The Canossa Institute in Dili is one of the most important partners in education and training for the Timor Foundation. It is currently an education institution offering a Bachelor degree in office management and computer technology. It is it's commitment to assist the nation providing quality professionals who are capable to contribute towards the social-economic development of the nation and to serve the public interest.
Summary of main findings: “When this Sister speaks, even rival bands would listen”
We heard this sentence often when we were in Dili and it relates to a woman from the congregation with remarkable characteristics: today’s President of the Canossa Foundation and the Head of the Canossa School in Dili, Sister Guilhermina Marcal.
In 2006, she was a tireless ambassador for peace between rival gangs and has ensured that the congregation’s Sisters helped many thousands of internally displaced people by setting up a refugee camp in Dili. They organized food and morally supported the affected populations. Sister Guilhermina also managed to settle conflicts between rival gangs.
She is a woman who is never afraid of a challenge and who is tirelessly committed to the people and the children of her country. We were able to spend an unforgettable afternoon with her, when we became fully convinced by the values of this community, values which have been implemented and prosper daily in the schools.
Sister Guilhermina wishes to benefit from the support for the education of other schools and clinics. She requires financial support, the coaching and education of the teaching workforce. Such training often takes place in foreign countries, so that international standards can be maintained.
When the parents can afford it, they are charged 15 USD per month per student. Many of the families can however not afford this investment and therefore the congregation tries to raise their own funds in order to sponsor as many students as possible, especially young girls. They demonstrated us, that through discipline and efficient learning programs, it is possible to establish successful education processes for and with the students.
This teaching concept is one of the most successful organizations of Timor-Leste and, based on the analysis of the delegation, would therefore deserve to be supported.
It is a great honor for the Timor-Foundation to welcome Sister Guilhermina as a Board Member of the Timor-Foundation. In the view of her vast experience, she will be a key person for the successful implementation and sustainability of projects in Timor-Leste.