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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Suai Visit 2008 – Women and Weaving

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Art & Culture Projects, Friends of Suai News, Pat Jessen Visits, Suai Visit 2008, Tais Exhibition 2008 Comments Off on Suai Visit 2008 – Women and Weaving

From Pat Jessen: June 2008
Tais Kamenassa

Tais Kamenassa

This time I made the time to go to where the women were weaving their Tais (textiles) in the homes, villages and workshop. There will be a Timor Leste Women’s Weaving Exhibition, Forum and Market in September 2008. We wanted to ensure that women of Covalima had their work on display and on sale at the market at St Kilda Town Hall. We found the Covalima women weave beautiful & varied pieces across the district and between villages. The traditional futus, (weaving method of dying patterns) that have been handed down by ancestors continue to be woven into the fabric in each village with attention to dyes, colour, cotton & design. As well as the traditional weaving some new Thai looms have been brought to Suai by Timor Aid who are training young women on the new technique.

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.

For stories and photographs of the exhibition, and Forum as well as an article about the Tais  in the traditional  Culture section of this website Suai Media Space click here.

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Visit to Suai East Timor Feb 2007

August 1st, 2009 jen Posted in Agro-forestry Project, Community Centre, Friends of Suai News, Suai Visit 2007 1 Comment »

Summary key issues from visit to Suai E Timor 20 Feb – 03 Mar 2007 It was a very productive visit to Suai and enabled good face-to-face meetings with staff and commission of the community centre, youth centre and district administration. I met with community members and monitored projects funded by Friends of Suai/Port Phillip. Whilst the situation in Dili remains stressed the rural people continue their daily life with meagre resources and welcomed the friendship and support from Port Phillip.
  • The new building for the community centre is a good swap and an appropriate building. The building has plenty of light, good size rooms and land where additional buildings can be erected if required e.g. traditional building for meetings outdoors. A five year lease through the department of land and property  with an option to extend is being developed with the district administrator.  The District Administrator agreed the community can continue to use the traditional meeting space at the old site and recommended a new structure at the new site best for the long term.
  • The nursery agro-forestry project is a real success with 10,000 seedlings being planted out. The main focus of the project was the 6,000 seedlings at Lela village and a further 4,000 seedlings were distributed in other sub districts. The media team (see project album) at the youth centre are documenting this on video. The agricultural officer would like to replicate the project with the aim of a permanent nursery. A new proposal building sustainability to deepen the impact will be considered for the new growing season.
  • Ten orphaned children plus one young man with a disability are recipients of Friends of Suai education scholarships. Approx $5,000 for the duration of their education has been earmarked by FoS.
  • 300 locally-made chairs were officially given by Fos/Port Phillip (see slides) to the public secondary school during my visit. The students gave enthusiastic applause at the mention of an ongoing relationship with Elwood College in Port Phillip who are also keen to make the link.
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