Since 2005, travelers like you have helped us change the world through micro-donations.

  1. A total of
    5823
    Travelers

  2. donated
    $20000.69
    (100% funded)

  3. to help improve
    Food Security

  4. impacting
    1500
    people

  5. in
    Timor-Leste

Project background

Timor-Leste remains one of the poorest countries in the Southeast Asia with 37% of the population living below the international poverty line of USD $1.25/day (World Population Review 2018). Eighty per cent of Timor-Leste’s people rely upon agriculture for their livelihood. Agricultural productivity is very low and food insecurity continues to be a chronic and widespread issue. The critical months of food shortage are between November and February, and this period of time is known as the ‘hungry season’.

Surveys show that 62% of farmers experience one month or more of food shortage. Drought and extreme rainfall severely impact local infrastructure. Lack of skills in farming techniques contributes to insufficient food production. There is a lack of infrastructure, financial literacy and access to credit to support farming communities. This project addresses underperformance in the agriculture sector to provide greater economic opportunity and food security to the Timorese people.

Project Approach

This project has strengthened the livelihoods for poor rural communities in Timor-Leste by providing skills and tools to improve productivity, reduce vulnerability and ensure their voice is heard by decision makers.

Project Outcomes

Funding from the Footprints program contributed towards the following project outcomes:

Outcome 1: Women and men in rural communities have improved income and food security. 

  • 52 training events with more than 1,200 people were conducted, empowering people with knowledge of sustainable farming techniques. As a result of this training, the participants have developed 62 permanent gardens, produced 18,000kg of organic fertiliser, and 210L of organic pesticide. 
  • Training on better management of seed stock was given to 398 people. Who now know how to use seed banks to preserve seeds for the next season.
  • A Gender Action Learning pilot program which promotes shared decision-making between couples, was launched in two villages. Of the 22 households who participated, 73% had achieved their shared three-month goals (such as purchasing household items or launching new farming ventures).
  • Training on carbon capture nurseries was conducted for 80 people in two villages. As a result, two nurseries with more than10,000 trees have been planted.

 Outcome 2: Vulnerable rural communities have improved resilience to shock and stress. 

  • To improve the resilience of rural communities, who lack access to the formal banking sector, Oxfam has been establishing Saving for Change groups. Members put aside money to save for larger purchases or unforeseen expenses. This year, 14 new groups with 123 participants were established.  
  • Oxfam has established Community Action Plans with 74 community members in two villages to help them better manage disaster risks such as landslide and flooding. 

Outcome 3: Vulnerable rural women and men are able to influence local and national decision-making processes that impact on their livelihoods and food security.

  • Oxfam held a press conference in June 2020 to raise community concerns about the failure of a company to deliver promised water drilling work in Covalima. As a result, the Municipal Administrator has committed to resolve the issue and the company has commenced work.

Outcome 4: Effectively manage partnerships with local NGOs following Oxfam’s partnerships principles.

  • Oxfam has conducted a number of partner assessments, and provided training in monitoring and evaluation tools, child safeguarding practices, gender equality, disability inclusion, and fraud prevention.

Case study – Making dreams come true in Timor-Leste

Before joining an Oxfam-supported savings group, Francisco struggled to put food on the table for his family. Now, he knows how to manage money and chase his dreams, and his fortunes have turned around.

Despite spending long hours cultivating his rice paddy, Francisco (pictured) never seemed to be able to get ahead. “When I would be working in my paddy field,” he recalls, “I would have a problem with money.”

Francisco couldn’t afford his own harvesting machine so he would borrow a neighbor’s machine, and pay his way with rice.

“It was very difficult,” he says, “because I would work hard but then have to divide my harvest between them and myself.”

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