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Looking back and forward: 75 years of history and some huge moments in 2015

Progressio is celebrating 75 years of supporting marginalised people around the world. We have marked the occasion with a special version of our magazine that looks back over more than seven decades of incredible work, and gives you a glimpse of the significant moments coming up in the year ahead.

Women make the difference in Timor-Leste

Funding Officer Silvia Fabbri reflects on a visit to the women's self-help groups Progressio is working with in Oe-cusse, Timor-Leste.

Working in the international development sector can be one of the most frustrating jobs. Sometimes, you have to sit down and wonder whether what you do is really making any difference to people’s lives or is it just a way to give meaning to your own life? 

Is there a place for beauty pageants in Timor-Leste?

The extensive news coverage of the upcoming first 'Ms. Timor-Leste' pageant gives the impression that the future of the eleven-year old country depends on it. Whoever wins the new title of Ms. Timor–Leste is envisioned by the Ministry of Tourism to serve as an ambassador of goodwill to promote the country and draw-in tourists.

Timor-Leste dances and shouts: Stop violence against women!

Vilma Horca is a development worker supporting Progressio partner Rede Feto in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. Here Vilma shares with us how Timorese women celebrated International Women's Day and used it to highlight the need for more to be done to tackle domestic violence.

Timor-Leste: The hidden truth about HIV and AIDS

If you were to consider the statistics alone, you would not believe that HIV infection was particularly problematic in Timor-Leste. Current figures are modest, with a total of 294 confirmed cases recorded by the national hospital's testing service.

Yet the testimonies of organisations working to address associated stigma and discrimination as well as the need for effective prevention, tell another story. As they prepared for World AIDS Day, I spoke to three Progressio partners about the issues that they are tackling in the country today.

Timor-Leste: Stepping away from the past

Since arriving in Dili, Timor-Leste, I have been puzzled to hear the frequent bang and fizzle of fireworks, even during the daytime. However, as the buildings started to don the red, black, yellow and white of the Timorese flag and street sellers began offering all sorts of patriotic merchandise, it became clear that the country was simply preparing for a significant national holiday.