CWS Asia


Timor-Leste

Aderito Ruben joined 19 other IOB students for a 3-day Master Trainer workshop where 23 CWS-supported F-FDTL peer educators were practicing their recently honed education / training skills. Photo: CWS

Sharing experience in a workshop. Photo: CWS

Highlights/Key Accomplishments For The Year 2017

* US Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program senior staff visited Timor-Leste in 2017 to mark seven years of partnership and progress with the national Defense Forces in HIV awareness and education for prevention for army and navy personnel, their families and neighbors. During the visit, CWS team, Defense Forces leaders and visitors met with the US Ambassador and, subsequently, it was agreed that CWS will transition leadership of the initiative to the Defense Forces themselves during 2018.

Additionally, it has been decided that CWS will expand Timor Zero Hunger programming into Timor-Leste from neighboring (Indonesian) West Timor. This strategic move will align Timor-Leste CWS programs with significant unmet needs and unaddressed rights and integrate more closely with other Asia regional work to address poverty characterized by hunger and malnutrition, limited safe water and sanitation/hygiene access.

Overview

CWS is striving to raise people awareness on HIV/AIDS in Timor-Leste by providing correct information on HIV and AIDS, as well as reproduction health, through trainings and information sessions. CWS’ staffer is starting an information session in Baucau Disrict, the second-largest city in Timor-Leste. He uses the flipchart to explain about what the virus is, how it is spread and how to prevent one from contracting the virus. Condom use demonstration is also included the information session. Photo: CWS[/caption]

Since a year after its independence, Timor-Leste has welcomed CWS team members to work with groups affected by the risks and realities of HIV/AIDS. HIV prevention and care were CWS’s first focus, with support for information-sharing, education and increased access to voluntary counseling and testing as well as an initiative to help ensure justice and empowerment for people living with HIV. CWS worked with faith-based organizations to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS among adolescents, and helped found the country’s first peer support group for HIV+ persons, Esperança. Their mission is to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, visit HIV+ persons in their homes to provide nutritious food and other support, and to fight stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

Since 2010 CWS has partnered with the Timor-Leste army, or F-FDTL, to raise awareness, change behavior, prevent infection and reduce stigma for F-FDTL members, their families and their neighbors.

Latest News

The HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Program CWS Pioneered Will Remain a Vital Public Health Service

CWS Timor Leste | April 16, 2018

In March (2018) our small CWS Timor Leste team traveled to Oecusse, which is an enclave of about 70,000 people in one of the country’s most isolated district; it is almost entirely land-locked within neighboring West Timor (Indonesia) and has the Savwu Sea on its northern border. Because Timor Leste’s national defense forces are strategically […]

“We are ready to continue the program on our own”

CWS Timor Leste | March 16, 2018

With 16,000+ residents, Baucau is Timor-Leste’s second largest city and, like the country’s much larger capital, Dili, the small city is on the northern coast of Timor island. Baucau is home to a national defense forces base, and the CWS team traveled there recently to support HIV prevention info-sessions as well as routine HIV testing. […]

Teamwork Supports Expanding Timor Zero Hunger

CWS Timor Leste | February 19, 2018

“I am so happy that we had an opportunity to visited Soe and see Timor Zero Hunger activities and impact in communities,” is how Timor-Leste Program Manager Odete Peloy began her report on the Timor-Leste team’s trip to West Timor. Then she continued, “After a briefing from the project team on the first day, we […]

Reaching Out to Young People to Promote Good Health

CWS Timor Leste | February 18, 2018

Recently, the CWS Timor-Leste team took time to reach beyond their national defense forces, on whom they usually focus, to share information about HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health with 16 girls and 15 boys at a youth center in Comoro, a neighborhood in Dili. One participant, 17-year-old high school student Feliza Hau, […]

Expanding The Knowledge Of HIV and STI Prevention

CWS Timor-Leste | November 18, 2017

Second Sergeant Pedro Soares is based at the Timor Leste naval base in Hera, about 40 km outside Dili, and he is one of a new group of HIV prevention facilitators who just completed a training program led by CWS-supported Master Trainers. He now uses his new skills and knowledge to offer HIV prevention information […]

An Army Wife Helps Extend HIV Education Reach

CWS Timor Leste | October 16, 2017

Ana Monica da Silva is married to an Timor Leste soldier and they live in a military housing complex in Baucau, which is the country’s second largest city with about 16,000 people. In September Ms. da Silva joined 25 others for an HIV prevention information-sharing session led by Pvt. Monica Freitas Belo, who had earlier […]

Remote and Often Forgotten Place, Atauro Island, Is Reached By CWS

CWS Timor Leste | September 10, 2017

Recently CWS—Timor Leste defense forces team took the ferry to Atauro Island to lead an HIV info-sharing and education session at the national Navy post there. Atauro is a small island just 25 kilometers north of TimorLeste’s capital, Dili. Master Seaman Sebastiao Soares, the commander of the island post, said we was very appreciative that […]

A Young Soldier’s New Skills Help Him Share His Knowledge

CWS Timor Leste | August 19, 2017

Sergeant Sipriano Maia is among the first of a new generation of the Timor Leste defense forces’ (F-FDTL) HIV education and prevention activities facilitators. He joined the military in 2009 and has attended many health information sessions through the years. Based on his strong knowledge of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) causes, prevention […]

