BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home      June news

"Such a vision would need to include access to appropriate education for excluded groups, particularly many children and adults in rural and remote areas. With 64% of our women unable to read and write, non-formal education is very important for them. There must also be guaranteed access to schooling for girls so that education contributes to more gender equity in our society." Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e
The East Timor National NGO Forum
 

Kaikoli Street,  Dili-East Timor  telephone 322772/  etngocentre@hotmail.com


NGO Comment on Economic and Social Development Issues


Thank you, Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to say a few words from the NGO community.

In our Background Paper we have several sections which relate very much to economic and social development – too much to mention here.

This afternoon I would like to emphasise the importance of education, health, and women’s participation in East Timor’s development.  Women’s participation in all aspects of social and economic development is extremely important, as in East Timor, like many other parts of the world, gender inequality is a primary cause of poverty.

NGOs acknowledge the achievements in the education sector, but urge that donors support the development of a national vision for education through a process of consultation with all stakeholders.

Such a vision would need to include access to appropriate education for excluded groups, particularly many children and adults in rural and remote areas.  With 64% of our women unable to read and write, non-formal education is very important for them. There must also be guaranteed access to schooling for girls so that education contributes to more gender equity in our society.

We urge donors to support the involvement of NGOs and civil society organisations in education programs, working in partnership with the Government.  For example NGOs could play a leading role in developing a national Early Childhood Development program, as well as a national Adult Literacy Program. They would bring valuable experience and expertise in these two vitally important areas.

The quality of education depends on teachers, so initiatives to support them, such as upgrading their skills, are an urgent priority which cannot wait until infrastructure work is complete.

In Health, NGOs are playing a key role across all Districts, and are committed to the development of a sustainable and integrated health system.

We want to see East Timorese health professionals and community representatives actively involved in developing a strategic plan for the health system. If the transition from a post conflict response to a viable health system is to be successfully achieved, performance indicators must focus on the development of the management and technical capacity of Timorese health sector staff in a realistic timeframe.

Unfortunately, in the current uncertain funding environment it is not clear what role NGOs will play in future health programs. While TFET provides the major funding source in this sector, we urge some alternative funding sources to ensure flexibility to respond to health care needs and to support community-based health promotion programs.

Poor access to clean water and sanitation, and to health services, including family planning and reproductive health information, are major problems for women. This in turn affects babies and children. Many women and children are also suffering trauma-related mental health problems which need to be addressed.

To finish may I just comment on the need for women, especially the many widows, to be supported in their economic role, through access to places in new markets for trading, provision of adequate public transport to reach markets, and training in marketing.


East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e  Updated June 14
Umbrella agency for East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)
VISION: To contribute to the building of a pluralist, democratic, just and sustainable East Timor through the development of a strong, independent and responsible civil society committed to upholding and making real in the daily life of the community, both village and urban, the full range of human rights so that all East Timorese, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, can enjoy the fruits of liberation and development in an East Timor forever free.
MISSION: To realise its vision by promoting a culture of learning, cooperation, partnership with the community and respect for human rights and good practice amongst East Timorese NGOs and between them and other development actors, both domestic and international, and by serving as a collective, independent voice for the rights and needs of the community.
VALUES AND PRINCIPLES: a rights approach to development; inclusiveness, participation; accountability; gender balance; respect for the environment; non-party political; non-sectarian; good governance; volunteerism.
Kaikoli Street, Dili-East Timor  Telephone +670(390)322772
E-mail: etngocentre@hotmail.com  Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/etngoforum/index.html
Jun 7 ETNGO Forum: Donors Meeting must be for Rural People: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01junrural.htm
Jun 13 ETNGO Forum: The voice of Civil Society calls the Donors: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01jundonors.htm


See also:
BD: East Timorese Women's Issues - A collection of recent information, petitions, articles and news

BD: East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e - A collection of recent media releases, position-statements, speeches, petitions, reports, and news


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      homeJune news
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