The Children and Youth Centre (CYC) Ponta Leste engenders community spirit and fosters strong friendships between the students as well as the teachers.
CYC Ponta Leste is a Timorese run organisation that works in partnership with Australian Marist Solidarity. CYC Ponta Leste is based in Baucau, East Timor and was established in 2006. In Baucau there is a high level of unemployment so the centre also creates employment and stimulates the local economy while students are kept off the street and engaged in educational activities. It aims to protect children’s rights and provide a safe and friendly environment where children and youth can access services and extra-curriculum classes. CYC Ponta Leste currently runs five after school classes: sports, English, literature, music and computers. Children’s rights workshops are conducted for the students and the local community and sporting events are held throughout the year. A resource centre is available with books, games and other activities. Approximately 403 children and youth aged between the age of 6 and 20 attend classes at the centre every week.
- 14% of children aged 6 to 11 are not regularly enrolled in school and access to schools continues to pose problems in certain rural areas;
- Only 39% of girls and 34% of boys are enrolled in secondary education;
- 46% of the East Timorese population is between 0 and 14 years old, children constitute almost half of the population and are the first victims of the high rate of poverty of the country. In fact, 73% of the population lives on less than two dollars a day; and
- 70% of infrastructure destroyed by militia in 1999.
With your support there is renewed hope for the youth of Baucau in a country hindered by high illiteracy and high unemployment rates.