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Summer Edition Newsletter 2022
Message from Kirsty
Dear <<First Name>>

I am writing this message as I prepare for my second visit to Timor-Leste in 2022. I wanted to share with you that Fundasaun Alola has updated its Constitution to conform with relevant Timor-Leste laws. Our new statutes provide for the creation of a Consultative Council. It will be comprised of eminent persons, program beneficiaries and stakeholders with whom Alola may consult and obtain feedback on our existing programs as well as offering recommendations as to new ones. We will officially announce and welcome the members of this new body at a partners’ meeting in Dili on 25 November.
We are excited to offer the women and families who have been working with Alola to improve health, education and livelihoods, this opportunity to provide advice and input.

As the year draws to a close, on behalf of the women and children across Timor-Leste who benefit from Alola’s work, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the Board of Alola Australia and to all friends and supporters.

I wish you a very peaceful and happy holiday season.
Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO
Fundasaun Alola Founder and Chair
Feto Forte, Nasaun Forte
News from Macu

Alola Australia Board member Nandy Gurr visited Timor-Leste recently.  She had a great conversation with Fundasaun Alola’s CEO Macu Guterres who sends heartfelt thanks to Alola supporters.
Due to some other donor organisations reducing support, Macu reports that Fundasaun Alola faces some serious funding issues, including shortfalls in salaries for some of the staff, for example the Advocacy Field Officers.  The Advocacy Program plays a key role in offering leadership training and mentoring to women in the districts, encouraging and empowering them to stand as candidates in both local and national elections.

While at Fundasaun Alola, Nandy also met with Quella Barreto, Manager of the Haliku Breast Cancer Program.  Quella showed Nandy the new counselling room set up for meeting with women.  The room is very peaceful and quiet (and very pink!).  It was great to hear that the McGrath Foundation have supported this critical program. 
MILK Campaign Report

For our 2022 MILK Campaign, Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão and international, determined breastfeeding advocate, Dr Magdalena Whoolery (left) joined Alola Australia Board member Jacky Mandelbaum in an online conversation about the dangerous influence of milk formula companies in Timor-Leste.
The discussion covered the concerning rates of childhood malnutrition that continue in Timor-Leste, the impact of the pervasive marketing of milk formula, including promotional displays in supermarkets, and the critical need to improve babies' and young children’s survival by encouraging and supporting breastfeeding across Timor-Leste.
Both Kirsty and Magdalena shared their experiences of observing Fundasaun Alola's Maternal and Child Health Program. This program significantly improves support to mothers and impacts positively on Timor-Leste's rates of breastfeeding - and as a consequence, childhood survival and health.

Here is a link to the webinar on the Alola Australia website.

Christmas Campaign 2022
Educated girls are the pillar of stable, prosperous, and strong countries around the world. History demonstrates that educating girls raises economic productivity, empowers social and political contributions and reduces poverty, while lowering infant and maternal mortality. Educated girls in Timor-Leste have a positive impact on agricultural production, the resilience of communities to natural disasters, and importantly gender equality. Women and girls take more of a leadership role in decision-making, shaping families, communities and the nation.

You have already received two emails from us regarding our Christmas campaign.  This Christmas time and holiday season, please consider helping to educate the next generation of Timorese girls.

News from Alola Australia's Co-Chairs      Maria Bohan & Helen Skinner
As this newsletter goes to press, we thank you wonderful, committed Alola friends and supporters who have made this year an important one for raising funds to support Fundasaun Alola.  Thank you for listening to and responding to our ‘calls’ for support.

On behalf of the Board of Alola Australia we send you, your families and friends, much peace and hope at this special time of the year.

And we know you will join with us in sending our warmest Christmas wishes to our friends at Fundasaun Alola: Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmāo AO, the Board, CEO Macu Guterres, and the wonderful, committed staff, volunteers, and all their families.

May all the women and children of Timor-Leste have a peaceful and safe Christmas. 

Alola Australia has our eyes on 2023 - the women and children of Timor-Leste will need us again and we look forward to being in touch in the new 2023 year.

As we go to press, we are excited that we may be seeing you in a face to face event in 2023 – something we have not been able to do in the last few years. We are working towards securing a very, very special guest and look forward to sharing more news in early 2023.
Timor-Leste Study Tour
Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmāo AO and Nandy Gurr will be leading a Study Tour in June or July 2023 to raise funds for Fundasaun Alola.  Highlights will be celebrating Xanana Gusmāo’s birthday, meeting leading women in Timor-Leste, visiting Fundasaun Alola and of course, learning more about our wonderful nearest neighbour Timor-Leste.

If you are interested, please contact Timor-Leste Study Tours: or call Nandy 0433 176 016
Alola Australia acknowledges that we work, live, and play on the traditional lands of First Nations people.  We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and 3 structural reforms: a Voice to Parliament, a Treaty, and Truth Telling.

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PO Box 382, Abbotsford, VIC 3067
Phone:  +61 0437 983 070

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