Timor Leste: fishing for a future
10 October 2011

A vegetable garden of a group of households JRS is assisting with seeds and training after they were reintegrated into communities after conflict caused displacement in Timor Leste. It is situated on the slope of a hill in Hera Village because there is no other land for them. The water that flows to the garden is piped from a spring. They are managing the natural recourses to help maintain their livelihoods. The man in the white singlet, Alfredo, although only 18, in charge of the operation because of his great leadership skills. (Photo by Chanya Pacharatham/ JRS Thailand)
Why does JRS work in Timor Leste? Since Timor Leste gained independence from Indonesia in 2002, the country has continued to face conflicts and problems with poverty. In 2011, 41% of people living in rural and suburban areas were under the poverty line. It is a JRS goal to provide training and start-up materials for local communities to build their capacity to support one another.
Hera, Timor Leste, 29 Septmeber, 2011 – The JRS projects in Timor Leste might have a flowery future. With different communities coming up with livelihoods projects, some are opting to grow and sell flowers. Others are sewing, vegetable gardening, farming and fish raising.

Seven groups in Timor Leste’s rural communities have become involved in developing ideas for work they can do with the assistance of JRS. Two groups of women in Hera village are taking up sewing, looking for training and assistance in purchasing sewing machines so they can increase production.

Groups in Camea and Becora are taking up vegetable and fish production. With backgrounds and experience, they are seeking agricultural training to show them new techniques in farming different kinds of food in different kinds of terrain.

The project approach in Timor Leste has been evolving for the past four years. From 2007-2009, JRS supported 17,000 people displaced from conflict. JRS focused on peace building, reconciliation and assisting in stabilizing communities.

 JRS focused on housing projects, seeking the most vulnerable people in different communities. JRS provided materials for small, sturdy homes and the community came together to build the home together.

Since then, JRS focused on assisting village and sub-village councils in addressing peace and reconciliation issues as people who were displaced were reintegrated into the communities. This year, the focus of intervention is still at the level of village and sub-village but addressing livelihood concerns, and food security especially for women and the youth. 

Isidoro Vianna da Costa, JRS Timor Leste project director

Press Contact Information
Oliver White
+66 2 640 9590