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Ossoluga Seisal



Macalaco, East Timor

Macalaco is a small village in stunning mountains, a 4 hour drive from the East Timor capital, Dili. Over 130 students and teachers walk up to 4 hours each day to Macalaco school from nearby peaks and valleys. Due to space constraints, the school's six classes had to operate in two shifts: three classes in the morning and three classes in the afternoon. However, many children weren't able to attend afternoon classes safely because the sun sets at around 6.30 in East Timor. An extra  3 classroom building was needed to enable all children to attend classes in one shift with time to walk home safely to adjacent peaks before dark.

A semi-permanent building with 3 classrooms and a teacher's room was constructed during 2011 at the cost of $US25,000.  This entire construction cost was paid for by an Australian family. A member of that family, together with other people involved with Spend it Well, attended an extraordinary opening ceremony in October at which the school was officially opened by Kirsty Sword Gusmao. The villagers were overwhelmed with the gift of a school given to them by one family and celebrated its opening in fantastic style. The speeches and formalities were followed by a local feast and then the tables were pushed back for the dancing, with locals partnered with the foreigners. The goodwill and happiness was overflowing and the celebrations were clearly nowhere close to finishing when the foreign guests finally left. 

Spend it Well is continuing to work with the village to help with things such as scholarships, village gardens and a child feeding program.

Before photos
School site   Existing school building   Boys in Macalaco
Students outside   Students inside existing classroom   Students outside on ground
After photos
New school building   New school building   Inside new classroom
Students attend the Opening   Kirsty Sword Gusmao officially opens school   Opening feast and celebrations
Students celebrate Opening   Students in uniform   Children outside at Opening

Learn more about the Macalaco project. See latest project photos and updates throughout the project





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