In 2019 Libby Bleakley addressed the January 30 ATLAS meeting to present background information on her request for financial support for the funding of English teachers at Sentru Formasaun ha Jeventude no Comunidade (Timor Learning Centre). Funding was approved.
During Libby’s three years deployed to Timor-Leste with the Australian Federal Police, she and a colleague (Teresa Beck) established strong and lasting friendships with the communities, local Police and government officials. In consultation with the communities, they developed their own personal crime prevention initiative, a Learning Centre for Youth and Community. They leased land and built the Centre which consists of a “Plus Fitness” gym, English language school, women’s sewing centre, office, vegetable gardens, Timorese Manager’s house, and their private residence.
During visits to Timor prior to COVID lockdowns Libby was very pleased to report on improvements initiated by staff and members and found the Centre was being run most efficiently.
The Centre was closed during the lockdown period. The Centre manager, who resides at the Centre, concentrated on growing as much food as possible and expanded the vegetable gardens adding new produce items.
Once the Centre reopened the sewing staff began sewing masks to sell to raise funds for the Centre. English classes recommenced and the teachers and staff made it part of their English curriculum to teach the students hygiene and encouraged the students to wash their hands before class. The sewing staff made masks for each student with extras for them to take home to their families.
ATLAS is pleased to provide financial support to the English language teachers and other activities of the Learning Centre.