In Timor-Leste, with an unemployment rate of 70% and 2/3 of the population under 30 years of age, not many people have the opportunity to train in a gym. After being deployed to the country for 3 years, one of our Plus Fitness members Libby (Plus Fitness Maroubra member) has decided to build a community learning centre and gym. This initiative aims to bring the community together to build relationships and respect with the goal of reducing crime, especially violence within families and communities.
As part of her fundraising, Libby will be walking the 357km Trek from Martin Place in Sydney to Parliament House in Canberra from 3-12 March on a 10-day “Trek For Timor”. Plus Fitness are very proud to be getting behind Libby and helping out where we can with this fantastic project and will also be assisting Libby in setting up of the gym aspect of the centre that she is building.
The Prime Minister of East Timor and Patron of Libby’s ‘Learning Centre for Youth and Community’, his Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao had this to say about the project;
“This project has been developed to establish a facility for the Timorese youth and community that will develop skills, character and leadership through educational workshops, crime prevention workshops, language courses and fitness training; to build strong social foundations and to prevent crime within the community.”
The Centre will operate similar to the Police Community Youth Centre’s (PCYCs) here in Australia and will encourage local police involvement. It will focus on bringing the community together to build relationships and respect with the aim of reducing crime, especially violence within families and communities and will have a large focus on gender equality and promoting respect for women. This program will also support and empower the youth to take ownership in progressing the development of their country.
The Centre will consist of two classrooms, community meeting area, gardens for growing food, a gym that will be supported where possible by Plus Fitness, an office, manager’s quarters and a toilet block.
The facility will offer English classes, workshops on health and nutrition, crime prevention (specialising in child protection, sexual assault and domestic violence issues), arts/craft and other educational activities. The gym/drop in centre will be open to both male and females, with designated times for females only. The community meeting area will be utilised for various groups and activities.
Libby is currently working tirelessly on the project continuing to fundraise and has already secured the land in Dili, Timor-Leste with her two Timorese Managers for the Project are now residing in demountable quarters on the land. Libby will be heading back to Timor-Leste in the next month to oversee the build which will happen in stages starting in April with plans to officially open the centre later in 2016.
Plus Fitness are proud to be a part of this fantastic initiative and will be behind Libby all the of way as she conquers her 357 kilometre walk from Sydney to Canberra for her great cause.
To find out more or to make a donation please head to the Rotary Club Of Blackheath NSW
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