In 2019 the Economic Empowerment program continued to provide capacity building and market opportunities for women artisans in Timor-Leste. This project increased income for women artisans and at the same time promoted Timorese cultural identity. Activities successfully implemented in 2019 provided training on improving the quality of products, especially the use of natural dyes in traditional fabrics, training on product diversification, and basic marketing education to 41 participants (F:40 and M:1).
The Economic Empowerment program hosted two market events. The Mid-Fair and Christmas Fair were each held for two days at Alola’s national office. The objective of the Fairs was to gather all artisans from the municipalities to sell their local products, and provide a place to promote local products to buyers both local and internationally. This initiative was intended to space the two Fairs in time, and to access opportunities of the July peak tourism season. The products showcased were varied such as Tais, scarves, ceramics, dolls, wood carvings, recycled plastic products, women’s accessories, local soap, virgin coconut oil, traditional herbs, local coffee and food. One hundred and twelve artisan groups participated in Alola’s Fairs last year and shared income of USD 20,000.00. This project was supported by Rotary Club of Kew and the Thailand Embassy of Timor-Leste.