Youth of Timor-Leste, developing innovative, creative and practical experiments

April 17, 2019

The inspirational young Timorese

Here is a look at the achievements of some of the inspirational young Timorese who have accessed to KJFL's empowerment services and are shaping Timor-Leste current and future development and economic growth. 

Susana Lopes
Susana is a member of the Lacibul Suma ‘Bee Lafaek’ team. This group were selected as winners and recipients of $50,000 value of technical infrastructure from Bee Lafaek, an Australian company. The team provide clean water gallons to local communities to improve access to clean drinking water in Dili and reduce importing drinking water. Read more here. "With the support from Knua, our team was able to win the Social Business Challenge by Bee Lafaek. Even after receiving funding and infrastructure, our team received training and advice from Knua to map out our business structure and effectively run the business.

Rosalia E. M. J. Trindade “Elvi”
Elvi, 22, has always wanted to promote healthy eating and nutrition to reduce             malnutrition rates in Timor-Leste. After attending Knua’s training and incubation, Elvi opened her own fruit salad store in Metiaut in April 2018. She wants people to become mindful of what they eat. Elvi’s business provide her an income and promote healthy eating habits in Timorese communities. "I carry with me the wisdom of Muhammad Yunus. He says to wake up in the morning and say, I am a job-creator, not a job-seeker… I decided that the best thing for me to do is to become my own job-creator." said Elvi.  Read more here

Nuno Ridenio

Owner of ‘Blackbox bar’ and ‘Blackbox coffee’. Nuno started black-box coffee as a mobile-coffee cart in 2017. In 2018, Nuno expanded his business to open his own café and bar in Farol.  Nuno is actively engaged in Knua activities to share his experience as well as learning from and connecting with other entrepreneurs. "Even when you have established something, you need to learn more and grow more. Especially as an entrepreneur, you can never assume you know everything.  The key to success is to continuously educate yourself." Read more here.

Silvia Correia de Araujo
Silvia is passionate about agricultural development in Timor-Leste. While working in Gleno as fish technician, Silvia noticed a lack of feed available. After attending the first Social Business Camp organized by UNDP, she started her own business in 2016 - selling fish feed and vegetable seeds in Gleno. Silvia also works at UNDP as a part-time Business Trainer and Incubator, helping other youth to create jobs for themselves. Silvia has recently started a new project “Black Soldier Flies” recycling organic waste to produce high nutrients of chicken and fish feed in Dili. "Knua is my second home. I would like to encourage more young people in Timor-Leste to work together - develop themselves, invest in themselves. I want to transform 10 or 20 youth to become entrepreneurs like myself to solve community issues." said Silvia. Read more here.

Jose Miranda
Jose is a Finance and Marketing Manager for Laledu Berrymatak, a co-operative company that supplies fruits and vegetables from farming groups in Ululefa Maubisse, Ainaro to supermarkets in Dili. This cooperative is improving Jose's livelihood as well as benefitting around 36 farmers who supply agricultural produce to him. "In Maubisse, farmers have very limited access to markets and often wouldn’t receive a fair share of profits for their products sold. The Knua Centre supported us to link the supply chain, and negotiate a partnership with supermarkets in Dili, so we can bring more profits back to the farmers." Read more here.

Estevao Gusmao

Estevão is a 22-year-old entrepreneur who is supplying local rice from Viqueque to supermarkets in Dili. His internship at UNDP – Knua Juventude Fila-Liman (KJFL), enabled him to learn the necessary skills to start a business. He is now selling his products which include local rice to Pateo, Leader, Kmanek, Jaco and other supermarkets around Dili. Estevão is happy that his business can support rice farmers and himself to earn an income.  "I have always wanted to promote local rice. Imported rice is expensive and unfavorable to rice farmers. Through Knua, I identified my market, developed my business plan, and became a registered business." Read more here.

Jose ‘Raul’ de Oliveira da Silva
President of ‘Forsa Humanista Timor-Leste’, an association of 54 groups of youth volunteers providing free capacity building activities for Timorese people in rural and urban areas. Raul was awarded Youth Ambassador for SDGs by the United National Development Programme in 2015. He is one of Knua’s volunteers who facilitate learning events to inspire and engage youth voices in Timor-Leste. "This beloved Timor-Leste’s change starts from me and counts on me, because I am the new generation of this country and committed to continue the fight to free our people… my salary is the destiny of the future generations." Read more here.

Lania Sarmento
Lania is a Junior Business Trainer at the Knua Juventude Fila-Liman (KJFL). She provides technical assistance, educational training and mentoring support to young people who want to start or grow their own business. Lania wants to inspire many Timorese youth to be their own ‘job-creators’ and not ‘job-seekers’. "Before Knua, I didn’t enjoy being a trainer or teaching people. I didn’t like public speaking. Now I love it. I love to help young people to develop their business plan and enable them to put their ideas in to practice….". Read more here.

Anastacio Madeira de Araujo
Anastacio spend the first 16 years of his life living at an orphanage. When he left the orphanage, he worked in different capacities, such as in bars and hotels. Along the way, he exposed himself to many different people including expats and tourists. In March of 2016, Anastacio started working at Dive, Trek & Camp as a Junior Tour Guide and a few months later became promoted to Senior Tour Guide. Anastacio has shared his knowledge and experience to other youth through Knua Juventude Fila-Liman. "I wanted to support my family and give back to the people who needed the support the most. I also know the value in promoting local business. The Knua Centre taught me to respect different systems and the work of different organizations and actors” he says. Read more here.

Juvita Pereira Faria
Juvita is passionate about women’s empowerment and gender equality. Thus, with her friend she formed the Youth Leadership Development Program Timor-Leste (YLDP-TL), a youth group providing free leadership training to both young men and women. Juvita is the current President of this group and together with her fellow members organizes and facilitates leadership training at Knua Juventude Fila-Liman. She has also delivered inspirational talks at various events to inspire other young female Timorese. She always encourages youth participation in development. She is a women leader to her peers. "Youth organizations are a model/guide for youth leadership, thus the Government … should work with youth groups to achieve national priorities for youth development …." said Juvita. Read more here.

Dino Martins
In Dili, Dino noticed all the bananas and cassavas that is wasted. While working as a cleaner at Knua Juventude Fila-Liman (KJFL), Dino realised that he could turn this issue into a business. Thus, with Knua’s skills development support, Dino started his business - producing his own fruit chips and selling them in supermarkets in Dili. Dino’s business provides additional income for himself and his family, while at the same time reduces food waste. "Before I came to Knua, I did not have the support or information I needed to start my fruit chip business… After working with the Knua, now I know how to be self-employed and how to be an entrepreneur." Read more here.

Joao Maria Tapel “Jomat”
Jomat is the owner of a kiosk in a remote village Hatugau, Ermera which provides easy access to basic goods for the community in Hatugau. The kiosk is also providing income for Jomat’s family. Jomat himself, is working as a Project Associate for UNDP’s Knua Juventude Fila-Liman. Prior to this, he did a lot of volunteering work as member of the youth group named Timor-Leste Youth Initiative for Development (TYIFD). "Ever since I was a little kid, I had to walk 7km to get rice and sugar. People in my community would spend 3-4 hours walking to the markets just to get a kg of rice or sugar… Through Knua I developed a business canvas for implementation," said Jomat. Read more here.