Abrão De Jesus proudly works for one of the major newspapers in Timor-Leste, the Timor Post, which prints the daily news and runs a website – all in the native Timorese language of Tetum. It took Abrão many years of hard work and study to achieve his post, and he credits the opportunities provided to him as a Carmelite student for his current social and financial wellbeing.

Abrão notes his La Bruna scholarship as being the vehicle for a quality education. This is not only due to what he learned through his studies, but also through his moral, spiritual, and intellectual pursuits. He believes these now act as a foundation for his overall goal of being a positive person in his family, as well as a solid contributor to Timorese society.

At one stage I was going to leave a previous job where I taught administration and English, but they didn’t want me to go because they liked my attitude. My boss said I don’t get angry, and I am always respectful. They said people who have studied with Priests work with their whole heart. They have patience.

– Abrão De Jesus

Abrão was inspired to pursue a vocation with the Carmelite Order after hearing about its spiritual elements from a Carmelite Friar who visited his high school during final exams in 2008. Growing up in Raca, Lospalos in Timor-Leste, he was the third of seven children. Life was incredibly challenging, and painful. One of his sisters died from famine, and years later he also lost a younger brother. Then his father, a subsistence farmer who suffered from asthma, became ill and died at home.

Abrão was the fortunate recipient of a La Bruna scholarship for over 9 years, culminating in a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. Now living in Dili with his wife and 2 children, he credits his early period with the Carmelites as being integral to becoming a more mature and responsible person. The scholarship provided for an education which has empowered him to do his work of analysing social media to be used as content in The Timor Post’s news reports.

Abrão developed his English skills while undertaking the scholarship, which directly affected his job prospects and led him on his current career trajectory. After leaving the Carmelite Order due to severe stomach issues, one of his mentors told him to, ‘just be a good person in the community’ – words that eventually shaped his life.

Abrão loves his work and enjoys being in the office. He believes he was only able to acquire his current role due to the financial support provided by the Carmelites and their supporters. He is extremely grateful for the generosity he has received as La Bruna Scholarship recipient. In a country where many struggle to reach beyond poverty, Abrão has achieved success.