A Media Group for Suai 2006

January 17th, 2011 jen Posted in A Media Group for Suai Comments Off on A Media Group for Suai 2006

In 2006 the Friends of Suai received a request from Ergilio Vicente to provide video equipment to his organisation the Suai Covalima Youth Centre. The Friends of Suai agreed to provide $15,000 in funds towards setting up a youth video training group in Suai for the purpose of developing educational video production skills in the district.

Jen Hughes a local filmmaker had been working with the Friends of Suai since 2001 towards this and had consulted with Ergilio about it in 2000. It wasn’t until Ergilio attended a video production workshop with Oxfam that he realised the potential for video to help him with communication in the district as well as develop much needed skills and work for  youth in Suai. Jen put together the equipment parcel and travelled with the Co-ordinator of Friends of Suai, Pat Jessen to Suai in February 2006 and gave the first workshop to the 9 young people in the photograph above. Ergilio was the only person experienced with computers and one  or two of whom had never held a video camera, sat at a computer or touched a mouse.

It was in collaboration with Ergilio that this website Suai Media Space was set up in late 2008. There is more about Suai youth here and  a section dedicated to the activities of the Suai video training group named YoMaTre on this website and you can read more about it hereSome of the videos, stories and photography produced in the first workshop in 2006 and subsequent workshops are also in the Youth Media section of the site here.

In 2008 the group won a prize for their educational video about AIDS at a film festival in Dili. Unfortunately the film is too long to upload to the website.

The setting up of the media group and this website led to Emanuel Braz, (then of  the International Centre for Journalism), becoming aware of the start up media group. Emanuel decided then to make Suai one of the towns for further media development through the setting up of an Uma Media or Media House and journalism training funded by USAID. By the end of 2009 the satellite dish had been installed at the Suai Youth Centre with links to the Friends of Suai Community Centre. This meant then that Port Phillip had a broadband connection with Suai that revolutionised our communication. The new journalists are now uploading stories to timortoday.com. Read more about the Media House initiative here.

Previous to this Portuguese Telecom had an office in Suai, which was busy, expensive and unreliable. A house of viruses.

In late 2009 free social network software became available and Jen started up the suaimediaspace.ning.com social network to assist the people of Port Phillip communicate with people in Suai. The reality is that the social network is being used by people in Suai to keep in touch with each other – within East Timor and elsewhere in the diaspora. Many people are living and studying overseas. They are also using it to display their culture and do all the things everybody does on social networks – upload photographs, videos and music. As at January 2011 there are 172 members ( & growing) and conversations take place in Indonesian, English and Tetun.

In 2009 the Friends of Suai funded a photography workshop with Melbourne photographer Richard Jones in Suai, that resulted in two exhibitions of photographs. One for a conference in Dili and for the Connections Across the Timor Sea Exhibition in the St Kilda Town Hall in May 2010 as part of the 10 year Anniversary Celebrations. You can see some of the work here in the Suai Youth Section of Suai Media Space.

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Computers Filling the Ute for Suai-July ’10 Update

July 3rd, 2010 jen Posted in Communications Technology, Computers filling the Ute for Suai 2010, Friends of Suai News Comments Off on Computers Filling the Ute for Suai-July ’10 Update

Today we sent 10 laptops to the dock from the Council of Port Phillip. They are very much needed so it will be a good resource for IT Covalima.

InfoXchange Australia (Andrew Mahar)  have agreed to ship 100 computers and flat screens in the shipment with the Ute.

Glenda from IWDA is on her way to Dili and Suai for a monitoring visit. Jane Crouch is also heading to Suai leading the resumed Intrepid tour, the first for 2010. She will meet with Alberto about tourism whilst she is in town.

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Green PC Arrives in Suai

October 1st, 2009 patjessen Posted in Friends of Suai News, Green PC Arrives in Suai, Green PC Project Comments Off on Green PC Arrives in Suai

training-room-suai150x10Info Timor (IT) crew with Andrew Mahar from InfoXchange Australia are in Suai and finalising the set-up of the computer workshop and training room at the Community Centre. This photograph shows students at the computers in the new training room. As Simao said in a text message this week, it is a ‘dream of the last two years is happening now’ with the establishment of the computer centre.

Weekly training is being planned by InfoTimor with Alipio from Baucau who will travel to Suai each week to assist with building the computer centre into a business enterprise. Alipio set up the Baucau operation and the plan is that the Community Centre will set up an Internet Cafe along with the Youth Centre to deliver internet to the local community.

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Uma Media Regional Suai

September 23rd, 2009 jen Posted in Broadband Access, Communications Technology, Friends of Suai News, Uma Media Regional SUai Comments Off on Uma Media Regional Suai

Ho prezensa (Uma Media Regional)UMR suai nebe servisu hamutuk ho Centro Juventude Covalima ba programa Youth Media Centre (Yomatre) bele halo fasil kommunidade no joventude sira atu hetan asesu ba informasaun iha distritu Covalima.

