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International Marist Volunteers



Janaíne, a Brazilian volunteer in Baucau

08/07/2019: East Timor

Janaíne Perini, from Brasil Sul-Amazônia, is an international Marist volunteer. She was in East Timor for six months, where she worked as a Portuguese teacher at the Catholic Institute for Teacher Training in Baucau.

East Timor has been independent since 2002 and the Marist mission, led by the Province of Australia, has made good progress on this Southeast Asian island. International Marist Volunteerism is an instrument that helps make a reality of the call of the General Chapter to build a global family.

The Cmi Department of the General Administration, with the help of the Provincial Coordinators of Volunteers, makes possible this type of experience.

Transcribed below is a testimony written by Janaíne a few weeks ago, where she tells us about her experience in East Timor.


I have been here since January and spent two weeks in the capital (Dili) studying the local language, Tetum, since, although Portuguese is one of the two official languages and is part of the curriculum, few people speak it. Afterwards, I spent every day at the ICFP, in Baucau, helping in all the activities of the institution and of the life of the Marist community.

I was in charge of collaborating with the teachers and tutors, helping the students in their activities during the classes and guiding them in carrying out the written works which they had to deliver in Portuguese, such as, for example, their study plans.

I also helped to correct and deliver the classroom exercises, and I even managed to teach some subjects. I constantly helped with the translation and explanation of the words in Portuguese and in the search for synonyms, considering not only the Portuguese of Brazil but also the Portuguese of Portugal, which is the Portuguese that the local teachers master.

In addition to the regular activities as a "teacher", the opportunity arose to set up a MYM group with the students. The group had its first meeting on March 30 and the next programme consisted in becoming familiar with the mysticism and the steps of the MYM.

Perhaps my work as a volunteer in itself is not the best experience I had  personally, but depended above all on contact with other people, other realities and other cultures. East Timor is a great multicultural nation, which carries with it a very painful past and yearns for a better future. Being here is synonymous with sharing; we grow much more when we share - life, table and bread - and I believe that this aspect is fundamental to the experience of being an international Marist volunteer.


Have you ever thought, as Brother, layperson, student, ex-student, of becoming a Marist volunteer? Listen to your inner voice and contact the Department of Cmi (Collaboration for Mission, International) - cmi@fms.it

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