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The volunteer co-workers in east Timor live Champagnat’s dream



Project Open Hands

21/09/2005: East Timor

This project has already become a reality. A group of six Brazilians from the Province of Brasil Centro-Norte (five laypeople and five brothers) are in East Timor to help in the training of teachers. They come from different cities and have experience in education, teamwork and social projects. They will help in the study of the Portuguese language given that East Timor is a member of the CPLP (Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa – Community of the Countries of the Portuguese Language) and they will share in other experiences in the area of education.
The first experience of the Brazilian volunteers has been to be plunged into the culture and the customs of the Timorese people who attract people and impress them by their simplicity and hospitality (the Timorese have a large beautiful smile). This smile responds to a political history that finally ended by the recognition of the independence of the country by the United Nations in 2002, after many cruel years of conflict. East Timor is presently working on its political, social and cultural reconstruction.
The Brazilians arrived on the 11th July 2005 and joined a Marist team composed of Australians, one New Zealander and some Timorese. These people have assured a Marist presence for five years in the most recent independent country of the world and they are responding to one of Saint Marcellin’s commitments: “To form good Christians and virtuous citizens”. The project Open Hands – Voluntary Co-workers in East Timor is a project initially anticipated to have a duration of one or two years and its main objective is the Marist educational mission centred on ethics, values and transcendence.

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