Over the last nine years the Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste (BVATL) have been working directly with students and teachers in East Timor, mainly in the Natarbora sub-district which has a friendship agreement with the Bega Valley Shire.
Teacher training and the supply of school resources are the priority areas. The teacher training is mainly funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities and the NSW Teachers Federation.
However, contributions of skills, money and resources from within the shire are a key part of the Advocates’ work.
Individuals, Tathra Op Shop and Bega Rotary also fund teacher training scholarships. There are now five Bega sponsored trainee teachers studying for their degrees in Baucau Institute in Timor-Leste. Some of our scholarship graduates are now employed in local schools and are using their skills to assist their colleagues and students.
Recently Wolumla Public School delivered the first half of a dozen laptop computers that will be used by teachers to publish student work and print school resources. This has been strongly requested by Timorese teachers as the old printing equipment from the 1970s is now beyond repair. Computer consultant Wayne Dunning gave the laptops a thorough check before they were delivered to East Timor
The Advocates assisted the local teachers to refurbish a Training and Resources Centre in early 2013. Professional development workshops for local teachers are now being run at the resource centre so teachers can improve their skills in classroom management and the teaching of literacy.
Local public school teachers have been contributing to the BVATL scholarship program for several years and the ongoing support is greatly appreciated in the local area.
If you would like to support the education program or would like more information, please contact The Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste email@example.com.