September 18 - 24, 2022: Issue 555


Youth for Soibada – Be a Part of it!

The youth of the world are the future, and we must nurture, educate, and provide them with what they need to prosper. In our sister village of Soibada in Timor Leste the young people are full of energy, love, and laughter. They are small in stature due to malnourishment but their desire to learn is huge!

Since Maria Regina School in Avalon first connected with Our Lady of Aitara School in Soibada in 2009, followed by Sacred Heart School and Tasi Fatin School soon after, and then Mater Maria and Nicolau Lobato Senior High School, many other schools, both State and Private, here in Sydney have taken up the link of friendship with schools in Soibada. Most recently Narrabeen North Primary School connected with Somoro School in central Soibada. Teacher Olivia Scully visited Soibada in July to formalise the friendship – there will be lots of news on that soon!

It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures but it also provides a chance for our young people to see what a difference they can make in the lives of others - even in small ways. Although it is all about friendship, there is still so much need in Timor Leste after the years of occupation and the fight for freedom. Maria Regina students recently did a “Seeds for Soibada” campaign that did not cost much – just a packet of vegetable seeds – but will have a big impact on nutrition.

The Youth for Soibada committee has been reinvigorated after the Covid Years and there was a great team in the village in July. One of them was even an ex-Maria Regina (and current Mater) student. The kids connected in a way impossible to adults and language proved no barrier. They have initiated a new Instagram page to generate interest and support from other teenagers. They have some great events planned, including performances from some of the young artists and bands we had at Soup for Soibada recently.  If you are interested in getting involved or know someone who is, or just want to keep up to date with what is going on, please send a direct message on Instagram to  friendsofsoibada

Or contact Tamara on

Tamara Sloper Harding OAM