In 2016, ConocoPhillips, on behalf of the Bayu-Undan Joint Venture, began a program with the Jesuits Mission in Timor-Leste, to provide secondary school scholarships to students from economically disadvantaged families in Kasait area, to access high quality high school education at Colegio Santo Inacio do Loiola.
The objective of the scholarship program is to give equal opportunities to children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who have good academic performance, to access the high quality of education provided by the Jesuits Mission in Timor-Leste. Each scholarship supports the student for six years, the duration of their high school education from year 7 – 12. The funding covers all academic associated costs including tuition fees, uniforms and transport. Currently there are 17 Timorese students enrolled in the program.
Via The scholarship program, Timorese students have the opportunity to attend school and receive a quality education to give them the knowledge and skills to lead healthy, productive lives and actively contribute to their nation's development. In addition, the Jesuits are internationally renowned for their quality education and community focus to bring social change. The Jesuits have been present in Timor-Leste for many years and helped produce great leaders for the country. Therefore, by supporting the scholarship program we help to contribute to development of human resources in the country, especially in the education sector.
The first program started in 2016, with eight students from the local area enrolling in year seven, all of whom progressed through to year nine this year. An enthusiastic student, Santiago Ribeiro, became one of the top 10 high achievers at the school. He said he is very happy to be one of the lucky ones to receive the scholarship because it gives him the chance to gain a quality education to be a future leader of this country.
Based on the success of the first program, ConocoPhillips signed another agreement with the school to fund a further 9 students to commence their studies this year. The new agreement also provides funding for computers, desks etc to support the Ulmera Project; a program designed to tutor year 6 students to prepare them for year 7 entrance examinations. Recently, we were very fortunate to have a visit from all 17 students to our office in Dili. Accompanied by one of the teachers, the group met with Jose Lobato, ConocoPhillips Timor-Leste Country Manager, and expressed their happiness and appreciation for being part of the scholarship program, and commitment to make their best efforts to be the best leaders of the country in the future. We wish these bright young students all the best with their studies in 2018.