When ChildFund first visited Baruana School in Timor Leste, the teacher showed how they ‘could see the heavens through the holes in the roof.’ The children were exposed to wind and rain through the roof and the flimsy walls, and frequently had to be sent home when the floor flooded.
Every time the community met they would discuss the issue of the school and wonder how they could make it better. ChildFund New Zealand provided support to the community so they could improve the school building. New walls and a roof were constructed, making the buildings strong and waterproof. The community works hard to maintain the school and they are very happy. One of the teachers said, ‘We were suffering – now our problem is solved.’
ChildFund New Zealand funded a school library at Baruana with books in the local languages. Children are now learning about geography and have enjoyed finding out information about other countries. However, it is the books about their own history and culture that interests them most. ChildFund has worked with the local community to ensure that parents understand the opportunities that going to school can provide for their children, and the children also know that they need an education to form a bright future for their country.