Posted by Linda O'Brien on Feb 13, 2021
These are two projects which the Club supports in the Balibo district of East Timor. The Ai-Asa School Project and the School Gardens Project

Ai-Asa School Project

Ai-Asa school is a 30 minute drive from Balibo in a remote, rural area. The school currently has 120 students. There is no water or toilets. In the time since we first looked at helping this school, the situation has gone from bad to desperate. The building which is used to teach the older students is a poor but useable state. The building in which the 6, 7 and 8 year old children are taught was in a terrible state, but has now totally collapsed. Thankfully no-one was inside when this happened, Our donation of $20,000 over 2 years is going towards the construction of Ai-Asa School with  a new 3 classroom and teachers' room building, bring water to the school and install toilets for the children and teachers.. Commencement of the work has been delayed because of COVID-19, but will be started in October 2020.and is now about 50% complete. Its also noted that a shipment of equipment and furniture from Donations In Kind has arrived safe and sound and is ready to be installed.

School Garden Project

Balibo House partnered with a local Timorese NGO to establish a school garden project at new  schools being built . School children are taught about food nutrition and production and the garden produces food which is used to feed the children. But the project goes much further than that as the garden is used as a teaching base from which people from surrounding villages are educated about horticulture and food production. A women's co-operative is  also established at the schools which grows , harvests and sells its crops  of Moringa powder (a high protein and vitamin supplement).