ChildFund Board member Carolyn Hardy recently travelled to Timor-Leste to see ChildFund’s work on the ground. There she met Vincenti, one of the newest recruits to ChildFund Pass It Back.

Vincenti personifies so much of what is unique and special about ChildFund Timor-Leste. He is young, capable, optimistic about the future and passionate about his job.

And it’s no small job! Vincenti has been tasked with bringing ChildFund Pass It Back to the children and youth of Timor-Leste.

Vincenti laughing in front of green wall

Vincenti says: “The purpose of the ChildFund Pass It Back program is to teach the principles of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.”

Expanding across the Asia-Pacific region

With ChildFund Pass It Back already operational in Laos, The Philippines and Vietnam, Timor-Leste is the most recent country to implement this unique sport for development program.

Vincenti’s work began in October 2018, when he began the task of recruiting and training 30 coaches – two-thirds of whom were young women under the age of 30.

Player recruitment is now underway, and Vincenti envisages that more than 500 children and young people – many of whom are girls – will be attending training sessions in their new rugby teams early in 2019.

A new generation of players and leaders

There is no tradition of rugby in Timor-Leste, which also means that the game has no pre-existing gender bias. Rugby will be new for every player who enrols in ChildFund Pass It Back, and Vincenti is confident that there will be equal numbers of female and male players.

Vincenti says: “ChildFund Pass It Back is not just about winning a game of rugby. Our curriculum is about mentoring, coaching and teaching the players to be confident leaders.

“The purpose of the program is to teach the principles of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect. These values are good for the community and good for children. It is really beautiful!”

It is indeed!

Give every child the opportunity to play, learn and grow

Later this year when Rugby World Cup 2019 is televised from Japan, a new audience of enthusiastic, confident young leaders in Timor-Leste will be eagerly watching!

We hope you’ll be watching too. It’s people like you that keep the ChildFund Pass It Back program expanding; giving more children from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to important life skills through sport.

ChildFund Pass It Back uses tag rugby to teach children and young people in Asia a range of valuable life skills, which equips them to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities.

If you’d like to support the program, make a donation today to give every child the chance to play, learn and grow.