Saturday, September 27, 2008

How does BMETS promote the health and well-being of women and children in East Timor?
BMETS recognises that it has a unique role to play in responding to the needs identified by women in East Timor. BMETS works on projects that meet the immediate needs of Timorese women whilst at the same time enhance capacity for the future. Typically the projects we support require very small amounts of funding. Because we are a small organisation, we can respond to the needs of women in an immediate and direct way. All funds are raised locally and mostly in the Blue Mountains. We could not do what we do without the support of our local community!
♀ We have established very good relationships with women and women’s groups in East Timor. These women act as our advisors and also develop & implement BMETS projects in East Timor. By working with the Timorese women’s organisation, APSC-TL, we employ two community development workers in Dili through. With their support we have established a rural outreach program which employs rural outreach workers who work with women's groups in the rural districts to create opportunities for women’s development and empowerment.
♀ We have established 30 scholarships for women and girls in East Timor.
♀ We have supported three women’s tais weaving cooperatives supporting up to 25 women and their extended families and held two successful tais exhibitions in the Blue Mountains and are planning our third exhibition later this year.
♀ We have contributed over $20,000 towards the Alola Foundation’s Mother and Baby Packs program.
♀ We have worked closely with Kirsty Sword Gusmao supporting her work with communities by providing funding for emergency relief and community welfare.
♀ We’ve assisted with the collection and writing of Women Veteran’s Stories from the Clandestine Movement. The Tetun version of the book was launched by Xanana Gusmao on International Women’s Day this year. We will launch an English version in the Blue Mountains later in the year.
♀ We have resourced and supported the establishment of a women’s sewing cooperative in the village of Hatubuilico.
♀ We have furnished a Safe-Room in Dili Hospital for victims of sexual assault through PRADET.
♀ We have raised funds for the purchase of school books in Tetun from Mary McKillop East Timor for infants and primary school children in Hatubuilico.
♀ We provided funds to complete the building of a Women Veteran’s Centre in a village community. Several Sisters visited the official opening of the building in July 2007. We are in the process of connecting the water tank to the building. The women have also started some agriculture with our help – pig breeding and growing vegies.
♀ We have contributed about $10,000 to emergency relief to assist families in East Timor to pay for basic items such as food and health care.
♀ We sell ‘fair trade’ coffee which is a partnership with 2 Door Café, Lawson. This assists the distribution of Timorese coffee whilst ensuring Timorese farmers get a fair price for their produce.
♀We have worked with Blue Mountains City Council to establish the Blue Mountains Hatubuilico Friendship Committee.
♀ We regularly hold awareness raising and educational events in the Blue Mountains. Kirsty Sword Gusmao recently visited the Blue Mountains as a guest of BMETS. We also hosted Timorese author Naldo Rei at a forum in Katoomba.
♀ We hold regular fund-raising events like book sales, garage sales and tais exhibitions.
♀ We produce an annual calendar which is a major fund-raiser for our group.
♀We have assisted East Timorese women to come to Australia to strengthen friendships, connections and networks and to raise funds and awareness. Beba Sequeira and Laura Abrante have both presented at a number of forums in the Blue Mountains to educate the community about life in East Timor.
♀ Our Sydney Sisters group has held a number of market days and have contributed over $5,000 to BMETS projects.


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