Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty gripping this country. Carmel Impact’s Community Scholarship Program prepares young Timorese with the knowledge, skills, and tools to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their nation.

We are working hard to provide students in Timor-Leste with access to basic and higher education, a fundamental right for all young people in the world.

Our program supports marginalised and vulnerable children and young adults who are poor, orphaned, or have special needs.

You can be a part of the solution. Together we can make a greater impact than we can alone.

Empowering Youth to Make a Living

Education creates transformational changes in people’s lives. Carmel Impact is committed to helping disadvantaged young people in Timor. Through our Community Scholarship Program, we have assisted over sixty young people gain access to a quality education.

We currently support 27 students including 9 students in high school, 2 in vocational programs, and 16 students at the tertiary level (technical colleges and universities). In a country where half of the population survives on less than $3.00 a day, and over a quarter of youth in urban areas are unemployed, it is challenging to make a living wage  which can prevent them from falling into poverty.

You Can Help Transform Lives

Our scholarships help young people transform their lives by developing the skills required for meaningful employment and higher education opportunities. You can help them overcome poverty and cultivate the personal development of each student. This leads to improved health outcomes and an increase in opportunities to earn an income.

In a nation of 1.3 million people, few have a post-secondary education. Many who do attempt to study at secondary schools often drop out due to a lack of funds or challenging family circumstances. Less than 15% of the youth population has completed secondary school. Opportunities to study higher education in Timor are rare, and without it, many children remain trapped in a life of poverty and hardship.

Promoting Gender Equality in Timor-Leste

Carmel Impact Advancing Girls’ and Women’s Education in Timor-Leste (AGWET) Project provides financial assistance to young women in various stages of their studies. There are currently eleven participants in our scholarship program –   two at high school, two undertaking vocational training and seven in university degree programs. 

Our project aims to support UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Gender Equality, a fundamental human right. 

We know that educating girls contributes to building a prosperous and sustainable society for all. This is even more critical in today’s world where the COVID pandemic has magnified existing inequalities for women across all sectors from health and education to economic and social well-being.  

Zelia is a current scholarship recipient. In her application letter she wrote, “…in our culture, girls aren’t sent to school to get a higher education like boys. My mother and father have decided that after graduating from high school, I can’t continue to university. However, I disagree with their decision. I’m a girl, I can do it too.”

With an increased level of education, these young women in our program will have the knowledge, skills, and tools to secure a livelihood that will see them reach their potential. Ultimately, we hope all of our beneficiaries will be able to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

The Greatest Obstacle to Development is Education

Without an educated youth population, Timor will not be able to attract the foreign investment it needs to survive and flourish. Like the World Bank, we believe one of the greatest development challenges for Timor-Leste is in educating its young people. You can help make this happen!

Timor-Leste is an extremely young country. The median age of its citizens is just 17 years of age. Over 60% of the nation is under the age of 25! Unfortunately, due to a lack of opportunities, it’s not uncommon to see young people sitting idly along the streets with nothing to do.

Many now see leaving the country as the only option to earn an income and support their families. It shouldn’t have to be this way!

Give young people a chance and watch them flourish!

We believe education equals freedom. It empowers young people to determine their own destiny. By contributing to Carmel Impact’s Community Scholarship Program, our generous donors have witnessed first-hand the impact their donations are making. Many of our scholarship students have flourished in their courses and been successful in finding meaningful employment. 

This has resulted in more and more people being able to support their families and give back to their communities. Some of our graduates have returned home to teach in our schools or volunteer in local community-building activities. Education is truly the key to economic development and improved well-being.

Together, let’s give those who need it most the chance for a better life.

‘I’m so grateful I can study and have all these experiences … I didn’t know what I would do next, but now I’m working hard for my future and for my country’s future.’

Elisa, Community Scholarship student studying Bachelor of Travel & Tourism Management

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.

By investing in the youth of today, we’re putting our best foot forward towards a sustainable future.

‘Please tell Carmel Impact in Australia that even though it’s challenging, I’m studying hard, and I enjoy it. Thank you for supporting me.’

Reinha, Community Scholarship student studying Bachelor of Public Health