Wood Working Skills and Business Development

Wood_Working_Skills_and_Business_DevelopmentThe Society wishes to permanently establish in one or more regional centres a job creation and skills development scheme built around wood working crafts and other trades. The intention is to form partnerships with local trade schools as a way of providing practical work experience. The process for establishing the project involves

  • Identification of a regional area with access to a trade’s school to provide on the job training as part of or subsequent to the training course.
  • Diversification of the initial start-up project from games and religious artefacts to other more complicated wood products such as cabinetry, coffins and furniture that will require additional skills such as wood finishing and painting.
  • Offer external training to selected participant for the purposes of growing skills and providing “train the trainer” education.
  • To create relationships between these projects and overseas manufacturers and distributors as a source of product
  • Develop sales, business and administration skills for the project to be self-sustaining.
  • Set up contracts for supply of material and services from the local community
  • Finally commercialise the operation and use the funds that are returned from doing so to seed the next skills development project

The intention is to reuse seed capital over and over to initiate new business activity and provide communities with a source of trade and employment.

Water Reticulation Project

Water_Reticulation_ProjectInstituto de Ciências Religiosas (ICR), São Tomas de Aquino Dili – Institute of Religious Studies is a formation centre for lay people and teachers for Catholic religious education in Timor Leste. The institute has already been existing for 25 years, and some of its alumni (608 teachers) are currently working in various sectors such as in the schools, as teachers of the Catholic religious education, and in the parishes, as catechists, while others are involved in private sectors.

One of the biggest challenges is the lack of water supply for the needs of the campus and the dormitories. There was a pipe line previously in use, but it is no longer functioning. This problem hugely affects the activities of the campus. Moreover, they need to buy very expensive water that is delivered by tanker nearly every week. To overcome this issue, indeed a very fundamental matter for the people’s well-being at ICR campus and at the dormitories, the institute is planning to drill for a ground water supply that will be piped to the campus dormitories.

Maubara Orphanage

maubara-orphanage-1Another Project ATLAS is undertaking is the support of Saint Therese’s orphanage at Maubara.

Children are among the most vulnerable members in a society where 41% of the population live below the poverty line of US$0.88 cents per capita per day. 58% of the children suffer chronic malnutrition; 38% suffer from anemia, malaria, diarrhea and other diseases and 20% have no access to primary education. Orphaned children are among the most destitute – often without a home and relatives who can care for them. Thankfully, orphanages like St Therese’s are there to provide loving care for these little ones.

At present, St Therese’s provides a home for 46 children, ranging in age from 6 to 16. They come from 12 of the 13 Timorese districts and arrive through the concern of priests and sisters. Thirty-five children are presently residing at Maubara, while the remainder are with the Sisters in Dili or elsewhere mainly to attend secondary schools. Funds are needed to help the Sisters provide what is necessary for the children’s livelihood i.e. nutrition, clothing, shelter, education, healthcare and transport. The Sisters assure us that they rely on our financial support to provide these essentials. The average cost of caring for a child is US$50 per month.

ATLAS has undertaken to provide regular monthly payments to the orphanage and is also ready to assist with projects to maintain, expand and improve facilities. Members of the Society have already made a substantial contribution to the building of the kindergarten attached to the orphanage and continue to provide funds for maintenance e.g. painting and repairs.

Would you care to join us in helping these children? Any support would be welcome. Please contact us.