Encouragement House

A living example of Encouragement

Encouragement House’s mission is to provide remote village students safe and supervised accommodation so they can complete their high school education. 

Late last year, East Timor’s president Francisco Guturres awarded Deo Dacosta a UN Human Rights medal for his work to grow Encouragement House. 

Deo has worked tirelessly with our Australian team to help more than 700 students in the 12 years of operation. 

Teachers, health care workers and qualified nurses, soldiers, journalists, village leaders, border force officers and office workers are now among those who called Encouragement House home while they studied. 

From one small building grew three dormitories and facilities for up to 160 students, a computer training centre and an English language training classroom. Assistance for student engineers and journalists in East Timor’s capital, Dili, is now also part of Encouragement House’s mission. 

The Encouragement Foundation’s many friends and family rallied over the years to raise $750,000 to make remote Timorese village children’s Maliana home a living example of encouragement.  

But the example didn’t stop there. Encouragement House has yielded another unexpected and very valuable bonus. This time for young Aussie students.

More than 400 students from across Australia have been hosted in Maliana forging long lasting friendships with Timorese students and an enduring love for East Timor. Some have revisited and all say what a memorable experience they enjoyed. 

But now for the next chapter of the story.


As we know Encouragement House has become a much loved home for many but love and constant upkeep doesn’t stop cyclonic winds, flooding rains, droughts and tropical humidity from affecting its buildings over time.

We are now looking to expand and welcome another 700 students to their ‘town home’ over the next decade. 

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