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Sumitomo Chemical Supports Children's Education in Timor-Leste

Mar. 04, 2015
Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Chemical has provided math educational materials and backpacks for elementary school children in Timor-Leste* (East Timor) through the Lorosae-Nippon Association (the East Timor-Japan association) as part of its support for raising the next generation.

Timor-Leste, located in the eastern part of the island of Timor, won independence restoration from Indonesia in 2002 and became the first new independent nation of the 21st century and Asia's newest country. It has two official languages, the local language Tetun and Portuguese due to about 500 years of colonial rule by Portugal. But people who can understand Portuguese are limited to adults in their 50s and older and young people who receive their education in Portuguese after the country's independence. Education is given in Tetun for first through third graders, but after that, there are few teachers who can teach in Portuguese, especially for arithmetic teaching.

Support for bringing up the next generation is one of the pillars of Sumitomo Chemical's social contribution activities. The company decided to give support for Timor-Leste in the belief that it is an important mission as a chemical company to promote math and science education for children who will become future leaders.

The math educational materials and backpacks were given to about 300 first graders of Bebonuk Primary School in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. The math materials were original materials used at after-school learning programs of Gakken Educational Co., Ltd. a group company of Gakken Holdings Co., Ltd. and were translated into the local language Tetun by a translation company in Timor-leste. The materials and backpacks were presented to the children at a ceremony held at the elementary school on Feb. 23. In attendance were Cidalio Leite, Director General for Pre-School and Basic Education of East Timor's Ministry of Education, and Eiji Yamamoto, Japanese ambassador to Timor-Lester, among others.

Sumitomo Chemical will continue its efforts to support the development of the next generation.

See also the following websites.

Gakken Holdings Co., Ltd.

The Lorosae-Nippon Association (the East Timor-Japan association)

*The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste is now in the process of nation-building. The country's three major industries are agriculture, tourism, and oil and natural gas. Timor-Leste exports all of the natural gas produced in the Timor Sea to Japan, which increases the use of alternative energy. Timor-Leste's natural gas accounts for about 4 percent of Japan's natural gas imports. Timor-Leste also exports organically grown coffee. Sumitomo Chemical provides continuous support for Timor-Leste by purchasing its fair trade coffee and selling the coffee at company cafeterias and dormitories.

Textbook and backpack. Pictures by Timor-Leste children appear on the cover.