with Dianne Hanna
From March 2016 – November 2018, accountant, Dianne Hanna, provided on the job mentoring/capacity building and institutional strengthening in financial management for the Diocese of Maliana, Timor-Leste. This work involved her in representing the Diocese across pastoral works; education; youth services; community development and other services.
She was asked to return in 2019 to build a similar capacity in the Holy Cross Parish of Maliana. She began this role in July 2019. Despite being recently repatriated due to COVID-19 she has responded to a request to provide remote mentoring and subsequently has provided teachers with ongoing technical assistance to create on-line lessons.
Since returning home, I have been asked by the Director of the Maliana Catholic Education Foundation to assist the Timorese teachers with online teaching resources. I quickly came to appreciate the obstacles they faced preparing for online teaching with limited resources. Intermittent and costly internet also limits capacity of students to access online resources. Local English teacher, Helena Mafalda, explains below:
I am an English teacher of year 11 and year 12 students of Colegio Infante de Sagres, Maliana. As the committed teachers, we tried our best to fulfil the students’ need during the lock down time through online class. However, it’s very hard as not all of the students have the media such [as] androids or laptops and some are even living in the poor internet connection area.
The second difficulty is not all of the teachers are mastering in online class teaching method… we also need time to learn. But, luckily, we had done the first period exam on time, even [though] the students’ participation were only around 50%.
To be honest, I feel grateful because with this situation as the teacher I am also learning something new, which is teaching online through Google classroom, YouTube and WhatsApp. I learn how to prepare the presentation on power point and then convert it to the video and then upload it to YouTube, which is something new for us.
Some of the students who have the good internet connection are very happy with this, but for some who don’t have it are very sad. For this week lesson, the participation even falling.
Perhaps of great help for my isolation and consolation for having left people I consider family has been my ability to stay connected with these teachers. Together we navigate technological opportunities to continue to connect with their students, which is rewarding beyond words and I pray that when I return we can continue to develop the work we have been doing together. Until then I stay in contact with those that I can and we offer prayers of support for each other.
While Dianne is home, Palms will continue to support her personally, professionally and financially as required. Your donation will assist and help us return her to the field when the time comes. Find out why they want her to return and make your donation here.
Dianne’s first assignment underpinned some of the capacity the diocese now has to manage a crisis. The priest she assisted on her first assignment has become an important pivot. Read on!