Previous grants in Timor-Leste

View past grant projects by our partner organisations in Timor-Leste.

Since 2019, the Impact Fund has been focused on a range of thematic priority areas. These include COVID-19 response, gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI), climate action, organisational strengthening, and volunteer assignment support. Explore successful grant applications and projects from Timor-Leste below. 

Climate Action (2022)

Engineers Without Borders Australia

Darlau Water Conservation Study

Engineers Without Borders aims to redefine the purpose and impact of engineering practices as a critical enabler of sustainable development.

To adapt to a changing climate, the community of Darlau in Timor-Leste must discover better ways to collect rainwater in the wet season and reduce consumption in the dry season.

This project aims to bring the community of Darlau up to the recommended community water supply standard for the next 10 years.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • host a workshop for at least 20 community members on water scarcity;
  • identify three appropriate technologies for saving water; and
  • pilot and test water saving technology nominated by the community, such as rainwater tanks, gutters, greywater tanks and behaviour change.


Climate Resilient Communities Through Water Sources Restoration and Soil Conservation in Madabeno, Aileu

PERMATIL aims to make permaculture tools and knowledge accessible to people across Timor-Leste. Their team works with people to strengthen food sovereignty, facilitate environmental regeneration, mitigate climate change and build resilient and sustainable communities everywhere.

In the town of Madabeno, Timor-Leste, climate change, deforestation, slash-and-burn agriculture and drought have reduced the availability of water and production of food. In 2021, Tropical Cyclone Sereja caused landslides that decimated the surrounding areas, which remain vulnerable to extreme weather.

This project will increase water security and promote climate resilience in Madabeno.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • control erosion through building swales, retention ponds, earth bags, and rock terracing;
  • conduct tree planting to support water conservation; and
  • teach local volunteers about the benefits of reforestation.

Programa Spesifiku fo Prioridade ba Ema Kiak

Comm and Muapitine: Climate Resilient Suco

Programa Spesifiku fo Prioridade ba Ema Kiak (PROSPEK) has worked across Lautem District in Timor-Leste to promote disaster and climate change preparedness, improve food security, and manage water resource and health since 2006.

Timor-Leste’s rural population is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of their dependence on climate-sensitive rain-fed agriculture, frequent natural disasters and food insecurity. Com and Muapitine Districts have new councils, and the incoming councillors have limited capacity on climate change adaptation and risk reduction.

This project will build the capacity of the Com and Muapitine Suco Councillors and Suco Disaster Management Committee members, with a focus on climate change awareness, leadership, disaster management and climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • deliver a project briefing to municipality and district administrators and Suco councils;
  • support working groups or committees to develop local climate change adaptation and risk reduction plans and incorporate relevant content into local disaster management plans; and
  • facilitate or support the implementation of two priorities in local climate change risk reduction and mitigation plans.

GEDSI (2022)

Asosiasaun Halibur Deficiente Matan Timor-Leste (Association to support and promote blind or visually Impaired in Timor-Leste)

Visual Inclusivity - Eliminate Discrimination and Promote Inclusivity for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired 

The Association to Support and Promote Blind or Visually Impaired (ADHMTL) raises awareness around the issues facing people who are blind or visually impaired in Timor-Leste. 

Improving the community’s understanding of the challenges faced by people living with blindness or a vision impairment will lead to a more respectful and inclusive society. This project will target community leaders, schools, police, 30 females and their families who are blind and visually impaired to eliminate discrimination and stigma.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • provide training to 30 institutional personnel – including community leaders, police and school teachers – in the rights of the person who is blind or visually impaired and how to reduce stigma, eliminate bullying and harassment, use appropriate language, promote inclusivity and eliminate discrimination 
  • provide training to 30 females and their families to read and write braille as well as understanding the rights of the person who is blind or visually impaired and how to reduce stigma, eliminate bullying and harassment, use appropriate language and promote inclusivity and eliminate discrimination
  • provide training for 30 people who are blind or visually impaired on how to write and read Braille. 

Community Based Rehabilitation Network

Strengthening the Voice of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Prevention of Gender-Based Violence in Ermera Municipality 

The Community Based Rehabilitation Network (CBRN) supports people affected by leprosy, disability and other vulnerable populations including the LGBTIQ+ community in Timor-Leste. 

