Voices from Timor-Leste

You and Oxfam are helping people pave their way to a better, brighter future through the support of livelihoods programmes in Timor-Leste. Here's what they have to say:

Ajita Caunan (28) and Renilda Tefa (1) are from Kiupanaf in Cunha, Oecusse, Timor-Leste. She is part of the Saving for Change group (known as Romansa in Timor-Leste) which is supported by Oxfam. She finds being part of the group very beneficial, as through it, she can access money to get things she needs for her home and her children.

She was part of a group of farmers who received training on terracing, growing a range of diverse crops, preventing erosion and maintaining soil fertility - all vitally important things, as many families like Ajita's rely on their crops for food and and to sell at markets to make a living.

Ajita said she really enjoyed the workshop, and liked learning about the different kinds of work - the 'outside' work to earn money, and the 'inside' work around the home.

She wants her children to get a good job inside an office so they can earn a decent amount of money.

Filomena Caet (52) is from Kiupanaf in Cunha, Oecusse, Timor-Leste - like Ajita. She joined a farmers' group that is supported by Oxfam in Timor-Leste. She decided to join the group because she faces many difficulties in her household around having a sustainable food supply and and having enough income to support her family.

She loves being a part of the Saving for Change group, too, because the members of the group pool their money and can then borrow some to buy produce to sell at the market for profit. She sells betel nut and uses the income she gets from that to buy her food.

Filomena lives with her husband and two children - she has seven children in total but five of them have left home. Her dream is to send her children to school so they can get an education, and one day, a good job and a decent income.

Serafino Leos is from Quibiselo, Oecusse, Timor-Leste. He is part of the Moris Foun farmers' group which is supported by Oxfam's IMPACT project - our current livelihoods project in Timor-Leste.

"This is good land, good for growing rice, corn, beans, peanuts... We just have problems with water and with insects. We want this project to show us how to deal with those problems."

Photos: Anna Mosley