There is an educational institution in Dili called Instituto de Ciências Religiosas (ICR), and it is a formation centre for lay people and teachers for Catholic religious education which has been working successfully in Timor-Leste for 25 years. It has 500 students, half of whom are from rural areas and board at the Institute, going home only in the holidays. Some of its past students are currently working in various sectors such as in the schools, as teachers of Catholic religious education, and in the parishes, as catechists, while others are involved in private sectors. The Government is keen to use the services of these well-trained men and women, and many of the students have no difficulty in getting jobs in the State schools.
One of the biggest challenges has been 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. The problem hugely affected the activities of the campus, so much so that they had to buy the very expensive water that was delivered by tanker nearly every week. To overcome this issue, the Institute decided to drill for a ground water supply to be piped to the campus dormitories and provide much needed water for the ablutions area.
ATLAS was able to assist with this important project, and local contractors have drilled deep and found spring water as a result of finance supplied by ATLAS. The project is an ongoing one, with further pumps to be installed to ensure that the water becomes available to the whole site. Being built against a mountain, the terrain is very steep, adding further challenges to the task of getting potable water to the student
All in all, a great success, but a work in progress.