Domestic violence is the most widespread kind of gender-based violence in Timor-Leste. More than one third of women who are 15-49 years of age have encountered physical abuse since they were 15 years old, and 20 per cent have experienced both physical and sexual violence. Economic dependence on the abuser may contribute to violence, while also preventing women from reporting and seeking assistance.  

This project will address gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities in Ermera municipality.   

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • undertake an assessment of the training needs for local authorities, organisations, and women and girls
  • develop a training plan on the prevention of violence against women and girls
  • deliver two days of training to local authorities and government officials in gender equality, prevention of violence against women and girls and their responsibility to report and refer cases of gender-based violence
  • deliver a two-day workshop for women and girls on prevention of violence against women and girls, gender equality, planning, lobbying and advocacy including public speaking skills
  • deliver a two-day leadership training for community leaders, women activists, women and girls’ groups – including women and girls living with disabilities – to equip them to play an active role in preventing and responding to gender-based violence 
  • support women and girls to deliver advocacy sessions to their communities on the prevention of violence against women and girls, domestic violence, gender equality and gender-based violence 
  • map service providers for survivors of gender-based violence by location, type of service, contact address and key contact person in target municipalities
  • train women and girls – including those living with disabilities – and local authorities – including village and sub-village chiefs – in referral pathways 
  • deliver capacity building for women’s groups in income-generating activities, management, monitoring and evaluation data collection and proposal writing skills
  • conduct monthly supportive follow ups and mentoring of targeted organisations on income generating activities, project cycle management and lobbying and advocacy. 

Juventude Ba Dezenvolvimentu Nasional

Liberdade no laiha Diskriminasaun (Freedom and not Discrimination) 

Juventude Ba Dezenvolvimentu Nasional (JND) supports young people in Timor-Leste to live in dignity and security.   

Over the last year, JDN has held discussions with more than 200 people living with disability to explore how sexual harassment and gender inequality affect their lives. This project is aiming to work with the young women living with disability who have become JDN sexual harassment activists as a result of these gatherings, to develop their skills and capacity so they can work together to be agents of change.   

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project support 20 young women with disabilities to:

  • share their experiences of gender inequality and sexual harassment with one another, with other young people living with disabilities and with their community
  • work in small teams to plan, implement and facilitate five events for young people with disabilities 
  • undertake training to develop skills in community organising, project planning, campaign planning and social analysis. 

Permakultura Timor Lorosa’e (Permatil)

Water Conservation and Home Garden  

Permatil is working to mitigate against climate change and increase food production in Timor-Leste by improving knowledge, skills and attitudes around water-source conservation and home gardens.   

In Timor-Leste, the collection of domestic water is traditionally the role of women and children, particularly in remote villages. The vast distances travelled to obtain safe drinking water impacts the time women have for meaningful work, education and household tasks.  

Through this project, Permatil will co-facilitate with female community leaders and disability agency Fuan Nabilan to deliver workshops on how to be active environmental advocates in their communities.   

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • engage with 25 female leaders in Manufahi district and the disability agency Fuan Nabilan to design water conservation and home garden leadership workshops for women, girls and people with disability
  • co-facilitate train-the-trainer workshops in water conservation and home-garden food production to enable female community leaders to deliver the workshops to women, girls and people living with disability in communities across Timor-Leste
  • continue engagement with the female leaders via site-visits or online communications. 

Organisational Strengthening (2022)

Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste

Improved Recruitment, Support and Retention of Timorese Employees Through a Staff Wellbeing Program

Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL) delivers humanitarian services across all 13 municipalities of Timor-Leste. CVTL does not have a retirement policy, provide medical insurance or bereavement support to its personnel.

This project will develop policies related to retirement, medical insurance and bereavement to support staff, volunteers and their families with improved savings, health outcomes and career prospects.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • conduct one consultation with CVTL staff in each of the 13 municipalities on medical insurance, bereavement support and retirement plans
  • develop and implement medical insurance, bereavement support and retirement plans based on consultations with staff and external providers.

Fundacao Carbon Offset Timor

Strengthening Organisational Capacity 

Fundacao Carbon Offset Timor (F-COTI) is a non-government organisation combating climate change impacts through community reforestation activities, sustainable socio-economic development activities, and carbon credit sales.

F-COTI needs to strengthen its human resource, finance, asset management, staff code of conduct and strategic planning policies.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • undertake a review of related documents and conduct stakeholder consultation
  • develop F-COTI's policies, processes and procedures related to human resource management, financial management, asset management and improve the child protection policy, environmental policy, fraud and corruption polices and conflict of interest policy
  • provide training and orientation to FCOTI staff on the new policies.

