The “Timor of the rising sun”, called Timor-Leste in the native Tetum, is a little smaller than Schleswig-Holstein and only obtained independence from Indonesia in 2002- after a long, bloody war. The tiny island state lies on the Malayan archipelago and volcanic well. Many refer to East Timor as a „society based on rumours“, which is a consequence of the traumatisation of the violent past. Medical care is lacking and half of all children are malnourished.
Project. Esperanca is an establishment, which proclaims the love of God in word and deed to disadvantaged children and young people, to give them a new perspective and hope. This includes children’s lessons in different age groups, English courses, singing and theatre plays and computer courses. Children and young people are lead and supported in their personal and academic development.
Tasks. Voluntary helpers work with children from 5-12 years old, hand in hand with the local churches. The tasks are diverse and can vary depending on gifts. Dancing, telling Bible stories, music, theatre pieces, sport (particularly football) etc. Therefore learning of the local language Tetum is necessary! English/Portugese Lessons for young people and adults (from 15 years) is another possible task. Qualifications or experience are essential.
Activities. Regular exchange with the team, intergration into local churches, day trips etc.
Team. The team is very intercultural and consists of people from Brasil, Indonesia, Korea and West Europe. There are 1-4 short-termers.
Churches. Various churches in the area. The team goes to the Nazarean church, which is located on the same site as Projekt Esperanca. There is good fellowship there.
Challenges. Cultural differences, learning the language with English textbooks (English is therefore a requirement!). Work on the project is only in Tetum.
East Timor became independent in 2002 but its people are not quite totally at peace. Small conflicts are still flaring up in a few border regions. Distrust and trauma of the population is rife.
Particular benefits. The work with joyful children and people, wonderful countryside, trips with the team, beautiful sunshine everyday and great food!
Freetime. The sea with wonderful beaches means swimming, snorkeling and relaxing. East Timor, with its nature, people and culture, calls for discovery of the country. There are restaurants, a shopping centre and a cinema.
Previous volunteers are ready to give more details:
Salome Junge: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mininum 6 months