Silvia and our Women’s Livelihoods Project

Thank you for giving women in Timor-Leste the power of financial independence

One of the greatest challenges that women face in Timor-Leste is achieving financial independence. The economic disadvantage starts early on in life, particularly for those living in remote and rural communities, where many girls miss out on opportunities to continue onto secondary school and higher education. The flow on effect of unequal access to education and lower rates of literacy is that these girls grow up into women who struggle to find employment to provide for themselves and their  .

Research continually shows that when women have equal access to education and employment, their entire communities can benefit. Silvia is a wonderful example of a success story with our Women’s Livelihoods Project in Timor-Leste – thanks to your generosity! Silvia lives with her husband and children in a rural village. She is part of a Women’s Livelihoods group supported by Mary MacKillop Today.

With your help, Silvia has been able to set up a successful kiosk to generate income for her to support her family.

Silvia explained, “I have been able to start a small kiosk selling vegetables and other things to support our family, paying our children’s school fees and buying uniforms. For me, I am really happy because now I can start saving and I no longer have to access credit money.”

As part of our Livelihoods Project, Silvia and other local mothers meet regularly for skills development workshops and business training in areas such as design, production, marketing, financial management and leadership.

Silvia shared, “Mary MacKillop Today is a great mentor, always motivating us – me especially. The Livelihoods Project has increased my knowledge in business areas, especially on how to provide daily schedule activities to manage my small kiosk. Mary MacKillop Today’s team has provided us with many activities, such as training on sewing and providing us with sewing equipment. They have also helped me with numeracy and literacy training and basic accounting, saving and loans training.”

Thanks to your support, Silvia has been able to earn income for her family. Like other women in her Women’s Livelihoods group, she is building her skills and confidence to participate more fully in the economic, social, and political life of her community.

“Our group is now more united, solid, responsible, and we have strong teamwork for any activities that happen in our community by supporting each other. I believe that in the next 2 or 3 years coming, my kiosk will grow with the capital money I could borrow from the group… I want to thank all donors on behalf of the women’s group for all the materials and support offered by MMT team. It helps us to continue supporting other fellow women in our community.” – Silvia