Meet our wonderful team member based in Timor-Leste, Agostinha or ‘Tina’. We’ve been thankful to have Tina as a passionate member of the Mary MacKillop Today family for 10 years!
“I’ve always had an interest in the importance of education. So, I was very excited to join the team at Mary MacKillop Today in 2013. I started as a Literacy Trainer teaching people how to read and write.
I later became the Parents Project Coordinator. For the next seven years, I helped train parents and carers from Dili, Manufahi, and Ermera. Many were illiterate when they started our program but they are now able to read, write and count numbers. Some can even write their names and sign to withdraw their money from the bank using their details without any help.
These have been some of my proudest moments to see people growing in independence.
In 2022, I became the Programs Manager and I now oversee all our projects in Timor-Leste. At this point, our work with Timorese communities had grown from two programs when I first started to six.
I’ve been able to witness the impact of our work in lots of ways over the years.
Many of the schools that Mary MacKillop Today supports now have their own mini-library filled with books in our language to support teachers’ and students’ learning, especially for reading sessions. The children are so happy because they have fun books to read.
And teachers feel more equipped and confident to follow the National Curriculum after participating in our training program.
As well as receiving books and learning tools, I’ve also seen the impact of providing schools with toilets and rubbish disposal. This is so important for remote communities to improve hygiene and prevent diseases.
I have seen parents change positively and get more involved in their children’s education. Many more parents are now seeing the importance of bringing their children to school.
Our projects have become well-known in Timor-Leste, and our work with remote communities now has strong support from the government.
I have learned so much from Mary MacKillop Today over the last 10 years and my own knowledge of literacy is growing. I love Saint Mary MacKillop and I love the projects that I get to be a part of to carry on her legacy and make a real impact in people’s lives.
I want to thank all of the supporters who are making our work in Timor-Leste possible. Many schools, teachers, parents, and community children have access to educational resources for their learning because of your support”.
Thank you Tina for your incredible dedication to communities in Timor-Leste!