Sustainable Development Goals

The Project

Nazareth Foundation is a local, Timorese, non-government organisation that starts and supports small business initiatives.  The organisational purpose is to train and employ people with a disability, orphans and widows to enable them to live independently.

Any profits that come from the business activities are used to provide programs and services for disabled people.

The Nazareth Foundation was founded in 2014 by Mario Cardoso, Padre Adriano Ola and Sabino Soares from Timor-Leste.  Many disadvantaged people in Timor-Leste do not receive adequate care and support due to limited facilities and resources.  There are minimal employment opportunities, and many people have difficulty receiving the basic necessities of life.  As a result, Mario Cardoso, the former Director of Ahisaun, established a social enterprise – the Nazareth Foundation – to promote and build the capacity of disadvantaged people. The Nazareth Foundation provides training that builds skills and equips people to gain employment and/or operate small businesses that aid rural development in Timor-Leste.

Currently the Foundation provides four services that include: fuel efficient cook stoves; pre-cast window/door frame building; affordable water filters and metal fabrication.

The Location

The Nazareth Foundation office is located in Comoro, District of Dili, Timor-Leste.  Dili is the capital of Timor-Leste (or East Timor) on the country’s north coast, with a population of 1,373,381. In the 16th century, Timor-Leste was colonised by Portugal and known as Portuguese Timor.  Portugal effectively abandoned its colony in 1974, and Timor-Leste declared independence in 1975, but was then invaded and occupied by Indonesia. The Indonesian occupation was marked by violence and brutality, which killed about 100,000 people. In 1999, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory.

The Challenge

  • According to the UNDP Report (2016), 680,000 people in Timor-Leste are living in poverty (on less than $1.90 per day). That is 64.3% of the population.
  • Timor-Leste’s overall population is approximately 1,373,381, and it is estimated that about 15% (or 180,000) have disability.
  • People with disability and their families are more likely to live in poverty, and 72% of people with disability in Timor-Leste have never attended school.
  • Unfortunately, the experience of people with disability in Timor-Leste is still widely inequitable.  People with disability live within a “… stigmatising culture where acceptance of disability is uncommon”

About You

The successful candidate must demonstrate:

  • Small business administration experience and/or qualifications
  • Book-keeping skills using Excel [any other accounting software skills desirable]
  • Marketing & Promotion skills
  • Good communication, networking and time management skills
  • Project Management
  • An understanding of a rights-based approach to working with people with a disability
  • Flexibility and willingness to learn tetum

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:

  • Promoting the dignity, rights and equality of disadvantaged people as contributing members of the community.
  • Helping create a secure and healthy environment for disadvantaged people to live in.
  • Strengthening the confidence and self-esteem of disadvantaged people and to realise their abilities and talents.
  • Representing the right of these people to non-formal education, health care and access to community
  • Helping disadvantaged people become more self-sufficient by providing the support and training to help them find employment or establish a small business.
  • Encouraging and supporting disadvantaged people to participate more fully in their community.

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.