Get to know Timor-Leste. 

One of Australia's closest neighbours, Timor-Leste is a small island republic just under 700kms from Darwin, which shares its western border with Indonesia. The country secured its independence from Indonesia in 2001, after an oppressive and violent occupation. Today, the scars still linger as the people grapple with the effects of poverty, low quality healthcare and infrastructure, corruption and inequality. It is why the presence of missionaries like the Salesian Sisters, especially in regional parts of the country, is so important...

Hi, I'm Jose! 

I am a 12-year-old who loves soccer! My favourite things are scoring goals and doing tricks like juggling the ball. I'm pretty good at mathematics at school too! Though I am only young, I have already faced a significant challenge in life.

Growing up, I suffered from severe malnutrition because I was unable to eat the food I needed. Fortunately, the Salesian Sisters came to my rescue. With their support I received the necessary nutrition and vitamins, allowing me to be happy and healthy.

Now, I visit the clinic for regular check-ups alongside my loving grandmother who takes care of me. The Sisters' care has given me hope for the future, and I dream of becoming a professional soccer player like Messi someday.

However, many others, including younger children, still require the Sisters' assistance. Your support during Socktober can ensure that they receive the food and medicine they desperately need. Please consider helping us in any way you can.

Here are some examples of what your fundraising total can help achieve...


can help provide milk and food for babies with malnutrition.


can help provide life-saving medication for sick children. 


can help support the wage of a nurse at the clinic

Olá, eu sou a Maria! (Hello, I am Maria!)

I'm 12 years old and I love studying at the school in our village (I am in 7th grade - what about you?)

When I was younger, my father died and it made me very sad. I miss him a lot, but I love the sisters who care for me now at our home. If I wasn't here, I would not have the same opportunities to learn. I am now at the top of my class!

When I am not studying, I love to play soccer, and my favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo! He's very famous and I see him on TV a lot.

One day I hope to travel to America, India, and Brazil. But first, I dream of becoming a mechanic so that I can help to improve transportation in my country.

When I pray, I ask God to help me achieve my dreams and help others who are in need, including those in prison.

I'm Elena!

I'm ten years old and in the fourth grade. My favourite subject is maths, but what I really enjoy about school is listening to the stories of my teacher. 

I also love to play football with my friends – sometimes we just use a grapefruit that has fallen from the tree.

I come from a farming background, and when I finish school, I want to work in agriculture so I can help my family. Sadly, after my father passed away, my mother couldn't look after me anymore on her own. Even though I miss them a lot, because I am here at home with the Sisters, I can still learn at school and play with my friends, and that makes me happy.

Thank you for supporting us through Socktober in 2023! 

A safe place to call home

Elena and Maria (pictured with their friend Fryda) both came under the care of the Salesian Sisters after their fathers passed away. Their mothers, forced to support several children on their own, made the heartbreaking decision to let their daughters pursue the kind of life they could not provide.

The Sisters, through the Children's Home, have offered a loving environment for Elena and Maria and over 100 other girls. There they can access excellent educational opportunities and a pathway to a better life. 

These beautiful girls never chose to leave their parents and come to the home. For their mothers, it was likely the hardest decision to make in their lives. 

But the Don Bosco Children's Home offers a second chance at fullness of life. By providing for the girls' basic practical needs, as well as their spiritual development. 

"We also provide formation and spiritual guidance for them.  And we have a goal and mission to foster them to become honest people in society and good Catholics through the programmes and activities that we arrange."
- Sister Olga
Director, Children's Home

Here are some examples of what your fundraising total can help achieve...


can help provide informative books and posters about health.


can help provide nutritious meals at the Children's Home. 


can help paint a room of
the Children's Home.

Mission in 360

Immerse yourself in a day in the life of a community in Venilale, Timor-Leste. Take a tour of the village, discover what a lesson is like in the local school, and sing along with the students. 

What interesting things do you notice?

A short tour of Venilale

Let's take a quick trip through the town of Venilale, Timor-Leste. See what landmarks and places you can discover. What sort of activities are taking place amid the hustle and bustle of village life? Can you spot the soccer game?

Walking to school

It's early morning in Venilale, Timor-Leste. Watch as students make their way to St Mary Mazzarello School for another school day. What things do you notice about their environment? What are they wearing? Who do you see with them?

Singing in the morning

A daily ritual in Timor-Leste, watch as the children at St Mary Mazzarello School in Venilale sing in the morning before lessons start for the day. What song do you think they might be singing? Can you recognise any of the words? What do you notice about the behaviour of the children here?

Step into the classroom

Take a look inside a classroom of St Mary Mazzarello School in Venilale. Can you make out anyone familiar? Note who is teaching the class. What do you think the students are learning about here? How does it differ from your classrooms, and what similarities do you see?

Tastes of Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste cuisine is especially notable for its delicious desserts, many native and some introduced by Portuguese settlers. For a tasty treat, give this challenging recipe for Caramelised Pineapple Cake a go. You'll find this challenge in the Goals Marketplace. Make sure you've got some help from mum or dad, though! 

Tastes of Timor-Leste - Caramelised Pineapple Cake

Tastes of Timor-Leste - Caramelised Pineapple Cake

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