The average Timorese youth has grown up enduring some of the most brutal years of the Indonesian genocide, as well as surviving the violence and tumult of Timor-Leste’s early independence.
Claremont, CA (PRWEB) May 01, 2013
Scripps College sophomore Taia Sean Wu ’15 was recently chosen for a prestigious Davis Projects for Peace grant so that she could work this summer in the Asian country of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste where she will create a new music program at a youth center.
“Today, Timor-Leste is the poorest country in Southeast Asia and one of the youngest, with over half of its citizens under the age of 15,” said Wu, who is from Bellingham, Wash. “The average Timorese youth has grown up enduring some of the most brutal years of the Indonesian genocide, as well as surviving the violence and tumult of Timor-Leste’s early independence. Spending their formative years in such conflict and poverty has left many children with no hope for a brighter future.”
Wu will work with Timor-Leste’s pre-eminent peace-building organization, Ba Futuru, to organize and offer theater and music workshops for at-risk youth between the ages of 6 to 16. The purpose of these workshops is to give youth a safe space where they can gather and express themselves in hopes that they will work through past traumas and develop a healthier self-esteem. The staff at the Ba Futuru Peace Center has provided psychosocial therapy to thousands of Timorese children and youth through play, art, and other modes of self-expression that emphasize self-esteem and empowerment.
The Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for all students enrolled at a Davis United World College Scholars Program partner school. Students were asked to design grassroots projects that promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties anywhere in the world for the summer of 2013. To learn more about Ba Futuru, visit its website at http://www.bafuturu.org.