Published on 27th March 2012
Bill worked for a microfinance organisation called Moris Rasik. It is a local NGO that is now in the process of becoming a corporate. It started from nothing in 2000 and now employs 130 staff and has 12,000 clients throughout Timor-Leste. They have loans ranging in size from US$50 to US$10,000.
Bill worked with the members of the finance team – three in head office and 12 in branch offices. He was meant to be working as a financial mentor helping to improve financial skills and systems within the organisation, but his role became much broader. He also acted as an adviser to the managing director, and provided advice on strategy and governance.
His most tangible achievement was setting up a new computerised accounting system to replace the previous largely manual system.
He also worked very closely with one young man, a recent graduate called Maradona. As a result of the work they did together Maradona can now use the new accounting system, he is better at managing other staff, and he is able to provide financial reports and information to the managing director and the board.
“He is smart and keen. He needs a few years of assistance before he can move into a financial manager’s role. I feel I took him the first step towards achieving that.”
Bill was accompanied by his wife, Julie Hardie, who volunteered at the national university, developing curriculum materials and teaching study skills and research methods courses to students who hope to become high school English teachers.