Paulina Quintao – Alumni from the Timor-Leste Youth Parliament (ATLYP) are raising awareness about conflict resolution to high school students.
ATLYP President Zaulino da Silva said the program aims to change attitudes among young people and show them that they can resolve their problems without resorting to violence.
"The program is for student councils, so that they can be good leaders that know how to manage their school by preventing conflict between students and teachers," he said.
Fighting between students and teachers is a common problem in Timor-Leste and sometimes involves cases of serious assault. He said conflict between students and teachers often occurred due to a lack of good communication and way to resolve the problems.
He said ATLYP had already conducted its activities at Cristal secondary school and Public school November 28 in Dili and would soon expand the program in public and private schools in Baucau municipality.
ATLYP also plans to conduct the same activities in communities to remind young people how they can contribute to peace and the country's stability during the 2017 general elections.
"Young people have the right to get involved in politics but it's important that all the young people who are involved in politics have good ethics and civic character," he said.
Meanwhile, President of the National Youth Council (NYC) Dadina Maria said ATLYP had a responsibility to share their knowledge and experience to the society, especially young people, because the state had already invested in them. "They must share their education, knowledge and ability to society," she said.
As youth organization, she said there were lots of things ATLYP could do, particularly in terms of encouraging other young people to learn and become competent leaders in the future.
The program is being funded by the government and German NGO GIZ. ATLYP was established in 2015 and focuses on civic education, as well as encouraging young people to become more actively involved in the development process.