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Children in Timor-Leste Connect with Australia

This week Raul, Kelly and I visited Memo school in Bobonaro district, where I have been working with Year Six students to develop their communication skills as part of ChildFund Connect.

When we arrived, the students raced across the playground to give us a warm welcome. They’re always happy to see me because they know they will get to do some filming.

This day we focused on finishing their storyboards for their films, making sure they had a beginning, middle and end. They had some great film ideas, including an instructional video on how to make a Piao – a traditionally spinning top.

The children are really motivated by sharing their videos with their peers overseas. They feel proud to be able to show them what their life is like and also lucky to have this program in their school.

When I visit other districts and schools involved with ChildFund Timor-Leste, I get a lot of requests to extend ChildFund Connect. Teachers think the activities are interesting and beneficial for students. I can also see the benefits for the students’ future because they are learning new skills and developing their confidence in communicating their ideas.

If a program like this was around when I was growing up in Los Palos, I would be really happy and proud to learn new skills and capture the reality of my life at that time. Like some of the students I work with now, I might want to use the new skills to become a journalist.

We did some interviewing exercises on our second day of activities at the school. We asked the children to act as journalists investigating a case of a missing buffalo in their community. It was great to see their imaginations fly as they interviewed pretend community members and local authorities to unravel the mystery. Their class teacher, Marta Olivia, also got involved and encouraged the students to come up with interesting questions and answers.

On our last day, I interviewed Marta Olivia and also a student to get their thoughts on the activities. See what they had to say in our video below!


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