations.”
While reading our volunteer stories in each edition of Palms Post, have you ever wanted to just fly over and see for yourself?
Marilyn is volunteering at Instituto Profissional De Canossa, providing training in administration and English language education. This is her second placement with Palms in Timor-Leste.
Kevin Wilson, previously volunteered with Palms in Tunaniya, Bougainville. He has now joined the team at OHM which supports people in the Bobonaro District of Timor-Leste.
OHM is the only local NGO still to be in operation in the whole of Bobonaro district. We worked diligently on submissions – not knowing if/when the project might be cancelled.
No longer is the priority receiving a volunteer to focus on classroom teaching. Now, Atabae’s teaching assistants have asked for a teacher to focus on enhancing their skills in program planning, delivery, assessment and evaluation.
When people ask me about how my Encounter to East Timor went, I reply, “It was a true, learning experience” and it really was.
Before you start your Encounter, Palms sends you readings by people who have really walked the walk. Participants are then invited to journal their thoughts and form a plan of action that encompasses before, during and after the experience.
I found this part of the journey so beneficial.
Mim has been busy helping communities submit formal proposals for water supply and sanitation projects. This involves walking up to two hours through beautiful mountains; meeting community leaders in traditional homes; drinking coffee; and being invited to chew betelnut and talk water with village elders.