Home > PROJECTS in Timor > The Kolega Livelihoods and Cards Story

The Livelihoods program.


The Livelihoods program provides education and development opportunities to women in the Railaco region and focusses on

  • Education in literacy, numeracy, and basic finance training
  • Skills training in sewing and making educational materials used in local schools
  • Access to a micro loans program that allows the women to develop and run small business ventures
  • Human rights training

The livelihoods program is run in Timor through a partnership with Mary McKillop Today and benefits from the ongoing support of the Edmund Rice Foundation Australia.

The program was started in 2018 and is delivering great results particularly in the micro loans program.

The program in action. Rosita's story.

My name is Rosita da Conceição Xavier, I am 46 years old and I am married with six kids with four boys and two girls. My group normally come for the women’s group activities every Wednesday which has set up by Livelihood program coordinator together with our team leader. The reason why I am continuing to attend this women’s group is because from this group I have learned a lot including how to sewing the clothes, how to save money through selling our daily small business that myself and my husband doing every day. I am also learned how to read and write through Parents Program that implemented here as well as recently we have attended new approach of cooperative that led by Ministry of Commerce and Industry from National.

Olinda's story.

My name is Olinda Freitas, I am 50 years old and I am living in Sobrequeque village of Railako Craic, Railako, Ermera Municipality.
I have married and my husband as an Agriculture and myself as a housewife looking after our children and also working with Livelihood program for Women’s Group as a team leader.
My message to TTN and MMT who have support us provide us so many trainings and sharing knowledge; I really appreciated what TTN, MMT and the team have done for us especially including myself in the training to learned new things. I want to thank on behalf of the women’s group of Raillako Craic for all the materials support that now we are able to use and continue to support other fellow women in our community, once again our gratitude goes to all of you for your hard work and we always remember you in our prayer”.

The Livelihoods program was an evolution of the Kolega Card program which supported the community for over 10 years.


HANDMADE KOLEGA CARDS


Click here to enjoy a beautiful video peek into the lives of our card ladies

The Kolega Cards program was based in the small village of Railaco Kraic located in the highland country of East Timor. The program employed around 60 women from various villages in the surrounding Ermera District.


The card ladies group was established to provide opportunities for the women of the region to earn a sustainable income and to learn new skills within the context of their daily village life. It became a point of considerable pride to be a "card lady", one of those lucky enough to have this employment and income.


Each 8-pack of cards sold employed one of the village women for 2 days, enabling them to help provide for their families.


For over 10 years of operation, the women have produced a range of high quality greeting cards that reflect their unique spirit and that of Timor Leste. Some cards are available for purchase from the store still.

Shop Cards now to buy some of these lovely cards for yourself, family, a friend or employee. They are the perfect gift - for a birthday, thank you, Christmas or anytime