What is the best way to learn about the United Nations and the life of an international aid worker? As ten teenagers recently discovered, by downing the textbooks and immersing themselves in a developing country.
Destination Dreaming led the annual United Nations Youth Australia Pacific Project for the fourth consecutive year in July, facilitating a program for 10 teenagers selected from schools across Australia. The youth delegates travelled to Timor Leste to learn about our close neighbour and see development in action.
The program was designed to provide the young people with a deep insight into community-driven development, which included:
- Morning tea with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and observing the national elections;
- Meeting with AusAid and the Alola Foundation established by Australian woman Kirsty Sword Gusmao;
- Living at the Encouragement House, a highland boarding house for rural Timorese students;
- Hearing from members of the UN Police about working in East Timor; and
- Funding an art project for students in remote Timor.
Reflecting on the Project, Jessica said “this has been truly invaluable. The relationships I’ve established in communities that accepted and welcomed us wholeheartedly have been life-changing and enabled me to believe in myself and my dreams. I have learned that community is the most attainable and important aspect of life. Whilst national development is at times an overwhelming concept, the starting block will always be building relationships.”
Jordan said the Project “allowed me to see development on a national scale. It changed me as a person…it provided a body of knowledge and experiences that I can draw on for the rest of my life, and connected me with a network of like-minded people who have become life-long friends.”
The delegation formed the third consecutive Pacific Project to Timor Leste, continuing the relationship United Nations Youth Australia and Destination Dreaming have built with the Encouragement House and Timorese community. Click here to see some photos from the Pacific Project.
We also met some fantastic community organisations that would love to form a partnership with an Australian community, so please send us an email or call (03) 5255 5830 to hear about opportunities for your school or organisation.