The Nazareth Foundation was founded in 2014 as an umbrella organisation to develop small businesses that train and employ people living with a disability. These functions initially came under the Ahisaun Disability Foundation. Ahisaun Disability Foundation was founded in 1999 to support, train and mentor young Timorese living with disabilities. In 2010 the Foundation established a residential and training facility in Fatuhada, a suburb of Dili. Ahisaun focussed on providing support to young people while they attended school or tertiary education. They established a number of activities set up as small businesses, with the idea that these young people would be employed in these businesses and the profit generated would be used to support the wider operations of the foundation. However these businesses did not flourish as Ahisaun did not have the expertise to develop them.
In 2011 Ahisaun established Nazareth Concrete Products with the assistance of an Australian volunteer. This business developed and manufactured a number of products and is now showing a profit as well as providing training and employment for a number of Timorese living with a disability. It has a permanent office in Comoro and employs seven people. Four of these people live with a disability.
In 2014, the directors of Ahisaun decided to set up a separate foundation to develop and manage businesses. Ahisaun now focuses on supporting students to finish their education and to develop a vocation, while Nazareth Foundation focuses on business development, operations, management and training. The office of the Nazareth Foundation is in the Nazareth Concrete Products office in Comoro.
The aim of the Nazareth Foundation is to develop the capabilities of disadvantaged people in Timor-Leste to enable them to realize their potential in line with the following objectives:
- Promote their dignity, rights and equality as contributing members of the community.
- Help create a secure and healthy environment for them to live in.
- Strengthen their confidence and self-esteem to realize their abilities and talents.
- Represent their right to non-formal education, health care and disabled access to community infrastructure.
- Help them become more self-sufficient by providing support and training to obtain employment or establish a small business.
- Encourage and support them to participate more fully in their community activities.
The Nazareth Foundation began its work in 2014 to assist people on a low income and people living with a disability in Dili by manufacturing low cost fuel efficient earthenware cooking stoves in its workshop in Dili to replace traditional open fire cooking. This presented an opportunity to train and employ disadvantaged people, and provide them with a source of income to improve their basic living conditions. The cooking stoves provide environmental benefits by using less wood and reducing smoke emissions.
The Foundation became aware of the health benefits of using ceramic water filters to produce clean drinking water, which are in common use in developing countries but had not been introduced into Timor-Leste for low income people. These filters are effective in removing particles to 0.1 microns, which can control 99.9% of bacteria and cysts, producing clean drinking water. A simple ceramic filter fitted in a plastic water container was sourced in Dili. It operates by water passing through the filter in the top container into the bottom dispensing container. The water filtration appliance is supplied by the Foundation in 20 and 40 litre sizes.
For more information visit: https://www.nazarethfoundation.org