CHL Industries Ltd (CHLI), part of CHL Group of companies, has completed the first phase of Jesuit school complex at Kasait, located at an hour’s drive from Dili for the Jesuit Catholic congregation. The phase one of the project, worth USD 2 million, comprises of fifteen classrooms, residences for priests, church, chapel, canteen, training rooms.
The project was officially opened in the presence of Jesuit Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás and several government ministers and officials in January 2014.
The guests included Minister of Education Bendito Dos Santos Freitas; Minister of Social Solidarity Isabel Guterres; Bishop, Alberto Ricardo da Silva of Dili, Vicar General, Father Lucio Norberto de Deus, representing the Bishop Norberto do Amaral of Maliana, in whose diocese the project is located.
Several ambassadors including the Portuguese Ambassador, local provincials of several religious congregations, all the major superiors in the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, and Father Mark Raper SJ, JCAP President and Superior of the Jesuit Independent Region of East Timor also attended the function. The students and their families were among the some 500 people gathered for the event.
In his speech, Father Nicolás stressed that the Jesuits are not building the project to continue a Jesuit tradition. “We open it to be part of the growth of a country like East Timor. That is why I am very happy that the Minister of Education is here because we want to collaborate with all the forces of the country to prepare a better future for East Timor.”
Jesuits first came to Timor Leste over a century ago and even in those early days there was a Jesuit education programme. More recently, the Jesuits ran a secondary school, for the Diocese of Dili until December 2011, and a secondary school in the parish of Railaco up in the hills.
According to CHLI’s Managing Director Steve Bevington, “CHLI is chosen as the trusted partner by the Jesuit Catholic congregation in delivering this project not only due to our construction capability but more so as we have a complimentary approach to providing training to local workers and enabling them with skills to lead a good life. Over 140 workers worked on this project and about 20 workers were trained during the construction phase.”
Mr. Bevington says CHLI is committed to building this young nation’s growth story through quality construction work, providing on-the-job training opportunities for unskilled workers and developing innovative businesses such as the new locally-developed interlocking ClayBricks system, used in numerous CHLI developments.
The Phase 2 of this project is under way and is expected to be completed by June 2014.
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