Vocational skills for disadvantaged youth
Uai-Lili is a small village about ten kilometers from Baucau, Timor-Leste, one of the most impoverished and least developed countries in the world. Apart from subsistence farming, there are very few jobs available in Timor-Leste, especially in rural areas, thus job opportunities are limited and unemployment rates high. Primary school completion rates are far behind that of other countries in the region, leading to low levels of literacy and numeracy in the population as a whole.
An initiative taken by three local young men and the Marist Brothers living in Baucau led to the establishment of a Computer Centre for the youth of Uai-Lili and, more recently, a Carpentry Workshop. Certified local tradesmen have been recruited to conduct carpentry classes, a basic set of tools has been purchased and classes have already begun.
It is hoped that this project will be self-sustaining by 2018, however in the meantime the operating costs, though modest, are ongoing. These include salaries for the trainers; timber, nails, glue and other hardware; plus teaching materials.
The acquisition of new skills not only improves young people’s employment prospects but their self-esteem and confidence as well. By supporting this project you will be offering encouragement to a group of young people, living in poverty and with limited options, to improve their lives.
Australian Marist Solidarity would like to thank Australian Communities Foundation and Espero Fund for their contribution towards this project.