Timor-Leste lies just 400kms north of Darwin and, having gained independence in 2002 after 25 years of Indonesian occupation, is slowly recovering from the trauma of those years. Timor-Leste is one of the poorest countries in the world. For this reason, in seeking to respond to the Gospel by ‘going where the need is greatest’, the Loreto Sisters established a foundation in 2006. Half of the population of Timor-Leste is under 17 years of age, so the need for education is significant.
The Loreto Sisters live and work in two communities – Sisters Margaret Mary Flynn and Selvi Adaikalam in the larger centre of Baucau, and Sister Ai Thien Nguyen in the village of Gari-uai.
Sister Ai Thien is Director of ‘Centro Loreto,’ a pre-school and community centre that supports and encourages the development of local teachers who provide quality education for young children.
In Baucau, both Sisters Margaret Mary and Selvi live and work with young Timorese women interested in exploring the life of the Loreto community. These young women engage in formal learning and spend time in ministry.
Feature Image: Centro Loreto Director, Loreto Sister Ai Thien with students from the pre-primary school.