Educating The Future has evolved from a high school pipe dream to appear today as an ambitous student-led registered charity, accomplished in planning and delivering projects overseas. ETF aims to liberate the potential of disadvantaged youth in Timor-Leste through the provision of education, to ultimately improve their quality of life. We have sought to achieve this goal through investing in local partnerships at the community and governmental level to improve and create preschool education in disadvantaged areas.
In 2014, cofounders Adam Hegedus and Alessandro Piovano participated in a school immersion to Timor-Leste. They describe the birth of ETF below:
“Whilst immersed in the local culture, we were able to witness a uniquely diverse nation, bound by natural and cultural beauty. However, as our stay elapsed we learned the conflicted past of the nation and the shocking educational statistics. This, paired with the monumental disparity with Australian educational standards sparked a desire to help. The immersion allowed us to grasp an understanding of the tangible issues and understand the groundwork required before change can occur. Situated for the duration of our stay in the Ermera District, we inherently drew comparisons to Australia, realising a need for change to increase the quality of education. As such, the Schoolies For Schooling initiative was born.
“Fuelled by our experiences on the immersion one year prior, we decided on an independent initiative to raise funds. By engaging with local community members during and after the immersion, we gained a clearer understanding of what needed to be done in order to have a positive impact. Set to the background of Australia’s east coast, the Schoolies for Schooling initiative involved both co-founders walking for 21 days and 758km from Sydney to Byron Bay. By the completion date in late November 2015, we’d raised an epic $19,165, almost doubling our prior goal of $10,000! We used those funds to found Educating the Future.
Since its foundation in 2016, ETF has funded the construction of a new preschool in the Ermera District, received significant funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, employed a professional board with secure governance procedures and engaged over 70 committed student volunteers. With this platform set, and with ambitious projects afoot, 2019 shapes as a significant year in the history of Educating the Future.