Enabling Access to Life-Changing Education

Since the onset of our mission in Timor-Leste, we have been supporting hundreds of children at three primary schools in the Zumalai region. However, access to education beyond primary level is challenging for children in rural areas who at times need to walk hours to reach the nearest junior high school to continue their education. Carmel Impact knew it had to find a solution to ensure distance didn’t limit educational opportunities for children from outlying villages with no access to post-primary education.

In 2015, with help from our generous donors, Carmel Impact constructed the Beato Tito Brandsma College Boarding House in Zumalai to house up to 25 students. Since 2015, over 70 young people have resided in our boarding house throughout their entire education at our schools. Who says you can’t make a difference? You can!

The Carmelite Boarding House

Since its original construction, our supporters have helped continually improve the Boarding House in Zumalai through multiple projects including the addition of bathrooms, washing facilities, a kitchen, and a dining room. Now, between 22 and 25 students live in the boarding house each year studying right next door at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School, a primary and junior high school covering Year 1 through Year 9.

Dreaming of a Better Future

Our aim is to help the most vulnerable people, and we know you feel the same way. Priority for our accommodation is given to students who are from particularly challenging situations, such as those living in poverty or who have been orphaned. The boarding house provides a nurturing environment for learning and student well-being.

Our students receive all items necessary for their education, including school fees, books, uniforms, shoes, and other supplies. The boarding house program also offers an opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports, learning to use a computer, and singing in the local church choir. These pursuits help build social cohesion among the students.

Learning Independence is Key

All students reside in a dormitory, gaining a sense of community with others living in the house. Together they discover the value of living and working in collaboration with their peers. Carmel Impact takes a holistic approach to learning, teaching students to be independent, responsible, and self-reliant. 

In addition to their studies, students maintain a daily schedule of chores including cleaning, gardening, assisting with cooking, washing dishes, and baking bread. They learn accountability, and how to contribute to family and the community. More importantly, they have time for study each day, so are able to balance schoolwork with their other responsibilities.

Access to education is a critical step towards building a brighter future for all. Through our boarding house, together with our kind supporters, we’ve been able to provide over 70 children the chance to achieve an education. These young people now have the opportunity to escape poverty and change their lives as well as those of their families and communities. Want to make a difference? Help transform more young people’s lives now!

‘I love to study and to play soccer. Physics is my favourite subject, and I hope to be a doctor one day.’

Adriano, Boarding House student in Grade 9

Make a difference in the world! Every action has its impact.

Carmel Impact’s education programs in Timor-Leste contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals of: No poverty; Good health and wellbeing; Quality education; and Gender equality. 

You can make an immediate difference by actively supporting community development projects in poor, rural Timorese communities. All donations over $2.00 made to Carmel Impact are tax deductible.

‘My favourite part of living in the boarding house is playing chess and getting to eat chocolate.’

Elias is in Grade 2 and one of our youngest boarders who loves learning languages and mathematics