Don Bosco Alumni and Cristal Foundation
By Dr. Agostinho Dos Santos Goncalves, EXDB
Dili, Timor Leste, 8 April 2018 -- Since 1984 the Cristal Foundation, officialy registered in 1987 (Indonesian occupation time) and again in 2001 transformed the life of thousands of Timorese citizens. Started by ten (10) Alumni of Don Bosco in Baucau with the help of Salesians SDB found their headquarters since 1987 in Dili - Balide at present offers education to 8000 students around East Timor. The Cristal ISC (http://www.isc-tl.com orhttps://web.iscjournal.com) is located 100 meter from the Dili-Balide FMA community.
One Saturday morning, April 8, the Executive President of Cristal Foundation invited the Extraordinary visitor to share his time with the faculties, selected students and Cristal Foundation board members in the Balide - Dili campus. A simple program was attended by four hundreds of youth and their professors, with welcoming talk, songs and lively participated open forum with many questions to Fr. Klement. The dialogue focuse on Don Bosco education, Happiness of serving other people (like Don Bosco in the Turin prisons), missionary commitment in Timor and beyond and responsibility to share the precious gift of faith among the peers. The speaker also invited two teachers and two students to share about the roots of their joy and happiness.
ISC or Institute Superior Cristal (=Cristus-Alma-Luz or Christus-Tuhan-Allah or Cristo Nai Liurai) is a private Institution of Higher Education, which was established by the Fundação Cristal (Cristal Foundation) on November 5, 2001. The numerous branches of ISC are located in 9 different towns of Timor Leste with a focus on BA degree courses in two departments: Faculty of Teacher Training & Education and Faculty of Education & Health Sciences (specialization in English, Portuguese, Science and Nursing). So far almost 5000 BA (Bachelor) degree holders graduated ISC in past few years. Every weekend 3000 students attend the classes offered for the working people).
The 34 years history of CRISTAL offers a good insight in the grateful heart of those who received Don Bosco education and would like to share it with other. The ten Don Bosco Alumni founders simply went around knocking to many doors and asking any kind of help - rooms for teaching, volunteers to teach or financial contribution for the classroom building. Their passion for education is a great contribution for the progress of the youngest nation in East Asia.
Not only the Don Bosco Alumni who are at the direction of the whole Institution, but also the nearby FMA sisters help with their faithful Good Morning Talks to the students of 4 different institutions, the spiritual accompaniment by Fr. Manuel Pinto (Chaplain of the ISC) and interaction with other Salesian Family groups contributes to the Salesian ethos under the school motto: Knowledge is Development. Also one SDB Brother and FMA postulants are students of the Cristal.
The wonderful morning was concluded by lunch of the Cristal Board members with two Salesians (translators Br. Adriano de Jesus) crowned by Mr. Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa, Founder of Cristal Foundation storytelling about 34 years of history. At present the Cristal Foundation is the second largest education agency (after the RDTL government institutions) in East Timor.