Women’s Empowerment and Action

Women’s Economic Empowerment

Ba Futuru is partnering with Women’s Campaign International to empower women and consolidate peace in Timor-Leste through the two-year Women as Agents of Peace Through Economic Empowerment Project. We are training both urban and rural women on conflict prevention, business and financial literacy, and community mobilization. Our organization is proud to partner with WCI, a US-based organization with a proven economic empowerment curriculum focused on sustainable capacity-building and community engagement, which has been tailored for use in Timor-Leste. WCI’s programs have equipped more than 400,000 individuals with tangible skills in small business development/financial literacy, community engagement, political participation, campaign management, and conflict mitigation.

Project donor

U.S. Department of State’s Global Women, Peace, and Security Initiative

Empowering Women and Establishing Grassroots Protection Networks

November 2011 – October 2014

While colonisation and occupation have ended for the people of Timor-Leste, recurring cycles of violence and abuse continue to impact on the lives of many, particularly women and children.

Despite the introduction of laws legislating against and offering protection for domestic and other forms of violence little is understood at the community level about avenues for assistance or legal recourse. As a result, most cases remain within traditional justice systems, systems which view domestic violence, sexual and child abuse as private issues. This, along with the fact that many perpetrators act out within the family unit, create multiple barriers for victims seeking protection or help. Consequently, personal insecurity and impunity remain high.

Ba Futuru’s Empowering Women and Establishing Grassroots Protection Networks (EWP) project aimed to enhance grassroots protection of vulnerable peoples in high-conflict and remote areas. The project placed a special focus on empowering women; female local leaders and female police officers received training to equip them with the skills and confidence to advocate for protection against gender-based and domestic violence. This was carried out alongside activities that strengthened linkages between formal justice mechanisms and local communities to ensure local communities are aware of and able to access formal assistance in relation to violence and abuse.

Our Work

  • Addressed the root causes of violent behaviour by developing the skills of key local people across 30 communities through conflict resolution training and information provision relating to individual rights and responsibilities.
  • Trained women to become ‘peace advocates’. Training included developing skills in public speaking, leadership and debate enabling these women to become more actively involved in community decision-making processes.
  • ‘Peace advocates’ formed Protection Teams to work together to stop violence and abuse against women and children and to create a local avenue for reporting cases to the formal system.
  • Developed linkages between key local actors, formal state justice mechanisms and related support agencies. These linkages assist vulnerable persons to access protection assistance, and to reduce violence and abuse in homes, schools and communities.
  • Produced three annual policy recommendations in consultation with female advocates and local authorities. These recommendations increased the government’s awareness of local protection needs and gaps, while also providing strategies to address these issues.

Our Impact

  • 879 key actors across 30 communities trained, including 139 Police.
  • 42 women empowered as Protection Team members
  • 65 women and girls victims of domestic and or gender based violence supported to file charges and access support
  • 94 referrals to service providers
  • 1300 young people attended workshops
  • More effective government policy
  • The establishment of sustainable and meaningful female participation in peace-building and post-conflict governance

Project Donors

European Union

The EWP released annual policy recommendations over the three-year project period highlighting needs and gaps identified in Timor-Leste’s current protection systems, which can be found here.

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Creating Quality Learning Environments for Young People


Most children in Timor-Leste do not have access quality non-violent education which hinders their social and economic advancement. With your support Ba Futuru, a local NGO, can bring quality education to many more young people.


Ba Futuru has been carrying out transformative work with teachers and school management committees. This work has turned many high need schools into quality learning environments. Our aim is to create happy, supportive, and safe school environments so that the young people would be able to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to create positive futures for themselves and their communities.

We encourage new styles of teaching rather than traditional rote models, enhanced in-school relationships, improved infrastructure, created better learning environments and reduced violence. Our work encourages teachers to stop using violent discipline and to replace this with positive classroom management strategies.

After Ba Futuru worked with their schools for 9 months, the students reported that their teachers made a good progress in their teaching methods. “Before hand, the majority of the teachers asked students to write or copy from the board without any explanation. But now they changed their teaching methods. They are using participatory methods such as asking comprehension questions, using group work, doing energizer activities, using games and explaining about the subject matter.”

A student representative from the School Management Committee of one target school reported: “From my point of view, the teachers have changed after they attended the training from Ba Futuru. Compared to previously when students were being punished, even bitten when they make a mistake in class or come to the school late. Some teachers just asked us to copy from the board without providing any clear explanations. Those that practice the new methods provide us with good explanations and it makes it easier to understand. And sometimes when we are getting bored, the teachers utilize games. I have also noticed that there is less physical punishment. I propose that Ba Futuru continue with the training of our teachers so they can improve their teaching methods.”

Long-Term Impact

Sustainability of outcomes has been enhanced through Ba Futuru’s the teacher training toolkit and the fact that the Ministry of Education, as well as target school administrators, teachers and teacher trainers can utilize the toolkit into the future. Films on each training module have been created so they can be shared widely with teachers that do not have access to in-person training.

  • 10,000s of students are benefiting from Ba Futuru various educational programs that have trained 1,000s of teachers, from early childhood to University level
  • 100s of children have received scholarships helping them gain the items they need for going to school

Help transform the learning environments of the young people of Timor-Leste


Read a report on our work!