Home / News / ACbit Held a Bazaar, Seminar, and Film Screening with Women Survivors in Oecusse

ACbit Held a Bazaar, Seminar, and Film Screening with Women Survivors in Oecusse

Date: September 29, 2022

On the 14th of September 2022, ACbit collaborated with local facilitators and groups of women survivors to hold a bazaar at the Residensia Madre Dominicana Pante Makasar in Oecusse RAEOA. In this event, ACbit provided the opportunity for 10 women survivors and micro-entrepreneurs to sell their products, such as fried bananas, watermelons, peanuts, papayas, rice, coconut oil, taros, and sweet potatoes. There were also handicrafts, such as tais, wallets, bags, earrings, necklaces and baskets.

This collaboration was appreciated and greatly encouraged by the Deputy President of RAEOA ZEESM, Mr. Maximiano Neno. Representing the President of Authority RAEOA ZEESM to deliver an opening speech in the event, Mr. Maximiano Neno requested that, “Association Chega! Ba Ita (ACbit), please do continue to organize women survivors to participate in this kind of event, and to encourage other women, so that they can promote the products that they produce and respond to problems that RAEOA faced.”

In addition to the bazaar, the event featured a seminar themed “Promoting Local Products, Empowering the Economy of Survivors.” In the seminar, ACbit screened a short film on women survivors’ business group in Oecusse, followed by a panel discussion. The panellists of the seminar came from different backgrounds to provide different perspectives. Eng. Pedro da Cunha, the Regional Secretary of Commerce and Industry RAEOA ZEESM, talked about the role of the Regional Secretary to support women groups and business ideas. Ms. Merita Marques, the Director of FEEO, shared her experience in successfully working with women groups since the restoration of Timor-Leste independence, and the struggles that they went through at that time. Ms. Domingas Nine, a women survivor of past conflict violence, who is also the treasurer of Klisso group, shared her experience in organizing a group to run a small business, and the benefits that they get.

“After the training provided by ACbit, we strongly managed our group, Klisso, to do better in handling our finance. After we got support from SEII through ACbit, we managed to distribute the fund to support another group,” said Ms. Domingas Nine in the seminar.

The aim of this event was to provide opportunities for women survivors who run a small business to promote and market their products, and to bring together stakeholders and provide opportunities for women survivors to build networks with each other, as well as with the government, local businesses, other small business owners, and buyers in general. It was also aimed to provide a safe space for women survivors to share their experiences as a way to build public awareness about the impact of GBV and past conflict violence, and the importance of women’s economic development, and to bring new motivation and inspiration to strengthen women’s economy.

True to its aims, the event also extended the opportunity to the newest women business group in Oecusse, Salankeur. The group was formed after the ACbit conducted a microenterprise training in Suco Costa.

Taking the opportunity during the bazaar, seminar, and film screening, Ms. Selvinia Ili Dias from Salankeur voiced that they” also want ask Mr. Regional Secretary to provide ways so that our group can access the fund, to support our group in the future, by giving us the opportunities to run economic activities.”

The event was funded by the European Union through the Reforsa Hamutuk project. Reforsa Hamutuk is a 33-month project implemented by ACbit, Hivos, and Fokupers to promote social inclusion and economic development of women survivors and victims of violence in Timor-Leste.

 

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About ACbit

The saying “Chega Ba Ita” underlines our belief that the CAVR report was written based on the experiences and voices of the people, for the people. It is not a document that should be shelved and forgotten. It is a living document to be understood, debated, and re-invented for generations to come.

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