The Action for Change Foundation was a highlight for many of the group. Started by a local Timorese man the centre aims to provide an alternate non-formal education, specifically in the areas of languages of languages and IT, reinforced by industry-based internships. We all broke off into groups to assist with basic English conversational skills – well everyone except Tori and I, as we had to go and buy tickets for the ferry the next day. The students were enthusiastic and very keen to improve their English skills.
Finishing our formal OGC meetings with Ba Futuru seemed fitting. We were visiting on the same day as a famous Japanese soccer star and so saw Ba Futuru at its best, children and staff performing traditional dances and songs. Again we were struck by the hospitality of the Timorese people. The dedication and professionalism of the staff was impressive and speaking to facilitators who directly benefit from Oaktree funding really opened our eyes to the tangible differences made through the campaigns so many of us work so hard for.
We capped off our time in Dili with dinner at a local malai restaurant/ bar – it was a great night and we all had a lot of fun with Carrie proving her “Chief Fun Officer” title, but I couldn’t help but notice again the segregation between malai and Timorese people.