Assignment Support (2021)

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e

Capacity building for horticulture, aquaculture and chicken farming trainees 

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e (Permatil) will support rural families in Timor-Leste by teaching them the technical permaculture skills to become self-sufficient, improve their income and restore the environment.

Permaculture also improves accessibility by making work as easy as possible, allowing people with different abilities to participate. ‍

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • purchase and distribute indigenous seeds, small fish, chickens and appropriate tools to participants in are and Ornai who have completed Permatil’s training program in horticulture, aquaculture and chicken farming
  • create a video on the progress of participants highlighting good permaculture techniques to be used as a teaching tool for other communities
  • monitor and evaluate the impact of the project and report findings.

Permaculture offers an inclusive, eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable future for Timor-Leste. The principles of permaculture are imbued with gender equality, diversity and inclusion and Permatil ensures these are appropriate in a Timorese context.

GEDSI (2021)

Assosiasaun Halibur Defisiensia Matan Timor-Leste (Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired)

Taka Imi Nia Matan Loke imi Ni Fuan (Close Your Eyes and Open Your Heart) Theatre 

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired project will establish a theatre group for people who are blind or living with a visual impairment in Timor-Leste. This group will raise awareness of issues facing people who are blind or visually impaired through performances of traditional dance, music and theatre. 

The disadvantages faced by people who are blind or living with a visual impairment, particularly women, are not well understood in Timor-Leste communities. Improving the understanding of these issues will lead to greater empathy and support. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, 30 participants will improve their skills in performance arts. Project activities will include: 

  • providing three months of training and development for participants in performing arts, in partnership with the Timor Furak youth art group 
  • engaging musicians who are blind or visually impaired to work closely with performers  
  • purchase of performance training and preparation traditional costumes 
  • developing a show for performances in municipalities outside Dili. 

This project will empower participants who are blind or living with a visual impairment to improve their quality of life. Learning traditional dance will improve participants’ confidence, resilience and the ability to participate more actively in their community. By focusing on public performance as the medium, Timor-Leste communities will be more engaged and aware of the issues facing people who are blind or living with a visual impairment.  

Fundasaun Alola (Alola Foundation)

Transformative learning for disability inclusion 

The Fundasaun Alola project will strengthen the inclusion of children with a disability in rural Timor-Leste education projects.  

Children with a disability are less likely to enrol at school and have greater chance of not graduating from their education. In Timor-Leste, class sizes are large, where it is common to have more than 70 students in a classroom. The needs of children with a disability are often overlooked, and teachers can have limited access to support. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will improve Alola staff’s understanding of disability inclusion. It will be integrated into future Alola projects to better support children with a disability and their teachers. 

Project activities will include: 

  • a sharing session to identify strengths, successes and challenges in supporting children with a disability 
  • improving Alola staff knowledge and practices in delivering learning activities that meets children’s particular needs 
  • relationship building with partner organisations and disability peak bodies through staff visits and workshops 
  • conducting learning events on assisting people with a disability and families in rural or isolated areas 
  • collecting health data using Washington Group question sets. 

The project will engage with people with a disability through partner organisations, disability peak organisations and mental health professionals. All sessions will be facilitated by Timorese facilitators, embedded in the Timorese cultural context and conducted in Tetum language. 

Juventude Dezenvolvimentu Nasiona (Young People for National Development)

Hapara Aseidu Seksual (Stop Sexual Harassment) 

The Juventude ba Dezenvolvimentu Nasional (JDN) project will develop a training resource to educate young women on sexual harassment in Timor-Leste. This will include education, life skills training, responsive actions and advocacy to build the knowledge and skills of young women. 

In Timor-Leste, young women struggle with unequal treatment and discrimination. Sexual harassment can be seen as normal rather than as disrespectful behaviour towards women. JDN will use this project to help educate young women about sexual harassment and help them to know their rights. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • deliver workshops that provide strategies, tools and life skills training to assist young women faced with sexual harassment 
  • establish a young women’s writing group who will prepare project resources with the support of mentors and advisors 
  • train young women to facilitate workshops and become trainers of other young women 
  • trial workshops with young women in Dili 
  • promote project resource for use in other organisations. 

This project will provide knowledge and ideas to allow young women to challenge the pervading attitudes that lead to sexual harassment. Young women will be empowered to take action in their families, communities and universities to address sexual harassment. They will possess the skills to talk about violence against them and they will be able to advocate against violence towards women. 

