VSA expands programme in Timor-Leste

Published on 23rd September 2010

VSA is expanding its programme in Timor-Leste, with two more volunteers scheduled to take up assignments in Dili in November, and a third due to leave New Zealand in late January.


They will join the two volunteers already based in Dili, taking the total number of volunteers in Timor-Leste to five – the largest number we have had in the country since we resumed our programme there after pulling out volunteers during the crisis of 2007.


According to VSA’s Asia programme manager Mui Ngah Lee, VSA is committed to supporting the development of South East Asia’s newest independent nation.


“Our programme in Timor-Leste, while still small, sees us developing quality assignments to support the efforts of civil society organisations to create positive change,” she says. “We are particularly committed to providing practical skills training to Timorese women and young people, so they have access to better employment and income opportunities.  This in turn contributes to the long-term economic development of Timor-Leste.”


The two volunteers who leave for Timor-Leste in November are Lisa Vitasovich, an accountant who will work with staff at the Dili Institute of Technology as a MYOB trainer, and Andrew Smith, an information manager who will work as a database development coach with local NGO BELUN.


They will join Bruce Burnett, an auto-mechanic trainer at the Dili Institute of Technology, and Tony McGurk, a community advocacy trainer with the East Timor NGO Forum (FONGTIL).



Bruce Burnett with colleagues at the Dili Institute of Technology


VSA is currently advertising two more assignments in Timor-Leste, and is working with partner organisations to develop another three.


In other developments to VSA’s programme in Timor-Leste, Jason Weise has now started working as our Dili-based field officer. Jason took up his position in August, replacing Liz Hicks who spent almost two years in Timor-Leste as VSA’s development officer.


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