2019 July Trip Report

Jul 18, 2019

Hi All,

As many of you may know I have been working in Timor for over 6 years in education. Upon returning from my 2018 trip I saw the great need for transformation in Cailaco, Maliana. During that 2018 trip, land was discussed to be used for the purposes of education.

After my 2018 trip and before this 2019 trip, I set up BETTER (Building East Timor Through Education/ Resources) and it is now officially registered as a charity, pending tax deductibility status! This trip in July 2019 was a real and literal life changer…

July 2019

A crazy ride it was, on bumpy roads, beer, thousands of people, celebrations, smiles, laughs, tears and testing, what a trip it was! We really got down to business.

The mission of BETTER is founded on giving education to those most in need and most wanting of education, ensuring donor support is going to those who need it most. Therefore, after further testing and discussions this became clear.

41 students in Year 3, aged between 8-12, undertook an Australian Year 1-2 Mathematics test with an average mark of 13.33%. Not one student passed…

27 students in Year 5, aged between 10-14, undertook an Australian Year 1-2 Mathematics test with an average mark of 35.85%. 4 student passed.

49 students in Year 9, aged between 13-18, undertook an Australian Year 3-4 Mathematics test with an average mark of 29.55%. Not one student passed…

27 students in Year 9, aged between 14-19, undertook an Australian Year 5-6 Mathematics test with an average mark of 13.4%. Not one student passed…

Of the 30 students tested in 2018, 76% of these continued to year 9. They sat the exact same Australian Year 3-4 Mathematics test with an increase of 9.16% on average. Even so not one student passed…

In total 144 students were tested with only 4 students passing their test. They were unable to complete basic maths solving addition and subtraction from left to right, not right to left. 

Children were more than 5 years behind in curriculum

From the age of 14, when I first went to Timor I said I would move and share the gift of education I had been given to those who need it most. This trip I saw that 14 year old dream come to life as we began officiating an agreement for use of land for a school in Cailaco.

My Timor father Eddie, said I would need to finish school and go to university in order to truly help the Timorese the most. Over the past few years I have said ‘yes’ to almost everything but in all of it my heart has and always will be in Timor, my home.

With that said, thanks to some phenomenal friends and mentors in my life, I have made the decision that in a year and a half I will be moving to Timor. This is a completely crazy, exciting and somewhat surreal 14 year old dream I am in.

I can’t wait to tell you more,
Ornella