Working Women's Centre

Decent work for domestic and vulnerable workers

The Working Women’s Centre project will empower potential domestic workers and home-based workers by providing access to information, referrals and public advocacy. With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will deliver outreach workshops in Ainaru and Covalima, targeting villages with women in agriculture and high levels of economic disadvantage.

Domestic work and home-based work are growing as a source of income for women, most of whom come from limited educational and socio-economic backgrounds. This work is excluded from the Labour Code of Timor-Leste, making these women vulnerable to economic exploitation, physical and sexual abuse.

This project will deliver outreach workshops equipping women with knowledge and resources to access work with reasonable working conditions and legal protections. The sessions will include education on vocational, advocacy and organising skills, so that women can advocate to be recognised as workers. These workshops will also raise awareness of issues facing women workers in Timor-Leste with decision makers and partner organisations.

‍Workshops will be designed in consultation with domestic workers, home-based workers and community leaders. This will involve community consultation, engagement and focus group discussions in each municipality. Promotional materials will also be produced to support collective action, including a community radio show.

Climate Action (2021)

Blue Ventures Conservation

Accelerating community-led sustainable management of marine resources 

Blue Ventures will support Timorese coastal communities to monitor their fisheries and reef habitats, understand the effects of climate change and improve food security. It will share tools and training to empower local communities to manage their environmental and marine resources.  

Timor-Leste reefs suffer from bleaching events, coral disease and overfishing, which is further exacerbated by climate change. It is important to understand the status of these ecosystems and the fisheries they support.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, Blue Ventures will train Timorese community members to conduct reef ecological surveys. This data will support marine management decisions that improve catches, make fishing more sustainable, and incentivise action to protect the biodiversity of marine ecosystems.  

The project will train community members in reef, seagrass and fisheries monitoring and management. Tailored training will empower these communities to monitor reef health, inform community management plans and facilitate the adaptive management of marine resources. Communities will become custodians to protect and sustain local habitats and fisheries. 

‍At least seven Timorese community members will also attain certifications in SCUBA diving-based monitoring and data collection techniques. Upon completion of SCUBA and Reef Check training, data will be collected and shared with participating communities. This will provide a holistic picture of the reefs and fisheries, allowing communities to make informed management decisions. 

Communities will possess the skills to monitor and protect the reefs around Atauro and on the mainland. Management actions led by local communities will help safeguard natural resources of cultural importance, by mitigating overfishing and safeguarding the resilience of critical ecosystems against climate change impacts.

COVID-19 Response (2020)

Ba Futuru | For the Future

Youth-led campaign for stopping the spread of fake news and rumors of COVID-19 in rural communities throughout Timor-Leste

Ba Futuru will partner with a local media organisation to develop an entertaining and informative three-part video series on fake news, and will work with their network of 150 youth volunteers to share this in communities across Timor-Leste.

East Timor Development Agency

Strengthening cooking of nutritious food and improving hygiene practices

The East Timor Development Agency will produce healthy cooking, hygiene and nutrition videos, with lessons delivered by chefs from the Agency's Education Restaurant, to help Timorese people of all ages live healthier.

HAIM Health

COVID-19 public communications and education campaign - Timor-Leste districts

HIAM Health will increase the understanding of health, safety and hygiene among their beneficiaries and staff to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, and develop factual information on how the disease spreads and preventative strategies.

Maluk Timor

Maintaining essential HIV services that have been disrupted by COVID-19 and the state of emergency

The impact of COVID-19 and the state of emergency in Timor-Leste has led to a decrease in testing, treatment and education on HIV. These funds will support Maluk Timor to continue to treat HIV in the Timor-Leste community during this challenging time.

Supporting continuity of access to essential primary health care for rheumatic heart disease patients in Timor-Leste throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

This project will increase the capacity of district healthcare workers to provide essential primary care services for rheumatic heart disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing patients with access to monthly injections to prevent episodes of health conditions.

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e

Workshop and training on horticulture, aquaculture and chicken raising

Permakultura Timor Lorosa'e will support community groups, particularly young people, with training in water conservation, aquaculture, horticulture and animal husbandry, to improve food production and income generation.

Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund Timor Leste

Digitising youth work in Timor-Leste

Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund will upskill their team of Timorese youth workers, training them in project management, digital, and best practice youth work, as well as building their technological capacity, to better share digital resources with their community.