Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Women organizations continue to provide scholarship to girls from vulnerable families to access formal education particularly to attend university.

Women organizations continue to provide scholarship to girls from vulnerable families to access formal education particularly to attend university.

Program Manager of the Asia Pacific Support Collective Timor–Leste (APSCTL), Laura Abrantes said the rate of women accessing higher education is low compared to men and she promised she would do her best to give
opportunities for women, especially women in rural areas to continue their studies at universities.
She said there are several reasons not enabling women to access higher education including marrying early and low financial possibility.
"The girls who want to study but do not have money; we help them starting from preschool, to senior high school until university level, including for master's program," she said in her office, in Bairo-Pite, Dili.
The fund for the scholarships program comes from donor Blue Mountains Timor Sisters Australia for helping vulnerable people access higher education.
Since implementation started in 2004, APSCTL has supported over 100 students, most of whom graduated with a Bachelor Degree and some with a Master’s degree. Most graduates are now working in the state institutions.
APSCTL is a women’s organization working hard to prevent domestic violence through campaigns and by promoting dialogue within the family, to strengthen women’s economic power and increase the retention rates of
female students in schools.
On the other hand, Program Education Manager of the Alola foundation (FA), Emma de Sousa said the number of women accessing education particularly higher education has shown significant progress as family and women
are giving greater importance to education.
She said in 2017 year they provided scholarship already to 151 people from the municipalities to continue studies at universities inside the country as it would have cost much money to send them to study overseas.
"Our criteria are women who are from rural areas, from big family but parents cannot afford to support them but they are willing to stay at school,” she said.
She said they began providing scholarships from 2001 to 2016 and now over 1000 persons are benefiting from this program. Most graduates are already employed.
"We hope that they have a good future, especially getting a job to support their family," she hoped.
She also acknowledged some scholarship recipients broke the scholarship terms by falling pregnant that they encourage to continue their studies after the birth of the child.
She added funds for the program come from donors, Australian friends and from the Australian Government.
Meanwhile in 2017, she said the Australian government allocates over $800.000 to this program.

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