Changing the Lives of Vulnerable Children

Inisiativa Dezenvolvimentu Ba Labarik / The Early Childhood Development Initiative

Through implementing a model of high quality early childhood education this innovative project is helping change the lives of vulnerable children in Timor-Leste.

The initiative has two major components:

  • The Early Childhood Education Preschool in Dili .
  • Ensuring those who impact the lives of pre-schoolers such as caregivers, parents and teachers can provide non-violent, child directed and play focused learning environments to improve learning outcomes.

Ba Futuru built its own preschool in 2013. Staffed by Timorese and international educators Ba Futuru’s preschool has been designed to nurture the social and emotional capacities of young children between the ages of 2 and 6.

Our Work

  • Creating meaningful safe, supportive learning and play environments for children
  • Preparing children socially, emotionally and mentally for school
  • Providing scholarships for low-income disadvantaged children to attend the preschool
  • Supporting the families of children attending our preschool and identifying those at-risk and requiring additional supports
  • Using the preschool as an innovative classroom to train and mentor in early childhood education, positive parenting, child protection and first aid
  • Providing post-training mentor support
  • Working closely with government to support the roll out of a new preschool curriculum

Our Impact

  • Over 150 educators trained from more than 40 childcare centers across Timor.
  • A minimum of 4000 children at the grassroots level impacted.
  • A broad shift across Timor-Leste from rote learning and capital punishment in early childhood education to play-based child-centered learning and positive behavior management.

Our Supporters
The  Sunrise Joint Venture and STARs Foundation

Small grants support from the Public Affairs Small Grants Fund of the US Embassy in Timor-Leste and New Zealand’s International Aid and Development Program, Head of Mission Fund.

Help provide vulnerable young children with quality preschool education


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Creating Quality Learning Environments for Young People


Most children in Timor-Leste do not have access quality non-violent education which hinders their social and economic advancement. With your support Ba Futuru, a local NGO, can bring quality education to many more young people.


Ba Futuru has been carrying out transformative work with teachers and school management committees. This work has turned many high need schools into quality learning environments. Our aim is to create happy, supportive, and safe school environments so that the young people would be able to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to create positive futures for themselves and their communities.

We encourage new styles of teaching rather than traditional rote models, enhanced in-school relationships, improved infrastructure, created better learning environments and reduced violence. Our work encourages teachers to stop using violent discipline and to replace this with positive classroom management strategies.

After Ba Futuru worked with their schools for 9 months, the students reported that their teachers made a good progress in their teaching methods. “Before hand, the majority of the teachers asked students to write or copy from the board without any explanation. But now they changed their teaching methods. They are using participatory methods such as asking comprehension questions, using group work, doing energizer activities, using games and explaining about the subject matter.”

A student representative from the School Management Committee of one target school reported: “From my point of view, the teachers have changed after they attended the training from Ba Futuru. Compared to previously when students were being punished, even bitten when they make a mistake in class or come to the school late. Some teachers just asked us to copy from the board without providing any clear explanations. Those that practice the new methods provide us with good explanations and it makes it easier to understand. And sometimes when we are getting bored, the teachers utilize games. I have also noticed that there is less physical punishment. I propose that Ba Futuru continue with the training of our teachers so they can improve their teaching methods.”

Long-Term Impact

Sustainability of outcomes has been enhanced through Ba Futuru’s the teacher training toolkit and the fact that the Ministry of Education, as well as target school administrators, teachers and teacher trainers can utilize the toolkit into the future. Films on each training module have been created so they can be shared widely with teachers that do not have access to in-person training.

  • 10,000s of students are benefiting from Ba Futuru various educational programs that have trained 1,000s of teachers, from early childhood to University level
  • 100s of children have received scholarships helping them gain the items they need for going to school

Help transform the learning environments of the young people of Timor-Leste


Read a report on our work!


Breaking the Cycle of Violence

Inisiativa Konsolidasaun Dame no Demokrasia / Consolidating Peace and Democracy Initiative