Funding will support early intervention and prevention activities, case work services and an education re-engagement program to up to 200 at-risk youth in four marginalised communities in Dili, Timor-Leste. There are high rates of educational disengagement, domestic violence and gang membership amongst youth in Dili, and the COVID-19 pandemic has marginalised them further. Supporting young people to access support services, and re-engaging them in education will be critical to their future.
Approximately a tenth of Timorese children or youth have never attended school (Source: Timor-Leste Census 2015). Our own research shows that 78% of youth surveyed were studying prior to the State of Emergency while just 61% are currently studying. Financial stress (65%), difficulty supporting family members with home education (33%) and household conflict during the state of emergency (30%) were all identified as major issues experienced by youth during the current pandemic.
This project will support young people through the following activities: a Streetwalk program to engage with hard to reach youth twice a week in each of three communities; telephone based case work support and referrals; a digital English program; education re-engagement support for disengaged youth; weekly consultations with community leaders to discuss community needs; digital sharing of COVID-19 resources.
Up to 180 youth work outreach conversations are conducted over 12 months to support youth; A minimum of 60 individualised case work sessions are conducted over 12 months; 70% of youth clients responding to annual survey agree they feel safer due to Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund's work; A minimum of 36 young people are referred to support services over 12 months; an increase in Timorese young people accessing digital education as a result of this project.