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Apr 13, 2020

Tourism as a new source of income to fight poverty!

Empreza Di’ak and rural communities started 2020 looking ahead towards a better future. The impoverished Atauro island has an unique and incredible tourism potential to be explored. While many people go the island for diving or hiking, communities are also willing to share their culture and traditions to the visitors.

We have been working together with artisans from Arlo, Makadade, Makili and Baruana on preparing handicrafts workshops for tourists.

During the last 3 months, 40 local artisans representing several groups were involved in various trainings on identifying which kind of traditional handicraft knowledge could be shared with visitors, and on how to directly provide a workshop to a group. (see pictures about Training on teaching Katupa – a traditional cooking technique)

Moreover, young women from the same communities also started an internship at ED’s SAT center in Atauro aimed at improving their skills and preparing them to be facilitators able to organize and conduct a workshop side by side with the artisans.

Our team also kept  supporting local communities through product quality improvement, business assessment and access to market for artisans’ production. As usual, this permanent support to artisans was made possible by our staff’s effort in running monthly community visits and our shops in Atauro and Dili.

Facing challenges

As many other countries, Timor-Leste has recently been affected by the threat of COVID-19’s propagation. In March, this resulted in the evacuation of international volunteers who were working at Empreza Di’ak. Since 28th of March, the State of Emergency was decreed as a prevention measure. This situation is having a direct impact on the national economy in general and will hit even harder rural communities and social tourism initiatives due to health concerns and travel bans.

In spite of having to suspend temporarily training activities to the communities according to the application of social distance rules, Empreza Di’ak refuses to forget its commitments in fighting poverty. That is why we are taking the right prevention measures, reorganizing our work and planning new ways to perform our mission.

More than ever, your donation to this project will contribute to smoothen the impact of this global crisis, by giving Empreza Di’ak and 150 artisans the means to address this unprecedented challenge.

Thank you for standing beside us! Keep safe!

Feb 6, 2020

Creating livelihoods for youth in Timor-Leste - #37978

Creative Entrepreneurship for Youth in Ataúro powered by Empreza Diak

For the last 3 months we have continued to work with the youth from Ataúro to nurture creative entrepreneurship and promote gender equalit

Empreza Diak`s training team developed a tailor-made training for young students to develop knowledge and skills that are key as they look at the future, including entrepreneurship, activity mapping, problem solving, SWOT analysis, leadership and team work. The training took place in two different schools in Ataúro: Teknika Vokassional and Escola Sekundaria Jeral. 

We have also designed and piloted creative workshops in our innovative Sentru Atauro Diak where youth learned about several production techniques that can be used to develop new products (e.g. using upcycling materials). The process involved fun and productive brainstorming sessions, research and testing. In the pilot workshop, the team used recycled and up-cycled materials to show the participants how to find materials in their daily life environment and produce artistic or useful products out of it.

In this new year of 2020 Sentru Ataúro Diak will grow and expand as a reference for youth in Ataúro and, with your generous support, we will continue to support them to develop livelihoods and build better and healthier futures.

Please follow - and share! - the project on Facebook and Instagram 

If you are in Timor-Leste, visit our local products’ shops in Dili and Atauro (links for map and details), buy unique handicrafts and learn more about our beautiful country and these amazing artisans! If you are visiting Atauro, talk to us to know more about the handicraft workshops.

Dec 20, 2019

Rural artisans in the spotlight!

3rd Atauro Handicraft Market in Dili
3rd Atauro Handicraft Market in Dili

With your generous support, this year we have been able to work with 150 artisans in Timor-Leste, developing traditional and new livelihoods as well as designing new products and services that meet the needs of these amazing rural communities.



With your help we are supporting these artisans to turn their traditions into livelihoods!


A highlight from December was the 3rd Atauro Handicraft Market where more than 40 artisans came from this remote island to the capital Dili (some of them making this journey for the very first time!) to get training, exhibit their art and sell their unique products.


The Handicraft Market was a huge success! We had over 150 of visitors and the artisans sold hundreds of products, generating over $2,000 for these rural artisans - which has transformative impact on their lives and also boosts Atauro’s extremely impoverished economy.

The event was also a great opportunity for the artisans to get feedback on their products and to see their skills and cultural heritage appreciated by a wider audience.


We also presented some of the innovative sustainable products that Empreza Diak has designed in 2019 together with these communities (check out our brand new Mikado game, Phone Support, computer support and much more!). If you are in Timor-Leste, you an find these unique products in our shops in Dili and Atauro (Rua de Laútem, 1, Farol, Díli) and learn more about our beautiful country and these amazing artisans! 


If you are abroad you can follow the project on Facebook and Instagram


We hope you are inspired by this news and continue to support us in the new year, sharing this work with friends and family to join this transformative movement.

Thank you and happy holiday!

Artisans and their handicraft products
Artisans and their handicraft products
JICA volunteer giving pottery training
JICA volunteer giving pottery training
Artisans developing handicraft products in Atauro
Artisans developing handicraft products in Atauro


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