During the current visit of the regional team to Timor Leste, the team met with the Patron of the Scout Association and President of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste His Excellency Taur Matan Ruak at his office together with the key leaders of the national scout organization, Uniao Nacional dos Escuteiros de Timor Leste (UNE-TL) from 7th to 10th May 2013, finding ways to strengthen the ongoing partnership being undertaken to keep Scouting in the country in progression.
The President appreciated the support of the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and Scouts Australia, and acknowledged the efforts facilitated to improve the present Scout membership of Timor Leste (TL).
The regional team is comprised of Scouts Australia Chief Commissioner Mr Reg Williams, National Chief Executive and APR Scouting Profile Sub-Committee Chairman Mr Richard Miller and Regional Director Mr Abdullah Rasheed, who are in Dili, capital and largest city of TL.
At the beginning of the visit, the regional team met with the President of the Scout Association Ms Idelta Maria Rodrigues at her office and discussed the actions to be taken to strengthen Scouting in TL and establish a Scout office, which is currently operating in Becora, Dili. Joining the discussion were Chief Commissioner Mr. Mateus Maya de Jesus, International Commissioner Ms. Filomena Barros dos Reis, Chief Executive Mr. Isolino Vas de Alegria S.G Amaral and Adult Resources Commissioner Mr. Angelino Melo da Acosta.
Scouts Australia, with the request of the Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Committee has been partly supporting TL through the Messengers of Peace programme for further development that will empower TL to meet the criteria for WOSM membership. Since 2005, the country had established the National Scout Organization and elected group of officers, though the challenge of further adult training and establishing a national office still unresolved.
Recently, a group of adult leaders underwent specific training and formed a national training team. Among the main discussions tackled were the need for a full-time staff to handle day-to-day office work; need for free hold land for the national Scout training centre; need to complete the annual census and annual reporting. On the possibility of acquiring land for the training centre, the team made an ocular visit to a one hectare of land in Metinaro, accompanied by the Vice-President of the association Mr Carlos, which is about 25 km outside Dili -- considered a suitable land for future Scout training centre.
The regional team joined the Deputy Minister of Education in inaugurating the community project done by Scouts Australia with the help of a number of Australian partners led by the Chairman of the Rover Council of Scouts Australia Ms. Nicole Strachan who have put up the toilet block in a local school also in Dili.
Image 1: © UNE-TL