Alzira Freitas Siqueira dos Reis
I am pleased to present the outcome that has been achieved by the Alola Foundation during 2017 through the annual reports to our donor, partner and beneficiaries. The significant steps made, present in this report are succeeded because of contribution from various entities that support us.
The Alola strategic plan has been implementing for two and half years and mid-term revision to reflect the relevance of the implementation against the planning and listed its’ achievement has been occurred. There were minor improvement in the strategic direction within Maternal and Child Health program, Advocacy and Economic empowerment. The new added strategies that have been agreed on were Increase women’s understanding on early detection and treatment on women’s cancer, Prevent gender based Violence and Preserve and promote culture heritage of Timor-Leste “TAIS”.
We are driven by the spirit of “productivity” in 2017. The principle has had inspired us to put effort in getting wide support from friends and partner with Australia through meeting and fundraising across country includes Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney during my short course in Australia. The initiative and spirt have leads the organization stronger in terms of institution and human resource development. My appreciation and gratitude goes to entire board member and its member of Alola Australia, Embassy of Timor-Leste in Canberra, ACRAFT, Blue Mountain Sisters and Walter Mangold Trust Fund for the effort and support. In addition, the productivity has been introduced into the program implementation level to exercise its mission with the commitment to working in rural area for the well-being of women and children of Timor-Leste. Apart from that, the integration and inclusive approach value are reflecting in the activities designing and implementation process to respond towards the needs of the target audience across the country.
The actions to reduce the maternal and child mortality rate with the involvement of the community members are quite essential to ensure the ownership within the communities. Considering to the importance of these practices, Maternal and Child Health program continue established 16 more community group across Likisa and Baucau municipal. Another activity was Birth Preparedness plan which implement across Oekusse municipal. The evaluation for three years has occurred and as a result in 2017 there were 67 percent from 1,164 of mother delivered at home assisted by midwife or health worker, 33 percent delivered at health facility, and 18 percent delivered at home assist by the traditional birth attendance or family. There are some factors contributing to the mother decided delivered at home as the distant from health facility and the facilities are not sufficient, therefore strengthen and take the health service nearby the pregnant mothers at home is as one objective of the project.
The sector of improving the quality of education in pre-primary and primary 1st cycle has continued conducting mentoring in class room to the teachers at 54 primary schools in Aileu and Bobonaro. Another activities to improve the quality of education is the reading project-Mobile Library which targeted to children and student at schools and community level. This year the project has visited 40 schools and community in Likisa, Bobonaro, Aileu and Manatautu which has reached student and community children about 4,455. The evaluation on the project that has been supported by Child Fund shows that reading skills of student in target school from grade 1 – 3 have been increased significantly to 52 present. Apart from that, the evidence shows that the participation of girls in secondary and university are still lower than man. The data indicate that 16 percent of women at the age of 25 are completed their study at secondary or university compare with man 25 percent. Giving to that, provide scholarships supports to young women are necessary thus within this year Alola had been delivered scholarship to 200 student comprise of 135 women and 65 boys or man from all level of education. As a result of these supports there were 10 women graduated from university within this year.
The effort to prevent gender based violence and support women and young women become a leader and take part in decision making at all level continue as priorities in 2017. In the prevention part, it has been raised the awareness of the young women and men on gender based violence, law and policies that guaranteed the right of women. These sessions have been conducted in Dili, Likisa and Manatutu and attended by the young women and man about 1,862 peoples. Another result was two youth movements was established by the young women and man that attended Alola monthly discussion with the objective engaging more younger people to prevent gender based violence within their communities. Apart from that, initiative to strengthen women heads of village and potentials women was continued through leadership training and citizen forum across 24 villages. The citizen forum has had enabled community member to discuss the issue of health, education and infrastructure within their community and developed strategies of advocacy in municipal level with the support of Alola Field Officer. Another significant step made in strengthen collaborations with the relevant ministries which was signed extension Memorandum of Understating (MoU) between Fundasaun Alola and DNASS- Ministry of Estate for three years with the main objective supporting women head of village and potentials women in Alola target village.
I am delighted to present that this year we conducted ‘Weaver Festival’ for two days and as a result the weavers’ skill on designing and natural days are increased. The Weaver Festival has had provided space for master weaver to shared skills in designing the motive and using natural dying from the origin municipal which has considered as heritage from the ancestor. The economic empowerment program has had to support improved Alola producers’ group income generating which has increased 15 percent compare with 2016. The activities that have to support producers group includes Easter, Christmas fair and saving and loan within cooperative group.
I would like to acknowledge and appreciate entire support that has been deriving to Alola Foundation and as part of transparency we present the outcome of program and finance trough this annual report.
Thank you to entire donor, partner, board member, managers and all staff of Alola for your commitment in supporting the functioning of Alola Foundation to exercise its mission. My specials thank goes to mana Jude Finch for her dedication during 18 months in supporting myself and the program managers in institutional strengthening and partnership.
Thanks for your support and friendship.
CEO of Fundasaun Alola