Student Scholarship Program


Jul 30

Project description:
Providing scholarships for students from Atauro to study at either  tertiary or vocational colleges. Our first student started in 2011 and our first graduate was in 2016. Up to 2021 we have had 11 students graduate and we currently support 7 students in their studies.

Project Need: 
Very few families on Atauro Island have the financial resources to send their children to the mainland for further education. Most are subsistence farmers/fishermen and there is a limited cash economy. It is unlikely that young people staying on the island will be able to obtain paid employment. Education is vital to the development of Atauro Island and for Timor Leste as a nation. By providing an opportunity for some of the brighter, hard-working students to pursue higher education we can have an impact on individuals, families and the wider community.

Project description, cost and management:
Marcelo Belo Soares is our liaison officer on Atauro who works with the senior High School teachers to identify potential candidates and to arrange a rigorous selection process including interviews, parent meetings and the signing of an agreement. Indigo Atauro Friendship provides some financial support for the work done on our behalf by Marcelo. He will liaise with the Alola Foundation to provide the best possible support for the students while they are in Dili.
The move to Dili away from family and friends is often a difficult one. Some of our students are mature age and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to combine study, work and family care. Others have had serious health issues that have prevented them from completing their studies. We currently have 4 students on leave, 3 of whom have expressed a strong desire to return and complete their course.
The resilience of all of these young people is to be admired.
We have elected to award scholarships to one male and one female student each year. These students will be assisted to select their courses at accredited institutions, then financially supported to attend that institution. Funds will cover tuition fees, books and other stationery, travel costs and living expenses of $80 US per month. For most students the financial support to complete their education will continue for three to five years. The students will be required to show evidence that they are attending and passing their courses.

Project costs:
Scholarship for one year (Between $2000AUD and $3500AUD depending on course)

Indigo representative Marcelo Soares provides an introduction to all candidates and their parents before the interviews in 2020/2021

Marcelo briefs the 2 successful candidates and their parents about the scholarship program requirements before they go to the Alola Foundation in Dili.

Graduate  Indigo /Atauro Friendship Scholarship Students

2016      Eva Saldhla, Nursing, Cristal Institute, sponsored by Beechworth Surgery

                Alirio Soares, Community Health, UNPAZ (Peace University), sponsored by Beechworth Uniting Church

                Barnabe de Araujo Soares, Nursing, Cristal Institute, general sponsorship

2017       Anani Weles, UNTL, Information technology, sponsored by Indigo Shire/ Porter family

                Leopoldina dos Santos, Tourism &Hospitality, DIT, sponsored by Skirmer family & CSU Ecotourism

2018       Marcelina de Araujo, Economic Management, UNPAZ, sponsored by Indigo Shire

                Gedeo Soares, Engineering, DIT, sponsored by Turnbull family

2019       Charles Xavier, Information Technology, Institute of Business, sponsored by Hosking/Taylor family

                Obed de Araujo, Nursing, Institute of Health Science, sponsored by Indigo Shire

2020       Herminia de Costa Soares, Hospitality Cert. 2, Tibar Vocational college, sponsored by Porter family

2021       Germano de Araujo, Geology, UNTL, sponsored by Beechworth Uniting Church

We congratulate all of our students.We wish our graduates in particular good luck in finding employment in the area of their choosing. Often students have taken on voluntary positions in an effort to gain experience and be in a position to fill paid employment when available. In this way they are making a very special contribution to the Atauro community and other communities around Timor Leste.

Current students:

UNTL refers to the National University of Timor Leste, DIT is The Dili Institute

Ratna De Araujo - Nursing at Cristal Institute

Josefino De Costa Gusmao - Civil Engineering at UNTL

Crizanio Freitas Soares - Animal Health at UNTL

Juvinal Soares - Medicine at UNTL

Anabela Cura de Araujo - Accounting at UNTL

Eva de Araujo Lopes - Laboratory Science at UNTL 

Martinho Soares - Agriculture at UNTL

Rosalita da Costa Soares - Tourism & Hospitality, Deli Institute

Domingos P de Araujo Soares - Science Education, Catholic University

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