The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Timor Leste

In Timor Leste we focus on building capacity for livelihoods and women's enterprise.

Development programmes

Economic development for rural Timorese women

HAFOTI women's group, Timor-Leste

This is a five year project which started at the end of 2015 in partnership with Hamahon Feto Timor (HAFOTI), and is supported with funds from the New Zealand Aid Programme’s Partnerships Fund.

The project aims to improve the well-being of rural Timorese women by supporting them to develop and make products for sale in seven districts in Timor Leste. The project will assist with improving the processing and retailing of local products by rural Timorese women through the establishment of Hamahon Feto Timor (HAFOTI) production centres in selected districts.

HAFOTI is a women's livelihood organisation which provides training, marketing opportunities and revolving loans to rural women in order to generate income for them.

Its 252 members produce quality goods such as virgin coconut oil, banana chips and local handicrafts for sale in their shop in Dili, supermarkets and trade fairs. Members have gone from having irregular income through subsistence agriculture to having regular, sustainable incomes.

In February 2017 the first food production centre was opened in Madabenu village, Aileu district. The centre supports the hygienic production of local products like soy milk and also provides a space for women to gather for meetings and training. A storeroom for goods ready to be sold and a secure location to store production equipment are additional benefits of the centre.

We have worked with HAFOTI since 2004 and in the last nine years it has grown from a self-managed community based organisation to a well-regarded professional organisation.

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