Grant Opportunity

Action on Poverty
PO Box 12
Crows Nest, NSW, 1585

Empowering Domestic Abuse Survivors in Timor-Leste -

ABOUT US: Action on Poverty empowers local changemakers to break the cycle of entrenched poverty in some of the poorest communities in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. We connect local people with the resources and training they need to drive change that really lasts. From teaching an Ethiopian family to grow their own food to sending Cambodian girls to school, we target communities with their own vision for change and help them make the largest impact possible.

VISION: For all people to transcend the injustice, indignity, and inequality of entrenched poverty.

MISSION: To empower local changemakers to break the cycle of poverty in their communities.


Food Security: We help local farmers access quality seed and teach them sustainable farming techniques to grow nutritious foods for household consumption. We work with local farmers’ groups to increase productivity, improve food storage, address environmental challenges, and create nutritionally balanced meals so families can feed themselves.

Water and Sanitation: We help to build new water points, repair existing water points, and educate local water point committees about how to manage their water assets and resources. We also educate communities about hygiene.

Livelihoods and Economic Empowerment: We offer training in livelihood models such as agriculture, tourism or basket weaving, and provide micro-loans so people can start a business and develop long-term solutions to poverty. We also work with survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking in Timor-Leste and Cambodia, offering safe accommodation, counselling, legal support and vocational training so they can lead more independent lives.

Health: We help vulnerable communities access affordable health care, focusing on treating clubfoot in Bangladesh so children can walk, run, play and fulfil their potential. We also partner with the World Mosquito Program on its Asia hub in Ho Chi Minh City to protect communities from mosquito-borne diseases.

Governance: By informing citizens of their rights and teaching them how to hold their governments to account, we empower poor communities to advocate for themselves. We use a wide range of social accountability tools and approaches. These are designed to bring citizens, government, academe and the private sector together on inclusive development projects that best meet the needs of the community.

Climate Change: Taking action on climate change is crucial for alleviating poverty. We help poor communities prepare for and adapt to climate change by offering training in new livelihoods that are less vulnerable to climate change, helping communities map climate change risks, and supporting the development of disaster risk and reduction plans.

Gender and Disability: Social inclusion is integral to all of our projects, whether it be a water point, kitchen garden or micro-finance group. Including minorities in decision-making processes provides better outcomes for the whole community. Social inclusion is often rooted in education, which helps people to identify and challenge stigmas, and gives the most vulnerable in the community access to life-changing opportunities. We also hold gender awareness training for staff and partners, carry out gender assessments of projects, and adhere to an inclusive gender policy.

  • Total Requested Amount
  • Total Raised From Donors
  • Remaining Goal

Project Details

Postcode where activity will take place:

Start Date: 04/01/2019

End Date: 04/01/2020

Target Population:

  • Gender groups > Women/girls
  • Social and economic status > Victims and oppressed people

Field of Interest:

  • Public safety > Abuse protection
  • Community and economic development > Economic development

Project Summary:

We will offer counselling, vocational training, and support to start a small business for 15 – 20 women who have survived domestic violence in Timor-Leste.

By doing so, we will help women overcome trauma, learn about their rights, and improve their ability to earn an independent income for themselves and their children. The project will also educate the women’s communities about gender-based violence and promote greater social cohesion.

Women and children suffer the most from the cycle of violence and poverty that persists following the 1999 and 2006 East Timor Crises. According to a 2015 Asia Foundation study, 59% of women aged 15 – 49 are subject to violence by an intimate partner. Meanwhile, women also struggle to generate income due to low levels of land ownership and education. This means women who have experienced domestic violence are often dependent on their abuser and fear that a complaint or court conviction could lead to a rift in the family, cutting them off from their primary source of income. Our project therefore seeks to help women escape this cycle of violence and poverty.

We will identify participants through an existing network of safe houses in Dili, Maliana and Suai that provide safe accommodation for women fleeing violence or abuse. Women will participate in counselling, which includes support to reintegrate with their family and community if it is safe to do so. Women will also learn a new skill so they can start a small enterprise. Examples of enterprises include growing vegetables, raising livestock, operating kiosks, food preparation, or selling second-hand clothes. We will consult with women to determine the best business model for them depending on their circumstances and resources. We will also provide women with training in business skills such as book-keeping, and provide start-up materials and ongoing support as they begin their business venture.

As well as directly supporting abuse survivors, we will engage with family members and communities to increase awareness of the devastating impacts of domestic violence, including the health and social impacts. Approximately 140 community members will benefit from the awareness-raising project activities, in addition to the 15 – 20 direct beneficiaries.

This project scales up existing work in Timor-Leste which has already created meaningful change in the lives of women such as Sara: This project will therefore build on the best practice and lessons learned from previous work to give women the best possible chance of breaking the cycle of violence and poverty.

Project Outcomes:

Outcome 1: 15 – 20 women trained in new vocational skills such as growing vegetables and animal husbandry

Outcome 2: 15 – 20 women trained in basic business skills to help them start their own enterprise

Outcome 3: 15 – 20 women with increased capacity to feed and clothe themselves and their family

Outcome 4: 140 community members with improved understanding of impact of gender roles and domestic violence

We will conduct regular monitoring and evaluation of this project to gather both qualitative and quantitative feedback from participants. We will collect baseline information from interviews with women, including their financial standing and mental health. As women undergo training and begin to operate their small business, counsellors will conduct regular visits with women in their communities to track their progress. The monitoring and evaluation of this project will assess economic independence and mental wellbeing, and will also take into account improvement in general family cohesion. We will also assess communities’ understanding of the impact of gender roles and domestic violence through interviews and group discussion.

Budget Details

Total Budget: $15,000


Income item Price ($)
Australian Communities Foundation 15000


Expense item Price ($)
Salary for counsellors 2500
Training materials and workshops 3500
Start-up materials for businesses 6000
Monitoring, evaluation and transport 3000

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