Capacity building (or capacity building) becomes an important process in which individuals and organizations can improve their abilities needed to do their jobs competently.If this process is successful, it will strengthen the institutions and staff themselves to fulfill their mission over time to time including have a positive impact on lifes and communities. The opportunity to study abroad through the Scholarship program is one way to increase this capacity.

Pascoela (Quella) Barreto is the amazing Coordinator of the Alola Foundation’s HALIKU (Women’s Cancer Support Group) program. She was fortunate and talented enough to receive a scholarship to undertake a 10 week English course at RMIT through the wonderful “Matadalan ba Malu” program. The language and life skills she receives in the coming weeks will equip her to advance the work of Alola in educating the women of Timor-Leste about the importance of early detection of cancer and to advocate for better medical facilities and services to be made available to East Timorese women in country.

“Quella and I are grateful for the support of RMIT, the Andrew McNaughtan Foundation, Alola Australia and of individual friends such as Lyla Coorey who have rallied behind Quella to enable her stay and studies in Melbourne”, wrote Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Chairwoman of the Alola Foundation.

HALIKU, which means “I choose to be healed”, is a group founded by Kirsty Sword Gusmao to increase women’s understanding of prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer. After being handed over to the Alola Foundation, a local NGO that contributes to reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality in women and children in Timor-Leste, HALIKU is increasingly intensifying public education about cancer symptoms and contributing factors including promoting the importance of breast examinations yourself regularly and attend health facilities as soon as the symptoms of cancer are identified.

“Go Quella! Strong women, strong nation! 🇹🇱 💕”, wrote Kirsty Sword Gusmao.

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