Below is a list of just a few of the charities and organisations working to make a difference for the people of East Timor. If you would like to see your charity or organisation listed here, please contact us via the form under Who We Are.
Alola is a not for profit non-governmental organisation operating in Timor-Leste to improve the lives of women and children.
Founded in 2001 by the then First Lady, Ms Kirsty Sword Gusmao, the organisation seeks to nurture women leaders and advocate for the rights of women. Their mission is Feto Forte Nasaun Forte – Strong Women, Strong Nation.
Visit the Alola Foundation website for more information.
Australian Red Cross
Together, Australian and Timor-Leste Red Cross have delivered emergency assistance during crises and continue to work on sustainable development projects in East Timor.
Water and sanitation projects in Viqueque, Baucau and Manatuto districts now provide water and sanitation facilities in tandem with community-based health awareness. These projects are crucial for East Timor, where barely half the population has access to safe drinking water and sanitary facilities.
Learn more about the activities of the Red Cross in East Timor and find out how you can help at the Red Cross website.
ChildFund Australia’s affiliate organisation in Timor Leste began working in the country in 1990 and currently assists over 200,000 children and their family members.
In 15 project locations in eight districts, ChildFund in Timor Leste has assisted communities in organising Children’s Activities Centres. The Centres serve as a focal point for critical Early Childhood Development activities for children from birth to five years, as well as places for parents and caregivers to be educated about the needs of young children in conflict situations and basic child health issues.
ChildFund in Timor Leste continues to work to restore community infrastructure and is helping construct and repair drinking water systems, wells and sanitation systems that were destroyed following the vote for independence. Families are given agricultural seeds, tools and equipment for vegetable cultivation and production. A new malaria prevention and control program is now underway in Timor Leste.
With UNHCR support, ChildFund in Timor Leste provided shelter kits to rebuild 2,500 homes in rural areas of the country.
Read more about the project and how to donate at ChildFund’s website.
East Timor Eye Project
The East Timor Eye Program (ETEP), established July 2001, is a program targeted at delivering national eye-care services to East Timor.
ETEP has already provided initial interim eye care for East Timor and is now working with the East Timorese Local Health Authorities to build a comprehensive and sustainable eye care system for the future.
ETEP’s goal is to make Timor Leste self-sufficient in the provision of eye care by 2015 – and to completely eradicate preventable blindness by 2020.
Visit the ETEP site for more information.
East Timor Women Australia
ETWA is a volunteer organisation based in Melbourne, Australia. They work to support East Timorese women through community oriented programs, particularly in the handcrafts industry. ETWA works with the Cooperative for Tais and Cultural Development (CTCD) to support three weaving collectives in the eastern regions.
See the ETWA website for details on how you can help, through purchasing handcrafts or making a donation of money or lightweight goods.
HIAM-Health provides vital services to reduce high infant and maternal mortality rates and to reduce unacceptable health and social conditions in East Timor.
Natalia Borges was on her way to HIAM Health, but was still four hours away when she died from pneumonia complicated by malnutrition aged only ten months. If her mother had been able to live in a centre like HIAM Health is proposing, she would be alive today.
You can make a one off donation, or arrange monthly support in Australian Dollars, US Dollars, UK Pounds or Euros at the HIAM Health website. All payments are processed through the PayPal gateway.
Oxfam Australia has been supporting long-term development work in Timor-Leste since 1975. Oxfam works in three districts to improve people’s access to basic services; ensure marginalised groups have the opportunity to take part in decisions that affect their lives; and address the root causes of conflict to build lasting peace.
Visit Oxfam Australia for more information. Donations can be one-off or made regularly through Oxfam’s aware program.
Plan Australia is a part of Plan International – one of the world’s largest community development organisations. Plan’s project in East Timor is aimed at improving the health of children, their families and their communities by delivering sustainable community-managed water and sanitation services. This project is supported by AusAID, the Australian Government Agency for International Development.
In East Timor’s rural areas more than 50 per cent of people don’t have access to safe drinking water and around 70 per cent rely on a pig shed or behind a bush for a toilet. Many children living in rural villages suffer regular bouts of diarrhoea due to poor sanitation, drinking dirty water and are unaware of good hygiene such as washing hands.
Since the project commenced in 2005, a total of 15 villages in Aileu and Lautem district now have water piped from a permanent spring to a holding tank that feeds several tap points in the village. No longer is a trek of several kilometers required to collect water from a spring-fed pond that is often contaminated with animal faeces. Families have also been supported to build their own household toilets.
Read more about the project and how to donate at Plan’s website.
Variety Children’s Lifeline Australia is the principal partner of the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation, and major donor to their Klibur Domin Tibar Home in East Timor. The two outreach programmes that began in 2006 have achieved excellent results. The mobile TB Team has tested more than 15,000 villagers for the disease and treated over 150 patients confirmed with TB. The programme to support Children with Disabilities has also been most successful with more than 30 children now under care.
Visit the Variety website or email Variety for more information.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
The heart of World Vision’s work in East Timor is to assist in building “strong communities for strong children”. World Vision Timor Leste (WVTL) aspires to build on a platform of partnering with communities to strengthen these communities and promote the wellbeing of their children.
World Vision in Timor-Leste began its first project in 1996 with an Area Development Program (ADP) in Aileu District under the auspices of World Vision Indonesia. After the referendum and emergency period in 1999, World Vision re-opened its Dili office in September 1999. Since then, WVTL has implemented an array of community-based programming and was also involved in the emergency relief efforts following the deterioration of the security situation in 2006.
Read more about World Vision’s projects in East Timor, and how you can help, at the World Vision Timor Leste website.
Youth Off The Streets
Since 1991, Youth Off The Streets has been helping disadvantaged young people in Australia and has now expanded its reach with the Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund. Father Chris Riley first saw an opportunity to help overseas in East Timor after independence in 2002, committing to helping an orphanage located in the tiny town of Baguia, in an impoverished area deep in the mountains.
Working alongside the local church, plans are underway to utilise local labour to install larger tanks and solar pumps to pipe water underground, and also to renovate and expand the orphanage’s buildings.The orphanage renovations will involve building another storey on top of the existing building, giving the children new sleeping and bathing areas. The existing downstairs rooms will then be converted to recreational and study areas – allowing play times when it is raining.
Youth Off The Streets also wishes to start a food programme in East Timor, which will purchase nutritious food such as fruit, vegetables and eggs. This will cost AUD$1800 per month.
Help make it happen, visit the Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund website and consider donating.