FPET has previously funded materials for various school and community buildings, especially chapels, but now has other community development priorities. Despite this change, funding has been provided for these two high priority buildings.
The rapid expansion of the student numbers at the Atabae Catholic school had led to serious overcrowding, even with separate classes being conducted morning and afternoon. The new building will relieve the squeeze for now but further expansion seems inevitable in the future. Hopefully that expansion will be funded from other sources such as the East Timorese government.
The construction style is similar to many buildings being built in East Timor for economy and reasonable comfort. While mostly conventional, the upper part of the walls are different. Ribs from palm fronds are used as a popular choice for cladding walls in East Timor because of the low cost and their coolness in the hot climate.
In the smaller villages such as Limanaro, chapels function as community buildings as well as for religious use. In an area such as the Atabae subdistrict, where travel for most involves walking, it is a great advantage for have a local chapel within the village.
The finished chapel is constructed quite similarly to the school except that it provides one large main area where the community can assemble for worship or a meeting or other activity. Like the other buildings it has a concrete floor which is well suited to the local conditions.
Sharon and Ian have been reviewing the options for expanding community activities in the FPET established community building which as been the base of the community health program initiated through FPET. They have already got some education classes relocated there and further changes are anticipated after more consultation with the local government health clinic about collaborative health service delivery.