Creating Leaders: Providing education and support to underprivileged children in Timor-Leste
Creating Leaders is an Order of Malta scholarship program in Timor-Leste. The Scholarships support underprivileged children to participate in formal continuing education.
Creating Leaders aims to assist children in the program, develop to their full potential and prepare them for taking a fundamental role in the leadership of their country, so that they become positive agents of change and progress.
Like many developing countries, Timor-Leste has high levels of poverty and low national human development. Education is an important vehicle to employment, independence, social and political empowerment and consequently, national development. However, a cycle of poverty often creates barriers to the children’s participation in education. The Creating Leaders scholarship provides not only the payment of school fees, but other assistance and support to help overcome these barriers.
An example of a participation barrier can be transport to school. Walking kilometres to school, barefoot and in 35 degree heat can impact the children’s performance and attendance. The scholarship provides the children with their uniforms (including shoes) and transportation to and from school to remove this barrier.
Adequate food is another major cause for poor scholar performance. Children can be faced with a choice between finding work to pay for food or attending school. The scholarship therefore also covers the costs of school meals, where those costs are not met by the State.
The guiding principles of the scholarship are:
- The children eligible to scholarship will come from disadvantaged situations.
- Children who are nominated must demonstrate academic promise and enthusiasm for their studies
- The children awarded a scholarship are taught that it comes with a responsibility of “service to those they can help”, according to the fundamental ethos of the Order of Malta.
- The children will be encouraged to enhance the sense of belonging to the family of the Order of Malta, through regular interaction with the members of the Order and other children who have been awarded Scholarships.
- The children will be provided, through the organization of leisure time and extra-curricular activities, with opportunities for developing and caring the value of human brotherhood.
- The children will be assisted and supported in the process of strengthen their self-esteem and confidence, in the awareness of the diverse talents they have been endowed by God.
Currently there are 11 children in the Creating Leaders Scholarship program.
We have 9 children awaiting Creating Leaders Scholarships; however we do not currently have funding for these children.
Each child’s scholarship costs $70 a month
If you would like to sponsor a Creating Leaders Scholarship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How Timorese Childre experience disadvantage
24% – School absenteeism in children aging between 6 and 14 (2013)
54% – Children who have regularly started primary school (2011)
1167 – Children institutionalised in orphanages (2012)
33% – Children who started grade one and completed primary education (2010)
37.7% – Children under five who were underweight (2013)
4000+ children were looking for working opportunities (2010)
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