We meet needs in a holistic and caring way
We dream of a Timor-Leste whose children grow to love learning, love righteousness, love neighbour and love nation. We aim to be a centre of excellence for education, moulding minds, shaping character, and building capacity to empower Timorese towards national transformation.
Cocoon is an officially registered local Non-Governmental Organization with the Ministry of Justice, Timor-Leste.
Drawing on the life cycle of the butterfly, Cocoon is about changing lives. We want to catalyse and sustain holistic social and spiritual transformation in Timor-Leste through education, with a special emphasis on English language skills. In all our programmes, we also stress character formation and community service.
Cocoon believes that Timor-Leste's large numbers of children and youth are her greatest hope. They are the future of the nation and deserve our best investment of time and love.
The year was 2007. Asia's youngest nation, Timor-Leste, or East Timor, was again stricken by violence. The outbreak of civil unrest in 2006 had exposed faultlines in the new nation, as post-election transition, party rivalry and gang fighting came together to create a volatile and tense situation. Many communities in the capital city Dili became a battleground for rival gangs. Street fights and stonings were common.
It was against this backdrop that the vision of Cocoon was sown into the land of East Timor. Three months after first arriving in July 2007, Ting Siew Lee and Wong Li Shan shared the vision of transforming lives and communities through education to a Timorese leader in Bairro Pite, a suburb in Dili. The message brought hope in the hotspot of violence.
Together with strong support and help from local leaders, the first Cocoon English lessons started in November 2007.
The Cocoon Library finds a home:
It was to be a community library, a learning centre, and a safe place for youth and children to hang out. In 2009, we found the perfect location along a busy main road within the community of Bairro Pite.
First local staff & expansion
The first East Timorese staff also came onboard in 2009 to serve alongside the Singaporeans. As former students of Cocoon, they had caught the heartbeat of Cocoon to serve others.
Cocoon then embarked on teaching children. It was a steep learning curve for the young team, as we drew up lesson plans, created teaching materials, and conducted on-the-job training for the local staff. As operations expanded, we rented more facilities in the compound to make room for more classes.
Official NGO status & land acquisition
We became officially registered as a local NGO with the Ministry of Justice in 2011. In December 2012, we bought the land we had been renting to prepare for further expansion. Since 2017, we have been upgrading our premises to better serve our Timorese children.
Sowing for the next generation
Exciting recent achievements and future plans:
Building tomorrow today
Transforming our environment
Day 1: 1st August 2017
Do you see what I see?
Day 13: 17th August 2017
Building the future, block by block
The finished product
Happy faces in new spaces!
We also upgraded our driveway and main gate...
Work in progress, April 2018
This elevated driveway & new gate is an important part of our flood control measures.
Life inside Cocoon
Age: 3 - 5 years
Over the years, we discovered that learning difficulties our adult and youth students faced were due to a lack of proper education during their formative years.
To address that and to meet the growing need for formal early childhood education, Cocoon has launched its Kindergarten arm. We provide an adapted Montessori-based curriculum, with areas such as 1) Practical Life 2) Languages 3) Sensorial Materials 4) Mathematics 5) Sciences and Cultural Studies.
The distinctiveness of the Cocoon Kindergarten:
Age: 13 - young adults
Cocoon has developed three modules of lessons for older learners. Through lots of practice, games and listening, youth and young adult learners are taught the basics of English conversation.
Social Change Leaders + Youth Conversations + Fun outings