news and events



Fundasaun Alola's Annual Report-published with pride at the Annual General Meeting

Each year, Fundasaun Alola publishes an annual report of activities undertaken in the previous year. The 2016 annual report was officially published at Alola's Annual General Meeting by Chairwoman and founder Kirsty Sword Gusmão.

Kirsty Sword Gusmão writes in the report ‘It is with tremendous pride and pleasure that I share this annual report for the year 2016. I am sure that you will agree as you browse its pages that Fundasaun Alola continues to contribute significantly to the empowerment, health, education and well - being of Timor-Leste women and their families.'

In a statement on the report, CEO Alzira Reis says ‘The existence of the Fundasaun Alola for 16 years has contributed effectively to the well-being of women and children in Timor-Leste. Our age is the same as a
young girls' and we are indebted to the various support we receive from our donors, partners and the entire Board -my gratitude for this.'

  • Speech of Timor-Leste's First Lady, Ms. Cidália Lopes Nobre Mouzinho Guterres about Alola Program.   Read here!
  • Speech of Alola Foundation's Chairwomen, Dra. Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO about Alola Integrated Program. Read here!
  • Speech of Alola Foundation's CEO), Azira Reis. Read here!

   Alola AGM2Alola AGM1Alola AGM3


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Friends in Canberra are invited to a VERY SPECIAL MORNING TEA with Alzira Reis CEO Fundasaun Alola

Special Morning Tea with CEO Alola

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Alola Australia Fundraising Dinner, Oct 2017

Fundraising Dinner for "Our Village Loves its Mothers & Babies Program"


We warmly invite you to dinner with us and please share our flyer: Alola Australia.Dinner Oct.20 Flyer

All proceeds will expand and strengthen the "Our Village Loves its Mothers and Babies Program" in 2 remote villages: Kaimauk and Manumera in Turisicai sub district, Timor-Leste ~ Coordinated by Fundasaun Alola.

"Forget the "Kath and Kim" show - this is the "Kirsty and Kim" show! We may not be quite as funny, but by joining me, Kim McGrath and Alzira Azzi Reis for Alola Australia's annual fund-raising dinner on 20 October, you will be helping the Alola Foundation in Timor-Leste to ensure that some of the country's most vulnerable women have a safe delivery and are equipped to give their newborns the best possible start in life. And surely that will put a smile on your dial? Looking forward to seeing you there .... 🙂", said Kirsty Sword Gusmao


When and Where

6.30 pm Friday October 20, 2017

Angliss Restaurant, 550 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

How to find : google map link, here! image here!

Guest speakers:

  • Kim McGrath, author of just released Crossing the Line, Australia's Secret History in the Timor Sea
  • Kirsty Sword Gusmão, AO, Chair Alola Foundation, Timor-Leste
  • Alzira Reis, CEO, Alola Foundation Timor-Leste - via video link


Art exhibition:

  • Lindy Yeates, with artworks from her Mind the Gap exhibition
  • Alfeo Sanches Pereira, Timorese Artist, with artworks from his Missing Threads collection
  • Live & Silent Auctions and Live Timorese music

For bookings:

Please RSVP by: Friday October 13

Auction item request:

Also, we would love to receive items from you please, that we can auction at our dinner to fundraise for Fundasaun Alola.

Previously we have had generous donations of items such as: Timorese art and craft, weekends away, wine, a sailing trip, scenic tours, catering, holiday accommodation, art and books. Smaller items are also appreciated as we can combine them to create beautiful hampers.

Please contact us to offer or discuss any auction items: Email Marita: 


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Media release



National and international breast cancer specialists and health professionals will meet today (9/26) at the Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares, to launch a major health program to help improve breast cancer awareness, early detection and care for women in Timor-Leste.

In launching the project, Minister of Health, Dr Rui de Araujo, said:

"Breast cancer is a critical health priority for Timor-Leste. This project, for the first time, brings together our major national and international health partners, breast cancer specialists and health professionals - particularly from Australia - to specifically focus on improving breast cancer awareness, early detection, diagnosis and palliative care in Timor-Leste".

With the funding support of Perth-based, Annie Millicent ChildCare Foundation, the ‘Improving Breast Cancer Outcomes in Timor-Leste' project will bring together the Ministry of Health's key health partners, including the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), Cuban Medical Brigade and the Alola Foundation, to improve breast cancer awareness and control in Timor-Leste. It will also explore links with major Australian breast cancer support organisations, including the Breast Cancer Network Australia and the (Australian) Foundation for Breast Cancer Care.

Breast cancer is the most prevalent of all cancers in women worldwide, with the highest cancer-related mortality - but with education and early detection, it is also one of the most curable. However, in Timor-Leste, the vast majority of women across the country present with very advanced, late stage breast cancer, if at all - well beyond the potential for curative treatment.

"With over 80% mortality rates in breast cancer cases - compared to 10% in developed countries - public awareness, early detection, improved diagnosis and treatment, and palliative care are urgent and critical health priorities for Timor-Leste", said Professor Christobel Saunders, a RACS breast cancer specialist from the University of Western Australia and President of the Australia and New Zealand Breast Surgical Society.

Timor-Leste's breast cancer education, early detection, diagnostic services, treatment and palliative care programs are largely limited or absent. While the Alola Foundation's small, volunteer-based Haliku', established in 2014 by Kirsty Sword-Gusmao, delivers vital breast education and health programs and cancer support for women - it currently operates in just 5 villages.

"Breast cancer public awareness is definitely increasing through the success of the ‘Haliku' program - and we urgently need to expand these efforts, particularly in rural areas", said Maria Guterres, Manager of the Alola Foundation's Maternal and Child Health program.

"But we not only have to improve health outcomes and care for breast cancer patients, we also need to provide education and support for their families."

In addition to the expansion of the ‘Haliku' program, the 2-year project will also develop a national, audio-visual, media and public awareness campaign on breast cancer early detection; train local health workers to deliver training in breast health and early detection; prepare a national, comprehensive, 3-year action plan for breast cancer control in Timor-Leste; and develop vital support and information resources for women and their families affected by breast cancer.

With this commitment, the project represents a major step by the Government of Timor-Leste, with the support of its national and international health partners, to significantly and dramatically improve breast cancer outcomes, and the health and well-being of women in Timor-Leste.