Kids sharing a joke at a street-side repair workshop in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste (photo © Marcus Perkins/Progressio)
Progressio has a long history of supporting the people of Timor-Leste, beginning in the 1980s with lobbying and advocacy work calling for the independence of Timor-Leste and speaking out against atrocities committed by the occupying Indonesian forces.
In 2000 we opened an office in Dili and since then, our development workers have:
- helped local partner organisations build a solid platform for carrying out their work through clear operational structures, well-defined roles and responsibilities, and proper strategic planning, backed up by training and capacity-building of staff and board members
- helped partner organisations to run small loan schemes in seven districts, set up a variety of community livelihood projects, and improve access to markets for the resulting produce from local farmers and women’s groups
- supported the mainstreaming of women’s rights and involvement at all levels of government
- increased awareness at the community level of women’s rights and issues affecting women such as rape, domestic violence and discrimination
- brought people of different faiths together to co-operate on development initiatives, including helping to establish the successful National Interfaith Working Group, and linking the group to other dynamic international interfaith networks
- set up a pioneering ‘bio-briquettes’ project that provides a sustainable fuel source and reduces the environmental damage associated with heavy reliance on firewood for cooking and heating
- helped partner organisations to lobby the Timorese parliament to set up a committee to take forward the recommendations of two national truth and reconciliation reports
- boosted the ability of HIV support groups to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of people living with HIV.
From 2002-2006 Progressio also led a South-East Asia regional Interfaith and Peacebuilding Project involving capacity building of faith groups around conflict resolution and peacebuilding; international advocacy; developing channels of dialogue between different faith groups (particularly from Timor-Leste, Mindanao and Papua); and research and documentation.