Timor Leste Service Learning Tour
On 27 June 2016, during the Term 2 holidays, eleven students from Years 10 and 11 landed in Dili, Timor Leste (East Timor). We were there to visit and volunteer at the two Kindergartens of Becora and Comoro, which PLC Sydney supports.
In the mornings we visited the classrooms and taught lessons, which included craft activities, games, and song and dance. There was a definite language barrier in which we knew no Tetum and the children had little-to-no English. But we were able to overcome this through body language, vivid facial expressions and excessive pointing. We returned in the afternoons to conduct maintenance work in the Kindergartens: cleaning, repainting walls and touching up murals.
We were able to develop a close bond with the children in the Kindergartens, despite only staying for a limited amount of time. Although we were barely able to pronounce each other’s names, there was definitely a sense of connection when they recognised our faces in the mornings, or when they hugged us goodbye on the last day. We learnt so much about Timor Leste itself and felt a great sense of respect for its history and roots. We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to do something to support one of our closest neighbours.
All the girls and I would like to thank Ms Cull, Ms Cameron and Mr Sinclair for accompanying and looking out for us on the trip, as well as Ms Edgecombe for helping us design our lessons. Thank you also to Ms Chiba, the Year 10 East Timor Fundraising Committee and the PLC Sydney Foundation for making this trip possible. We strongly recommend this trip to future years, as it was one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of our lives.
To view more photos from the trip, please visit PLC Sydney's facebook page