What has been the impact of your solution to date?
So far the project has involved three secondary schools in the Dili district, impacting over a thousand students and a hundred teachers, parents and school-administrators. Evaluation results show that participants drastically increased their knowledge and are changing their behaviour to enhance the learning environment and nurture children’s empathetic and psychosocial development.
Before the trainings, 47% of teachers thought that children learn better with the use of physical punishment to control their behaviour; following the training, this had dropped to 25%, with 73% expressing the opinion that physical punishment was not an effective way of controlling students’ behaviour. Bi-monthly meetings between teachers, students and parents, and student peer-mediation groups have been established and supported by Ba Futuru to collaboratively develop positive-discipline strategies for these schools.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
The 2012 continuation of this project will train approximately 90 secondary school teachers in Dili, and 30 teacher trainers representing all districts in Timor-Leste, in child-protection and positive-discipline principles and techniques. Into the future, the Lessons Learned educational toolkit developed from the first stage of the project will allow positive-discipline strategies and information to be extended nationally to more districts and schools than Ba Futuru can physically reach. Through this resource, hundreds of additional teachers will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to empathise with the experiences and development of their students, and protect them from abuse and neglect.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The principle barrier is a history of occupation and brutality, which has led to an embedded culture of violence – this means that Ba Futuru sometimes faces resistance in changing the mindsets of project participants. However, Ba Futuru’s Timorese facilitators represent eleven of the thirteen districts in Timor-Leste, speak more than 10 dialects (which is particularly important due to Timor-Leste’s recent history of regional conflict) and are highly skilled and trained. Another barrier is the potential for election violence in 2012. However, Ba Futuru has successfully met similar challenges previously, including continuing its programming throughout the 2006 crisis.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Expand project’s impact nationwide through engagement with district teacher-trainers & distribution of an educational toolkit.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Children & teachers throughout Timor will be engaged in transforming their schools through implementation of positive discipline
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
This project builds off of Ba Futuru's years of experience working with children and their carers. Through this work, Ba Futuru staff became increasingly aware that there is a widespread lack of understanding of the negative impacts of the use of violence with children. Despite the Minister of Education’s 2008 declaration of a ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ against corporal punishment in schools, teachers haven’t been provided with the skills to change their discipline methods and model empathetic behaviours with their students.
While we may not change the whole world, we can create a ripple effect of behavioural change, one classroom at a time, which makes the world of Timorese children and youth a safer, happier and more positive place, where empathy is modelled and valued.