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East Timor

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About East Timor

East Timor is one of the world's poorest nations. Over 50% of East Timor's 1 million people live on less than US$1 a day (World Bank).

East Timor was a Portugese colony for centuries and was then occupied by Indonesia for 24 years – only gaining their independence in 2002. It is estimated that 250,000 people, one third of the total population, died during the Indonesian occupation. Over 80% of public buildings, including schools, were destroyed in 1999 following the end of Indonesia's occupation.

Despite their grinding poverty, East Timorese people regard education as one of their greatest priorities. Currently only 50% of children attend primary school and 25% attend secondary school. Rebuilding the nation's education infrastructure is of the utmost importance for East Timor and its children.

"If you are planning for a year, sow rice.
If you are planning for a decade, plant trees.
If you are planning for a lifetime, educate a child"
- Kuan Tze

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