Loreto Ostico Building Project
Partner | Fundacao Loreto Timor-Leste
Location | Ostico, Timor-Leste
Building a community centre and residence for the Loreto Sisters in the village of Ostico will enable the sisters to take part in the community’s life and make a lasting contribution to its educational, economic and human development.
The Loreto Sisters have faithfully served the people of Timor-Leste since 2006. Having successfully built a pre-school and a community development centre in Gari-Uai, they now plan to assist the neighbouring village of Ostico.
With an estimated population of 1700 people, the village of Ostico will work alongside the Loreto Sisters on a range of initiatives that promote their basic human rights, including the right to education.
Investing in education helps individuals achieve their potential and leads to positive changes within the community and the social fabric of a nation. Improved educational attainment promotes economic growth and employment opportunities, results in healthier families and communities, reduces infant and maternal mortality rates, and leads to empowerment and greater socio-political involvement.
Timor-Leste has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. National lockdowns and movement restrictions within the country have slowed down the supply of materials, resulting in delays to the project construction schedule.
The local builder continues to work with the project manager and engineering consultant to ensure construction is completed by early 2023. With the project near completion, the roof structures are in place, external walls are rendered and work will soon begin on the internal aspects of the building.
The success of this project will allow the Loreto Sisters to make a lasting educational impact in Ostico through the delivery of equitable learning opportunities at the community centre. In keeping with Loreto’s core vision, a particular focus of these programs will be the identification and empowerment of local women with leadership potential.
Construction of the community centre, generously supported by the Noel and Carmel O’Brien Family Foundation, will provide Ostico with a permanent space to conduct quality learning programs. It will also provide the community with a place large enough to hold events and meetings.
Significantly, the community centre will be equipped to act as a base for volunteers to reside when contributing to the growing suite of community development and educational activities.
The main project activity is the construction of a community centre and permanent residence for the Loreto Sisters. Given the complexities of building in such a remote area, in a country with limited infrastructure, this project could take two years to complete.
The community centre will consist of two rooms for local community use, two classrooms, an office, five bedrooms for volunteer and visitor accommodation, while the residence will be able to house up to eight Loreto Sisters.
Mary Ward International Australia thanks the Noel and Carmel O’Brien Family Foundation for their generous support of this project.
In 2006 two Loreto Sisters, Elizabeth Donnan & Pat Hanvey began a new foundation in Zambia. From their home in Lukulu, on the banks of the Zambezi River, they work in grassroots development, primary health care, and education. Most recently, they established the Sancta Maria College of Nursing and Midwifery, promoting health education and economic development in this remote community.