From Pat Jessen Co-ordinator Friends of Suai in Port Phillip:
Hi I am now back home in Australia after 3 weeks in Timor Leste. Simao Barreto, Coordinator of the Community Centre and I went to Baucau to visit the 4 Suai trainees at Info Timor. They had finished their first month training on Ubuntu office suite and PowerPoint and were ready to learn the technical side of refurbishing computers and internet.
The Suai trainees Demi, Evo, Julia and Reio will return to Suai mid June after finishing 3 months training and will go back to set up the new IT Suai Enterprise at the Suai Community Centre. It has been an exciting time learning the technical side of computers and also to be part of the Info Timor operation in Baucau with great support from Maia and Raaul and the whole Baucau team.
InfoXchange Australia are partners with Info Timor in Timor Leste and are packing up a container in Australia of computers, equipment and tools for the Suai operation which is due to arrive in July. The City of Port Phillip donate and recycle there surplus computers from the Council to Timor Leste so it’s a great partnership. We all have high hopes for this new program!
All things being equal, the broadband internet is due to come to Suai in late June also. The UMA Media house will operate from Suai delivering on the spot news across the nation (and internationally). (Note from the Editor: The 'Uma Media' is media house in Tetun, and it is an initiative of the International Centre for Journalists Association to provide Broadband access for journalists in the regional districts of East Timor and they are providing journalism training to two people in Suai to undertake the reporting work from there.)
The youth centre and community centre will both provide internet café locations, so Suai will soon leapfrog into the digital age. It’s pretty exciting and we are all waiting to see the reality.
Friends of Suai also sponsored former Port Phillip resident Richard Jones to run a one month workshop on digital photography assisted by interpreter Afreo Sanches from Arte Moris, (Free Art School in Dili), for members of YoMatre youth media and Radio Taroman Community Radio and other youth. The group exhibited their photographs at the Independence Day celebrations both at the youth centre and the Suai Market for all to see.
We are planning to put the exhibition on-line soon.
The Forum in September will discuss old and new methods and markets. We commissioned some new products including scarves and belts which were produced by the women's weaving group in Suai Loro village in great colours which we think will appeal to the local market in Australia.