Since 2016, Cornish College has been developing a relationship with the Fatuquero School in Timor-Leste. Our relationship is one of support and exchange, perhaps best described by our acronym IMPACCT – Immersion, Mission, Partnership, Action, Challenge, Culture, and Teaching.
This relationship has grown through three staff visits and was further developed with the first student visit in 2019, with twelve students from Years 11 and 12.
While supporting the students and community of Fatuquero, our students and staff are exposed to a lifestyle that really makes them question their values of gratitude and challenges their idea of the ‘norm’. They are immersed in an experience that suggests what life is like for students of a similar age living in a country such as Timor-Leste, where food is scarce and education is considered a privilege.
As the acronym IMPACCT implies, these visits will have a lasting influence on both the students and the Timorese people.
The IMPACCT experience includes:
Cornish’s support for the Fatuquero School has included the refurbishment of the school library, scholarships for ten students, living allowances for three volunteer staff and funding for a dedicated volunteer at the school to become a qualified teacher. Support from the Cornish community continues to make this possible, with fundraising contributing to important classroom activities and student visits.
“Although I have always valued human connection and generosity, this trip allowed me to have a context as to why I hold these values. It granted me a sense of responsibility towards using these amazing privileges that I was born into, to do everything in my power to make a difference in their lives. But what I did not expect is the difference that they could make in mine. I encourage anyone and everyone to apply for this trip because, as cliched as it sounds, it has changed my life more than I could have ever imagined.” – Polly, Year 12
“This trip for me was one of those defining moments that you look back on in 20 years and attribute to why you are the way that you are. It was a lot about helping others and recognising our privilege and doing something with it, but also it was a big growth trip for me. We met so many inspiring people on our trip; so many people who have dedicated their lives to making something better, helping others. These experiences stay with you and make you who you are, and inspire you to do better and be better.” – Tierney, Year 11
“This trip has woken me up to what a blessing our existence is… I don’t think we appreciate how truly incredible it is being able to speak English so easily. So many of the students told me that learning English was the only way to achieve their dreams of receiving further education in order to have a job in the future. And this is such a small example of what I take for granted every day. I implore all Cornish students to have a look at what we have, and how lucky we are purely because we were born in a position where we can experience the ease of life that we do, by chance.” – Emily, Year 11