The Asia Foundation

Dili, Timor-Leste   |   Non profit

The Asia Foundation feature photo

Project Name
Labarik Aprende Lee (Children Learn to Read)

Location Implemented

Organization Website

Organization Type
Non profit

Children in Timor-Leste are at a significant disadvantage for obtaining basic literacy and numeracy skills; many children spend years in primary schools without learning to read. The Government of Timor-Leste promotes Portuguese and Tetum as the country’s official languages, yet many children struggle to acquire literacy in either language due to resource-deprived educational environments in Timorese schools. Primary school teachers often have limited skills and teaching materials at their disposal and there is a growing demand for the development and distribution of high-quality Tetum-language resources to promote literacy in early childhood.

This 2-year project aims to improve children’s literacy skills in Timor-Leste by developing innovative and relevant reading materials for primary school students, and producing high-quality reading and teaching aids for educators and parents. The program is developing and distributing teaching resources, facilitating teacher training for pre- and primary school teachers, and holding workshops for parents to help foster literacy within the home.

Project Reach
Students involved in the project (or whose teachers/parents were involved in project activities) are demonstrating improved literacy through higher test scores. Teachers involved in the project’s teacher training report that they are better able to create supportive learning environments for students, and that this is having an effect on children’s ability to learn. Mothers and fathers involved in workshops for parents report that they have increased confidence and a sense of responsibility in supporting their children’s education in both the school and home-environment. This is resulting in improved parent-school and parent-child relationships.

Alola Foundation & Institutu Mary MacKillop
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