Mercy Works has established Early Childhood Learning Centres in remote villages in the Cova Lima District in south west Timor-Leste. In addition to building, equipping and staffing these schools we provide ongoing support for teacher salaries and help supply vitamin supplements for much needed nutrition. At the centres, the children learn important life skills and gain a head start in reading. They also have some exposure to Tetun, the language used in the classrooms at primary school.
So far we have helped establish seven pre-schools schools in Fohorem, Datorua and Fatulik. These are all remote villages only accessible by dirt road. In the wet seasons, rains often cut off access to them completely.
We also provide support for capacity building for teachers and pre-school teachers.
The centres are part of the TaLiHa network. TaLiHa stands for Tau Liman Hamutuk which loosely translates as ‘put your hands together’. This is an entirely local initiative with a network of centres in Dili and regions to the south and west of the capital.
We support the TaLiHa Early Learning Centres with regional workshops that enable teachers from different TaLiHa schools to come together and share their vision and ways of teaching. For the TaLiHa teachers working in isolated villages the opportunity to learn from their peers, gain support and exchange ideas is essential for enriching their skills and for their own well-being.