Ema hotu kontente, halsolok (slogan Timor Telcom nian), mais ami nia slogan “Fo Beran ba Ema NEBE BERAN LA IHA” (give power to the powerless people).

Klaru katak servisu hamutuk ne’e fo benefisiu no opportunidade bo’ot ba komunidade iha distritu Covalima atu aksesu ba informasaun ho simples, la karun no sustentavel.

AGORA bele loke internet iha Estrada laran besik Centro Juventude Covalima nia oin (UMR/Yomatre)  deit depois tiha instola sistema broadband iha loron Tersa, 22 Septembro 2009.
Presiza aksesu ba internet…??? Mai iha CJC/Yomatre/UMR, Ami attende no servi ba ita bo’ot sira ho responsabilidade oras 24 nia laran. Hatene informasaun, domina mundu…


Chamot Egy and friend walking down the road with Egy carrying his laptop demonstratng that several hundred metres from the Youth Centre they have got a wireless signal? It must be a liberating feeling after so many years of feeling left out of the loop or waiting in queues at Timor Telecom.

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10 Years after Suai massacre – Our First Skype

September 21st, 2009 jen Posted in Broadband Access, Friends of Suai News, Our first Skype 2 Comments »

Ergilio – Co-ordinator of the Cova Lima Youth Centre – Jen & Jeff ,filmmakers in St Kilda have been chatting on Skype using the new broadband access in Suai.

It took six years to get the video cameras and computers and ten to get Broadband but we did it, with a lot of help from others.

We chatted about what was happening in Suai in the past weeks and plans for the future – trying to work out what steps we want to take.


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Photos Satellite Dish Cova Lima Youth Centre

September 21st, 2009 jen Posted in Broadband Access, Communications Technology, Friends of Suai News, Media Project 2006 -, Photos Satellite Dish Cova Lima Youth Centre Comments Off on Photos Satellite Dish Cova Lima Youth Centre

Egy has sent through photos of the satellite dish that has brought broadband access to the youth centre in Suai and a media house dedicated to regional journalism thanks to ICFJ.Satellite-for-sms-web Egy in pink T Shirt with various others he has brought into the photo without giving names.

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Broadband arrives in Suai

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Broadband Access, Broadband arrives in Suai, Communications Technology, Friends of Suai News 1 Comment »

The long-promised, long awaited, 9 year dream has come true.

dear….Thanks to everyone..
I’m sending this email to you all from my own desk at the youth centre office. today, our internet already on…

“..today and tomorrow so busy reorganize the place and removing the things, repainting all building with our volunteers. Erna and Jaimitu filming all the processes of installation as you remaind me..

when we go for skype..??


egy “

Sweeter words have never been heard – well maybe that’s an exaggeration but it is very good news, that Broadband access has arrived at the community level in Suai. This letter arrived from Ergilio Vicente the Co-ordinator of the Covalima Youth Centre recently. No longer the long queues at Timor Telecom that cost a fortune and fail! No more getting on the motor bike or into the car or walking up the hill and down and back again, Egy can email as he said in the subject heading of this email “from my desk”!

We look forward to seeing the photographs soon.

Thanks to Emanuel Braz and all at the International Centre for Journalism and the Friends of Suai who have helped make this dream come true. ( I hear USAID paid for it.)

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Green PC and Internet for Suai – Visit to Suai 2009

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Green PC & Internet for Suai, Green PC Project, Suai Visit 2009 Comments Off on Green PC and Internet for Suai – Visit to Suai 2009

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.

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Broadband still coming to Suai

February 25th, 2009 jen Posted in Broadband Access, Broadband still coming to Suai, Friends of Suai News Comments Off on Broadband still coming to Suai

Good news from Emanuel Braz, consultant to the International Centre for Journalists. Emanuel assured me the satellite dish is definitely going into Suai and that YoMaTre will have free access to Broadband as a result. Estimated time of arrival in Suai and Broadband arrival last week March!

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Suai Media Space Challenges the Digital Gap

February 25th, 2009 jen Posted in Challenging the Digital Gap, Friends of Suai News Comments Off on Suai Media Space Challenges the Digital Gap

Global Voices On-line has published an interview with Jen Hughes the writer and documentary-maker behind a our social media project and Suai Media Space in English and Indonesian . Check it out! We are very happy because it is growing our audiences and that is the dream of the youth of Suai – to have their voices heard all over the world.

ENGLISH: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/02/15/east-timor-suai-media-space-challenging-the-digital-

INDONESIAN:  http://id.globalvoicesonline.org/2009/02/134/

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