Almost 70% of Timor’s population is young people under twenty-five. In the remote community of Balibo, a town that was heavily damaged by militia violence during Timor-Leste’s fight for independence, this issue is compounded by a high youth unemployment rate that continues to rise.
Due to its remoteness, Balibo also faces poor connectivity and regular power outages. The lack of access to water in the dry season and excess of water during the wet makes accessing urban services even more difficult.
To help address some of these issues, the Balibo Community Learning Centre (CLC) was established in 2004, supported by Balibo House Trust. The centre provides opportunities for local people to gain valuable vocational skills training and services in hospitality, dental hygiene, English, computer literacy, women’s health and more.
How We’re Helping
The team at Balibo CLC specifically requested someone with English, Communication and Marketing skills to help build capacity within the organisation and community.
Palms has prepared and is supporting Anjelica Rankin from Brisbane for a one-year placement from July 2022. Anjelica will continue to build on the solid English training skills that her twin sister Gabby provided during her placement from 2019-2020. Gabby was repatriated in 2020 due to COVID-19 and continued to support Balibo CLC remotely throughout, supported by Anjelica. Anjelica comes with a communications and marketing background as well as qualifications in teaching English as another language.
The role will include:
- Mentoring the CLC English Trainer to provide community English classes to local Balibo and Belola primary school students and develop conversational English skills for the Women’s Centre and remote community groups participating in tourism initiatives.
- Mentoring the Balibo Tourism Working Group [BTWG] to develop and implement a targeted marketing plan to help improve the local economy. The BTWG is overseen by the Balibo CLC and the Balibo Trails Post Implementation Team. Members include local tourism operators and those closely involved in the tourism chain.
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Is the Project Sustainable?
By providing training for local teachers at Balibo CLC and Belolo over the 12 months, this project will enable staff at the Centre to better serve the educational needs of local students. The Centre has identified English language skills as an area of skill development that will help these students meet the demand for emerging tourism opportunities within the Balibo area, supported by new infrastructure and facilities that have enabled more travellers to visit the remote village.
The marketing and communications knowledge will enable experience in monitoring and evaluating strategies and products that engages the community and tourists as well as developing skills in assessing the current market and adopting/adapting according to the shifting trends.
As part of an ongoing engagement between Palms and Balibo CLC, this project is supported by the work of Palms participants who have preceded Anjelica in working alongside the teaching staff, and by fellow Palms participant Michele, who will be working at the Centre in the role of Institutional Development Mentor.
(avoiding bank and card fees delivers more funds to the program)