Understanding the Cost of HIV Infection Changes Attitudes and Behaviors

CWS Timor Leste | July 25, 2017

As part of continuing joint initiative to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the Timor Leste army (F-FDTL), Sergeant Manuel da Silva was recently joined by CWS staff to lead HIV prevention info-sharing sessions at the Lere Anan Timur military housing complex in Metinaro, which is just about an hour outside of Dili. […]

“We all need this kind of information so we can stay healthy”: Youth Expand CWS HIV Awareness Reach in Timor Leste

CWS Timor Leste | June 13, 2017

Aderito Ruben is a third-year student with the Faculty of Economics at the Dili Institute of Business (IOB) in Timor Leste’s capital city. Recently, at the invitation of their national army (F-FDTL), he joined 19 other IOB students for a 3-day Master Trainer workshop where 23 CWS-supported F-FDTL peer educators were practicing their recently honed […]

Reaching a Remote and At-Risk Community with HIV-AIDS Information

CWS Timor-Leste | May 8, 2017

Recently the CWS Timor Leste team traveled with a national army (F-FDTL) colleague to remote and isolated Oecusse to share HIV information with F-FDTL personnel stationed there. Though part of Timor Leste, Oecusse is surrounded by Indonesia and can only be reached by boat from Dili (or by air or overland through Indonesia). This isolation […]

We Monitor and Evaluate … To Improve Our Efforts

CWS Timor Leste | April 3, 2017

Expecting 20 people at most to join a Monitoring & Evaluation training workshop recently, CWS staff in Timor Leste were pleased to welcome 25 and to hear Corporal Salvador do Santos, who is a medic in the national army (F-FDTL), talk about why he and others joined the workshop. “In fact, I have never had […]

Peer Teaching-Learning for HIV Education, Testing and Counseling Expands

CWS Timor Leste | March 15, 2017

Dr. Fransisco da Costa is one of two doctors assigned to the Timor-Leste army (F-FDTL) small naval unit in Hera, which is a town about 30 minutes outside Timor-Leste’s capital city, Dili. Both doctors recently joined CWS-supported workshops about HIV counseling and testing (HCT) as well as diagnosing and treating other sexually transmitted infections (STI). […]

“We need correct information to protect ourselves”

CWS Timor Leste | February 17, 2017

In January the CWS Timor Leste team went to Bobonaro District on the country’s western border with Indonesia for an information session with F-FDTL members stationed there. In earlier postings, Sergeant Ernesto A. da Costa, the current Bobonaro commander is very familiar with the CWS HIV prevention program and said, “I have learned a lot […]

Timor-Leste Team Hosts U.S. HIV Education-Prevention Project Donors

CWS Timor Leste | January 30, 2017

CWS Program Manager Odete Peloy and her team welcomed two staff from the U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) in early January, 2017, so they could meet, first hand, with the team working to reduce HIV infection and to address related health and behavior issues, within the national army. Commander Mark Johnson, MD, […]

National Army Reaches a Key Milestone In Addressing Health Risks for Soldiers

CWS Timor-Leste | January 11, 2017

In an important milestone event for Timor-Leste’s nation army (F-FDTL) its own doctors facilitated an HIV-STI education-information workshop along with HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) for about 100 people at its Metinaro training base near Dili. A key participant in the day’s activities was the base commander Lieutenant Colonel Benedito Dias Quintas, who was fully […]

Marie Stopes International Staff Join CWS Team Members to Support Key Army Personnel in Learning More About STIs

CWS Timor Leste | December 4, 2016

In recent years CWS has educated and supported a number of Timor Leste’s national army (F-FDTL) personnel in HIV testing and counseling (HTC) work; and now the F-FDTL has established an HTC center at the Metinaro training base near Dili, the country’s capital. Dr. Paul Dos Santos is a doctor at the base and a […]

One Timor-Leste Soldier’s Call To Help Stop HIV Infection

CWS Timor Leste | November 13, 2016

Sergeant Luis da Costa is the commander of a 15-person Timor-Leste army (F-FDTL) post in Becora, a neighborhood in Dili. Since it is such a small post, not all personnel have had a chance in the context of CWS partnership with the army, to join in HIV and STI awareness-raising activities – and, importantly, to […]

IEC materials to improve 200+ students’ knowledge about HIV-AIDS and other STI risks

CWS Timor Leste | October 12, 2016

Recently the CWS Timor-Leste team received an unexpected visitor – a woman on a mission. Literally! Sister Julia Shideler stopped in our Dili office in search of information-education-communication (IEC) materials about HIV prevention. Born in Oakland, CA, Sister Julia is a Roman Catholic Maryknoll missionary who has worked in Timor-Leste for the last 9 years. […]

HIV testing and counseling

CWS Timor Leste | September 9, 2016

Recently a Timor-Leste army (F-FDTL) medical team, accompanied by senior officers responsible for operations and human resources, visited Jakarta to learn about Indonesia’s experience with HIV prevention, treatment and care in its military. The delegation visited local NGOs, Angsa Merah and Karisma, to see ‘best practice’ HIV testing and counseling, including how to inform clients […]

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