Project: Youth Economic Empowerment Program (YEEP)
Bree Mann - Plan Partnership Manager
This year marks Oaktree's final year in partnership with PLAN Timor-Leste through the Youth Economic Empowerment Project, with our funding ending at the end of December 2015.
We have recognised some program wide challenges which are leading to a low rate of transition from training to employment. However, participants have demonstrated the ability to create their own opportunities despite limited employment options in both Dili and their home district, Aileu. A number of young people have created self-employment opportunities by starting their own microenterprises. In particular several graduates of the Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (RWASH) training started their own sanitation business in 2014 which has expanded over the past year, setting a positive example for others.
This year has also seen a growth in student confidence, communication and leadership within the community. As a result, local leaders now see the life skills training offered by PLAN (as part of the Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development project) as an important opportunity for youth to participate in community life. This is an important for building youth capacity across multiple aspects - social, political, economic and civic.
Feedback from two reviews have led to changes in project design to better meet the needs identified by young people seeking employment. Excitingly, the project will continue into its fourth and fifth year without Oaktree's financial support, giving the project time to reach its full potential.
Project: High Schools Transformation Project (HSTP)
Kaisha Crupi - Ba-Futuru Partnership Manager
The partnership with Ba Futuru in the High Schools Transformation Project (HSTP) is strong and the project is progressing steadily in its final year.
The teacher training is progressing well with teachers from both focus schools participating in sessions run by the Disabled People’s Organisation in Timor-Leste to learn about how they can better cater to the needs of all students. Teachers also took a trip to the Dili International School with the Ba Futuru staff to see how classroom layout and peaceful discipline can change the feel and learning outcomes in a classroom. Teacher training sessions 5-8 in the project curriculum were completed in 2015, focusing creating a safe and respectful learning environment. Ba Futuru found that the curriculum workshops for both schools went very well.
This year the students involved in the student clubs put on another round of brilliant performance and creative expression through the annual student showcase in both schools. These showcases are also proving a great hit with the local school communities in Dili and Atauro Island.
The School Management Councils (SMCs), made up of student council representatives, teachers, parents and school directors, have taken a larger role in managing both schools and are currently working on the sustainability of current project activities. 99 Atauro School saw the construction of their new IT lab, and with a donation of 25 laptops from the Rotary Club of Dili and free internet from Timor Telecom, have seen increased use by students in class. Additionally, the governance training focusing on conflict resolution, leadership and decision making has also been completed.
At Nicolau Lobato, a library is almost completed, which will allow students to access many more resources for additional study.