The President

How Santiago found his confidence

Do you remember when you found confidence as a kid?

Fifteen-year-old Santiago from Aileu District in Timor-Leste has just found his. This week is National Youth Week in Australia, so we’re celebrating examples of young people around the world stepping up to make a change, just like Santiago.

Santiago is The President at his school, but he didn’t always have the confidence to speak in front of his class and lead. “I am actually a person who not have confident self,” he says. But thanks to Supporters of Change, he’s picked up new skills like public speaking. Life skills are helping him and students throughout Timor-Leste excel at school, and lift themselves out of poverty. “After I attend the life skill training, I felt more confident and now I can be a leader in my school.”

Plan International provides life skills training to more than 300 young people in Timor-Leste.

Scroll through the images below to find out more about Santiago.


Santiago takes pride in delivering school updates and information on how to keep the yard clean.
Santiago takes pride in delivering school updates and information on how to keep the yard clean.
Santiago studying at home. Behind him are his parents.
Santiago studying at home. Behind him are his parents.
Santiago playing football with his neighbours
Santiago playing football with his neighbours
Santiago doing a presentation for his classmates
Santiago doing a presentation for his classmates
Santiago has big dreams for his future.
Santiago has big dreams for his future.

“The good things I’ve done for my school since becoming the president are organising football games and volleyball games. And making sure the school yard is clean.”

“I want to travel the country,” he says. “But that is all in the future. Right now I will just stick to being The President.”

Help children like Santiago develop the skills and confidence to take life on. Be a Supporter of Change.


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