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Fair Futures for 250 women & girls in Timor-Leste

The project funds small business solutions for 250 female artisans in three remote villages in Timor-Leste. Extensive training will provide the accounting, clerical, design and marketing skills needed to manage and build their handcrafts businesses. Mentoring programs will improve their capacity to protect weaving traditions and their natural environment now and into the future. The project will also influence broader handcrafts sector sustainability through demonstration impact and advocacy.
About Our Partner

East Timor Women Australia (ETWA)

To support East Timorese women through social, cultural, economic and environmentally sustainable programs, particularly in the handcrafts industry.

The Problem

As south-east Asia's poorest nation, sustainable development is needed to improve the quality of life for women and girls in rural Timor-Leste. While malnutrition, disease and poverty are very high, literacy and access to basic education and infrastructure are extremely low. More than 90,000 women rely on hand-weaving as their only source of income, but our research shows they often earn as little as three cents per hour. Your support will help rural women change this!

The Solution

The project funds business training and programs in three communities for three generations of women and girls. Programs include sustainable supply-chain establishment and design workshops to improve product quality and fair trade market development to increase sales. The Weaving Business School supports girls as the next generation of cultural guardians and change-makers. Continued research and demonstration impact will influence ethical policy frameworks towards national sector sustainability.


As well as poverty reduction for more than 250 rural women, the project inspires development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the future. It will institute fair trade standards in an industry critical to the livelihoods of 90,000 hand-weavers in Timor-Leste. Sustainable supply-chains and eco-friendly cotton and plant-dye cultivation promotes sustainable economic growth and recycling; combats the use of toxic dyes and elevates the status of local skills and knowledge.

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