John Bailey (right) with children of Topu Honis Shelter Home
In early 2014, Australians John Bailey and Dr David Lloyd, began the Orphans East Timor (OET) project with the aim of raising money to support orphanages in East Timor, as well an Educational Scholarship Program to enable aspiring students from all over the country entry to the ETICA Agriculture College and Institute of Business in Dili. The Topu Honis Shelter Home in Oecussi which provides care to over 100 children and 20 women will be the project's prime orphanage focus. Both John and David have a long history in philanthropic work in East Timor, particularly with the Familia Hope Orphanage and ETICA.
Pictured here is John and David with Americo, a young man from the Familia Hope Orphanage in Gleno, East Timor, whom they have supported to attend Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW. Americo is in his 3rd year studying for a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Management. (see his story here)
John worked for over twelve years for the Familia Hope Orphanage in Gleno, East Timor. He was responsible for co-ordinating the funding and organisation of building projects, basic living, education and transport needs of the orphanage. The orphanage, thanks to his involvement, is now financially self-sufficient following a generous bequest. After a recent trip to Oecussi and experiencing Topu Honis firsthand, John is eager to help. As its website will tell you… Topu Honis is more than just a loving home, it provides health and nutrition, education and life skills, shelter and safety, college sponsorships, employment opportunities, and cultural preservation. And it needs your financial support!
See David Lloyd's bio under the Management Committee link, and you'll realise how fortunate any project would be with him on board. David has extensive community development experience in Timor and has worked on community based projects to provide "value adding" for coffee in East Timor, as well as curriculum development for the East Timor Coffee Academy (ETICA). He is instigating the Orphans East Timor Scholarship program to ETICA and the Institute of Business in Dili, to enable the multitudes of dis-enfranchised youth to further their education and job opportunities.
WHY EAST TIMOR
East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Its economic performance since gaining independence from Indonesia in 2002 has been fragile. A recent UNICEF report shows that for the 8th year, East Timor has the 3rd highest percentage of chronically malnourished children in the world - with only Afganistan and Yemen being slightly higher. (See full report here)
With high proportions of the population of Timor-Leste living below the poverty line and large households with many children, the direct costs of schooling is significant for families. Timor-Leste has a high illiteracy rate, with 55% of women and 46% of men illiterate. Only 18% of the adult population has secondary education and only 1.4% of them have higher education.