ETWA’s key partner in Timor-Leste – the LO’UD Cooperative – have reached another major milestone! They’re a few months away from moving into their central office and workspace - a building that they can at last call their own.
As more young women become involved in the Cooperative, the facility will be used for generations.
With your support and our work, together we continue to make a big difference in the lives of these resilient and creative women (and their daughters)!
There’ll be loads more stories to share as the time draws nearer, so please stay tuned!
Apologies for our long silence. In accordance with the 12mth mourning period in Timor-Leste, we put our reporting on hold after Ilda was involved in an horrendous bus accident. She survived but sadly, she lost her young son.
Thankfully, Ilda has recovered and returned to work and LO’UD is now back in full swing.
With government land secured and 50% of the funding needed, they’re almost ready to build their Business Sustainability Centre.
So here’s a shout out to you on LO’UD’s behalf.
Buy a textile for a loved one this Xmas or donate through Global Giving to help LO’UD seize this golden opportunity!
Profits from YOUR PURCHASE or DONATION will be invested in LO’UD’s Business Sustainability Centre.
Socrates said that the secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
LO'UD women are making change, but they don't fight the old, they integrate tradition and custom into their products, their business model and their community development practice to keep tangible and intangible culture alive for future generations.
Fair Futures helps makes this happen by improving the confidence & capacity of LO’UD women to seek out & participate in opportunities locally in order to gain the tangible and intangible resources to grow their social enterprise.
This is possible because of people like you so on behalf of LO’UD Cooperative and their members, we say thank you!
As a picture paints a thousand words, we hope the photo in the attached update communicates what our in-house volunteer designer (Mana Kat) has been up to here in Australia. The tools were developed for the LO'UD Cooperative and aimed at helping decrease the instance of incorrectly woven textiles to increase income for LO'UD members. Simple really! During the first phase of the project implemented in 2013, product quality measures improved by more than 50% and the textiles themselves are gorgeous! LO’UD sales in Timor-Leste also increased significantly as has the women’s confidence and enthusiasm. It's rewarding to know that what we do to further the Fair Futures vision is having life-changing benefits for LO'UD women.
Other exciting developments in Timor-Leste include the commencement of a volunteer fashion designer from Sydney who will work on product development with LO’UD for three months. Bridget collaborated with ETWA back in 2006 and has finally found the opportunity to work directly with LO’UD staff. Luckly Bridget will also be supported by the extraordinary in country Australian volunteer business mentor, Mana Gabrielle!
Very exciting times for all! And as always, it’s people like you that help us make things happen. A big galaxy sized thank you for your continued support.
Until next time - the ETWA Team
P.S. LO’UD ‘s business is moving ahead in leaps and bounds!
P.P.S. There are also positive whispers about government support for a centre for LO’UD, so we’ll be sure to keep you posted as we receive updates!
This month, our Timor-Leste based partners completed their FIRST EVER Business Plan! It’s well written, thorough and - most importantly - demonstrates a deep understanding of what they need to do to achieve their goals. But to fully appreciate what an extraordinary achievement this is, it’s important to understand the social and economic barriers these extraordinary women confront every day:
80% of LO'UD Cooperative members can't read or write
Only three members are computer literate
Cooperative leaders have no formal business training
The business environment is emergent and constantly changing
AND they’ve NEVER done anything like this before! We gave them a simple template and they’ve turned it into a comprehensive road map to guide them on their journey to sustainability. I’m sure you’ll join me in sending them enormous congratulations!
In the national language of Timor-Leste, troka malu means exchange, or giving to each other. Each of us has assisted this community of women sow the seeds of fairer futures – and this includes you and your generous donations. What the women give back to us is the satisfaction that we’ve done something equally important – we’ve helped!
On behalf of LO’UD women, we’d like to say ‘obrigada barak’ (thank you very much) for your continued support!
Deb and the ETWA team
PS: Attached is a screen shot of this sensational document!
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