Posted by Derarca O’Mahony

The Rotary Club of Hawthorn generously funds scholarships in Baguia up to $2,500 per annum. 


In 2020 this funding provides five previous Junior High School scholarship students, with scholarships to ensure that they can continue their education for the 3 years through to the end of Senior High.

Hawthorn Rotary also funds one Technical Trade Scholarship which is considered a high priority as it enables unemployed young people to gain a skill and future income. 


Rotary Hawthorn Technical Trade Scholarship 2020 

Each One-year Technical Scholarship costs Aust$1,500. 

The fees at the Training College are over $900 as the students are in training from 9am to 5pm for 5 days a week. Fees include lunch and all safety equipment including boots which are provided by the college. 

The scholarship allows for the daily cost of transport to and from the college on the outskirts of Dili. However, it does not cover other living costs and students live with relatives and have to find other means of supplementing income, such as selling phone cards on the street. 


Due to the COVID-19 lock-down in Timor-Leste the Dom Bosco College was forced to close for several months. This has resulted in an interrupted year for students who will now be finishing their course in April next year. 

The 2020 Rotary Hawthorn Technical Scholarship recipient was endorsed by Sr. Antonio dos Ramos (Baguia Sub-district Administrator) and provided to Avelino Menezes to study Building Construction. 

He is from the village of Afaloicai in Baguia. He comes from a family of nine and has four brothers and two sisters. His parents are subsistence farmers with no other income. Avelino attended Senior High School in Dili, but since graduating from High School in 2018, he has been unable to find any work. 


These photos have been provided by Avelino Menezes of him in class. He says:  “Botarde Mana, Hakarak informa deit katak, durante fulan ida ami aprende iha Departamento Eletrisidade no remata ona horseik. Agora ami kontinua fali ba iha Departamento Soldadura.” 

“Good afternoon, I’m providing you with information that during one month we are learning in the Department of Electricity and we finished yesterday. Now we continue again in the Department of Soldering.” 




Rotary Technical Scholarship 2019 

Last year’s recipient of the Rotary Hawthorn Technical Scholarship was Americo de Fatima Pinheiro, and we are delighted to advise that he graduated successfully last year studying Automotive Mechanics at Dom Bosco Training College in Dili. 

The Covid lock-down resulted in most foreigners leaving Timor-Leste and even in September there are still no commercial flights between Australia and Timor-Leste. The country-wide lock-down meant that all forms of public transport were suspended for several months. Like all countries the Timorese economy has been hard-hit. 

Consequently, while Americo has obtained casual work as a mechanic he has not secured a permanent job. However, he is pleased that his broad, practical technical qualifications have led to him obtaining a steady income as he is currently working in building construction at the same site in Dili with another Friends of Baguia scholarship graduate from 2019. 

Under Timorese culture, each family member that has an income, then has an obligation to support their siblings’ education. Americo is the oldest of six children and has 3 brothers and 2 sisters, so as his father is not providing financial support for his children, Americo’s income will be greatly appreciated.  


Senior High School Scholarships 2020 

The following are the five students who Rotary Hawthorn funded to receive Junior High Scholarships at St Joseph’s in Baguia for the three years from 2016 to 2018. 

All five students are now in Year 11 at Senior High Schools as detailed below. In Baguia more than half the students are not be able to attend Senior High. 

The Rotary scholarships have enabled three of the students to study in Dili at High Schools that would have a better standard of education than the Government Senior High in Baguia. These students have relatives living in Dili with whom they can stay. 

Lourenco Alves – attends Baguia Senior High School 

Patricio Guterres – attends Baguia Senior High School 

Rosita Aparicio – attends 10 December Senior High in Comoro, DILI 

Flavanio Mariz – attends Tasi Tolu Senior High, DILI 

Martino Pinto - attends Senior High School in Hera, DILI 

The cost of the scholarships is $200 each, or a total of $1,000 per year. 

For convenience the background biography and information on each High School student from the August 2018 Report follows.

On behalf of the Friends of Baguia committee I wish to thank the Rotary Club of Hawthorn for their continued generosity in supporting the youth of Baguia. 


Derarca O’Mahony 

President, Friends of Baguia 







2018 BACKGROUND on St Joseph’s High School Scholarships – 5 students 

The Year 7 students selected in 2016 for these scholarships have remained the same five students for the last three years and in 2018 they were in Year 9 - their final year at St Joseph’s Junior High School

Photo: Left to right: Students Lourenco Alves, Patricio Guterres and Rosita Aparicio with teacher Leopoldina Guterres (September 2018). 


1. Lourenco Alves is from Alua Kraik. Both his parents are alive but his father went to jail for 14 months under suspicion of colluding with the rebels. Lourenco was chosen for this scholarship shortly after his father was sent to jail, as he has 5 sisters and 3 brothers. None of the girls are attending school, but the other boys are attending the government school in Baguia. Lourenco is now 16 years old and his favourite subject at school is Science. He hopes he can get the opportunity to continue next year into Senior High School in Baguia, as he would like to go on to be a doctor. 

2. Patricio Guterres is from Hae Coni. While both his parents are alive, his mother is partially blind and suffers from poor health and so can’t work. He has 8 brothers and a sister. One brother is at University and two are at the senior high school in Baguia. The two younger brothers are still in primary school and his eldest sister stays home to help run the household. Patricio is 17 years old and his best subject at school is Mathematics. He wants to go to Senior High School in Baguia next year, as he is very keen to become a teacher. 

3. Rosita Aparicio is a girl from the village of Samalari. Her father died a few years ago and her mother has 6 children. The eldest is a labourer making bricks, one is at university and the rest are no longer attending school. Even the youngest boy stopped going to school once the father died. Rosita is 18 years old and enjoys studying English language at school. She hopes she can obtain a scholarship to attend Senior High School in Dili, so that she can then get high enough marks to get into Medicine and become a doctor. 

4. Flaviano Mariz is from Rufaguia. When his father died his oldest brother was forced to quit university in Dili and come back to Baguia to support the family in a subsistence lifestyle. The oldest sister also stopped attending Senior High. The youngest girl attends primary school up the mountain in Rufaguia, while two stay with extended family members in Baguia to attend the Government Junior High, and Flaviano stays with another family. Flavanio  is 19 years old and really enjoys sport! He hopes to have the chance to continue his education at the Senior High in Baguia as he would like to become a teacher when he is older.

5. Martinho Pinto is from Hae Coni. Both his parents are alive, but he comes from a large family with 8 brothers and sisters. He has one brother and sister who stay at home to work the subsistence agriculture that the family depend on. His younger brothers and sisters are still attending school. Martino is 18 years old and his favourite subject at school is maths. He hopes he can go on to study at the Senior High in Baguia as he would like to become a doctor. 

Photo: Students Martino Pinto and Flavanio Mariz