Subject: Timor Aid Celebrates Nines Years of Development Assistance

Timor Aid Celebrates Nines Years of Development Assistance

By Sarah Francis

On Friday the 5th of October, Timor Aid, East Timor’s leading national development organisation, celebrated nine years of working with East Timorese people in development assistance. Timor Aid staff, their families and supporters marked the occasion with music, dancing and a feast, paid for by fundraising efforts within the organisation over the past three months.

It is Timor Aid’s mission to model organizational excellence in undertaking programs to achieve sustainable economic, social and cultural development results. With a staff of 69 people who regularly participate in capacity building, an impressive list of international donors and operations occurring in all 13 districts of the country, the organisation is in a favourable position for undertaking this task.

“Timor Aid- Tulun Rai Timor” as Timor Aid is locally known, is a non-governmental organization. Founded in 1998 by East Timorese people and long-term international supporters of the country, the organisation worked closely during its creation with Nobel Peace Laureate and now-President of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta.

While Timor Aid was a prominent provider of relief during the 1999 to 2001 period of national emergency and during the tumultuous events of 2006, it predominantly focuses on long-term development. Since its creation the organisation has implemented more than 80 development projects in the areas of community development, health, education, capacity building, income generation and agriculture. Timor Aid is currently responsible for the implementation of 10 projects, and has worked with major funding agencies such as the European Commission, USAID, AusAID, UN agencies and various private foundations.

Maria do Ceu Federer, former Chief Executive Officer and one of the founders of Timor Aid, reminisces about the evolution of the organisation over the past nine years:

“The emergency period of 1999 to 2001 was quite chaotic for Timor Aid… However we have been able to adapt every time there has been social or political instability and upheaval… There will be challenges in the future but we will survive due to our merits, because our work is done by Timorese people for the Timorese community…

“My message is that Timor Aid acts as a positive example for other local or national NGOs, and even for the government of East Timor. Although it has faced many challenges Timor Aid has been very capable of coping, adapting and restructuring when necessary. Our history demonstrates that Timorese people are capable of being independent when they are properly trained, which means that East Timor can realistically achieve a stable future.”

Sarah Francis External Relations Coordinator Timor Aid Ph: +670 731 2142

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