The Project

Ahisaun Foundation in Aimutin, Dili, works to educate, promote awareness and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities in Timor-Leste. It provides training in IT, business, music, handicrafts, and practical skills to disabled people and assistance to those in marginalised areas.

The Location

In 2010 Ahisaun purpose built a residential and training facility in Dili.  The Foundation office is located within this facility.

The Challenge

Timor-Leste faces challenges in providing employment for, and increasing the skills of a very young population.  In 2017 approximately 13.90% of the labour force aged 15-24 was unemployed.  Data from Timor-Leste’s 2010 Population Census suggests that persons with disabilities are mostly employed as own-account workers and contributing family workers, 62 and 21 per cent respectively. The corresponding figures for the total labour force are 50 and 18 per cent. Such statistics reinforce the fact that self-employment is a necessity, rather than a choice, for most persons with disabilities in Timor-Leste.

Women with disabilities are doubly discriminated against in the labour market. A study carried out by ESCAP in 2012 found that in many countries in the region, women with disabilities are only half as likely as men with disabilities to have a job.

About You

The successful candidate will have:

  • Proven experience in fundraising, particularly for disability inclusion projects/programs
  • Proven experience in donor relations, including reporting to donors
  • Ability to transfer knowledge/skills and confidence that builds a positive work environment
  • Personal attributes that will be vital include flexibility, patience and a sense of humour
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to working within a different cultural context
  • A willingness to engage your Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role.

How You Will Help

First you must be willing to learn from the local community.

Over the first six months you are asked not to change anything or suggest a change to operations.  During that six months you will take the time to learn language and cultural mores from a local counterpart willing to mentor you.  You will also start a register of the strengths of the current personnel and the assets in the community/country that might be used to achieve the goals of the assignment.

You need to commit to clarifying why things are done the way they are rather than presuming from your own cultural lens to outline what is missing. So, you need to ask questions to enable you to learn from your hosts, rather than in ignorance make suggestions about how things can improve. Palms training will prepare you for this approach.

In the second six months you will be ready and better know which of your skills and what of your knowledge applies to:

  • Work alongside Ahisaun staff members to develop effective fundraising strategies as well as manage current donor partners.
  • Develop staff capacity to develop donor applications, and complete acquittals and reports according to donor requirements

Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan.  It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest


    * Successful applicants must be available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and will not sponsor visas to attend this course. Read our FAQ for more.