Tim’s UN post

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Davyd Reid

Chairo Chris­tian School, Drouin stu­dent Tim van Praag has been se­lected for the del­e­gate to the Pa­cific Project to East Ti­mor this year.

Each year UN Youth se­lects 12 out­stand­ing high school stu­dents from across Aus­tralia to travel to East Ti­mor to spend two weeks en­gag­ing in ed­u­ca­tional work­shops, at­tend­ing con­sul­ta­tions, and trav­el­ling through­out Ti­morLeste.

Tim said he ap­plied to be part of the del­e­ga­tion last year af­ter en­cour­age­ment from a teacher.

“A teacher at school showed me and said I might be in­ter­ested,” he said. “Ini­tially I didn’t get in, I just missed out. “But some­one pulled out of the del­e­ga­tion and they said we want you to go.

“So now that I’m on it, I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”

As part of the del­e­ga­tion, Tim will col­lab­o­rate with bright young peo­ple from across Aus­tralia, all with a sim­i­lar pas­sion for de­vel­op­ing their com­mu­ni­ties.

Out­side of school Tim has been in­volved in pub­lic speak­ing and de­bat­ing, along with events such as the Lions Youth of the Year com­pe­ti­tion and the an­nual United Na­tions Evatt com­pe­ti­tion.

Tim also leads a group of year seven boys at his church’s youth group.

Dur­ing the trip, Tim will ex­plore the cul­ture of Ti­mor-Leste and how this in­flu­ences peo­ple and the his­tory of the coun­try.

Tim will hope to gain tools to en­gage with key is­sues the coun­try faces, and how mean­ing­ful change can be cre­ated.

He will meet and en­gage with UN bod­ies, in­ter­na­tional NGOs, Aus­tralian and for­eign gov­ern­ment projects and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions, pro­vid­ing crit­i­cal in­sight into the im­por­tance of dif­fer­ent groups in East Ti­mor and the way in which these groups can af­fect the de­vel­op­ment of Ti­morese so­ci­ety.

Pre­vi­ous UN Youth del­e­gates have gone on to play key roles in com­mu­nity groups and youth or­gan­i­sa­tions, and de­scribe their par­tic­i­pa­tion in UN Youth’s pro­grams as one of the most in­flu­en­tial ex­pe­ri­ences of their lives.

Tim said the trip came with a sub­stan­tial reg­is­tra­tion fee of $6350, and while he will have some sup­port from fam­ily and friends, he hoped to call on mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to spon­sor him.

Peo­ple in­ter­ested in spon­sor­ing Tim can visit the web­site www.you­car­ing.com/tim­van­praag743692.

Tim van Praag will em­bark on char­ity work in East Ti­mor in July through the United Na­tions’ Del­e­gate to Pa­cific Project.

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