Maria’s Story


Hi. I’m a girl. My complete name is Maria Lourdes Gusmao Goncalves. I was born at Atabae on the 22nd of September in 1985. Now I’m 22 years old. My hobbies are reading, laughing and watching the TV and listening to music especially pop music and disco dancing.

I have a big family, six brothers and two sisters. My father is a good man. He is working in an administration office of the Government and my mother is very good lady especially for all her children. She is a teacher.

I live with my grandfather. He is a teacher and my grandmother is a housewife. I stayed with them since I was a baby until now. I love them and all my family very much.

I started at school in 1992 at Elementary School and finished it in 1998. I continued to junior high school for 1 year, but stopped it because the situation of my country was very bad, so we were refugees in West Timor (Atambua) for several months. I didn’t want to continue my study in Atambua until I went back to my country.

I finished my junior high school in 2002 and continued to Senior high school in Dili for 3 years. I graduated from one of the Catholic schools in Dili. I registered myself at University but I studied for just 6 months and stopped, because it’s very expensive to pay. So I was looking for a course and I did a course at World Vision for 6 months. I got many skills and experience in administration and accounting.

While I’m waiting to receive my certificate my Father told to me that in Atabae there was a job vacancy for position Health Manager and that work is a part of Health. So I doubted I would get it but because of the support of my Father I applied for it, and got the position. I was not sure I would be accepted for the job but my Father told me that you must have responsibility, and try a new thing.

So I start to work – slowly, but it’s still difficult to me. I try very hard to work, to learn, to study from Mother Margaret and another people, at another place like Bairo Pite Clinic. So now I have confidence to work and I enjoy it. But I must have more study.

Since the Australian organisations like Palms, FPET and Connect East Timor gave their support and help to us so that we can work with them, we are very grateful to them.

Their support is very kind, like the Sponsor Father with family who give their support to Maria Regina and her family, and especially to Loreto College’s who gave the help for the babies who need help by now.

I am very happy work with them and thank you very much to PALMS Australia/FPET, Connect East Timor and Loreto College. We always pray for you all the time.

Thank you