In the face of torrential rains disrupting their flight, the 18 Singapore American School (SAS) students proved that they were troopers with heart.

Their service learning adventure in Timor-Leste took them along rugged coastlines and up winding mountain roads. There, over 8 days, they learned more about the turbulent history, culture and politics of the youngest nation in Asia and even conquered Mt. Ramelau, Timor-Leste’s highest mountain.

As part of their adventure, students got their hands dirty working on a Home Kitchen Garden Project - a joint initiative by HIAM Health and Ba Futuru that saw the students working alongside Timorese youth.

HIAM Health helps women and children suffering from malnutrition. It takes a holistic approach, rehabilitating children suffering from malnutrition in addition to educating families and communities about proper nutrition. The Home Kitchen Garden Project seeks to provide families with balanced meals and an additional source of income.

Ba Futuru – ‘For the Future’ in Tetum – empowers Timorese youth through their educational and peace-building programs.

The group spent their last couple of days on Atauro Island, where they explored a local village and raced hermit crabs on the beach before camping out in tents under a blanket of stars. There wasn’t a more perfect way to finish the trip than to sail back to the mainland escorted by the hundreds of dolphins and pilot whales that pass through the Wetar Strait.

Directed & Produced by Atikah Scott

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