The first class of students at Loyola College Kasait in Timor Leste are about to graduate. Jesuit Mission Australia has supported the school from its inception, accompanying the students on their learning journey over the past six years.
‘We are here thanks to the generosity of you, our Australian companions’, says Fr Roberto Boholst SJ, the principal of Loyola College Kasait. ‘It is you who made it possible to construct this school and provide this quality education to the Timorese. We try to be faithful to this dream, opening doors for every child.’
Over the next two editions we’ll share the stories of some of the graduating students. Below is a reflection from Ivo.
Ivo: ‘My time at Loyola has made me feel closer to the world.’
When I was in primary school, all the students were my friends from my village in the Liquica District. At Loyola, the children come from different places and districts; it’s much more colourful.
The primary school was public, and sometimes the teachers didn’t come to school, and often they just asked us to write the text on paper, so we were just memorising. I think Loyola College is one of the best schools. I love the opportunities it gives us.
Studying here tests my skills, it teaches me to understand – what I am trying to say is critical thinking, not just memorising. We’re taught how to learn and how to develop our capacity to help other people. I’m a more responsible and honest person now.
I live in Dili close to the market. We catch a school truck. I wake at 5.30am and get to school ready to start by 8am. I study 13 subjects, and I really enjoy the natural sciences – Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Biology and Chemistry.
But at Loyola, it is not just about the subjects; we’re learning more about life. We’re taught to reflect on what we are doing. This reflection, it has made me a better person. I have also learnt a lot about leadership, through being Chair of the Student Council.
I love reading books, especially about leadership. I also like choir music, religious instrumental music and the Nuremberg Orchestra. My time at Loyola has made me feel closer to the world. I want to study about international relationships and international business at university. I am applying for a scholarship at Sophia University, the Jesuit University in Tokyo, Japan. They teach in English.
Where I end up depends on God’s plan. I think I need to see the world first and then come back and help develop my country through experiences I have got from the other countries. I hope I could develop my country, especially about the education part. I wish I could be a member of the government so I could help to develop my country.