With thanks from Flabiana

1 Aug 2012   |   Blog   |   Long-term Development   |   Project Compassion   |   East Timor

Flabiana from Project Compassion 2012

Cornelio Ase from Caritas Australia’s Partnership program in Timor Leste spoke with Flabiana to find out how her life has changed since Caritas Australia. 


“A year ago my husband died. This was very hard, but my children are healthy and happy. They enjoy school and we have enough food," said Flabiana.  

"My kiosk is progressing well and I am busy every day. I bought a car with my savings. We’re now able to transport items that we buy from local stores or the market.”

What Caritas group trainings have you participated in?

  • Food processing
  • Tofu production
  • Basic principle of sustainable agriculture
  • The group also receive technical advice from Caritas Australia staff as required.
  • All these trainings are really important for my life and my group.

How are the tofu business and microfinance cooperative going?  

Before I joined Caritas I made bread and sold ice, but tofu production is a good business because it helps us increase our income. I sell tofu to the market or local restaurants, and they sell out quickly.

Our microfinance is continuing and it helps us so much. We loan money to members and it is used to help with any urgent needs such as school fees, household utensils and furniture.

How are your children?

My children are growing healthy and learning many things at school. They also help me look after the kiosk; my daughter prepares the ice blocks before going to her afternoon class and my oldest son just completed high school.

What is your hope for the future?

I would like to learn different bread making techniques and buy more equipment for this; as well as a machine to drill coconut and corn. I hope that the microfinance group continues, so other members can also sustain their living through small business. Your donations have really changed people’s lives and I hope your support continues.

Flabiana’s story is extraordinary and her future now has a strong foundation. Thank you for supporting Project Compassion; at last count we raised over $10.7 million!

Your support ensures we can reach others who are searching for a life free from poverty. From all at Caritas Australia, thank you for helping us walk alongside the poorest of the poor. 


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  • Krystie T

    “I joined the Caritas Immersion group to East Timor in September and meeting Flabiana was definitely one of the biggest highlights! We were happy to see that she and her family are doing so well. During our visit, her daughter had just come back from school and spoke fluent English. She was on her break before starting Economics lessons from 3-6pm. It is wonderful to see that the future will be bright for them :)”

  • S J C F

    “We have been inspired by how Caritas has helped Flabiana and her community by teaching them how to farm and by giving them animals. We didn't realiase how much Caritas helped.”

  • Lilly.P and Sharna.H

    “we are really impressed by how much caritas has helped Flabianas community and how we can all make such a big differences.did the fishing program turn out well? we would like to know how it went.Also is there more programs to help the community?”

  • ryan.p

    “Caritas is really nice teaching them how to do lots of stuff like using a toilet and growing crops helping them become self sufficient. :)”

  • Elizabeth

    “We have been very impressed with the improvements made in East Timor especially the larger amount of cows, pigs, crops and facilities.We believe that Caritas is a huge help to the poor because without them the people in East Timor would not have the machines and facilities that you will need to stay healthy. I think that the idea of one country having a cow, pig or chicken then once it has bred with another they pass it on to another country so every country has a cow, pig or chicken.”