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Meet three young changemakers in Timor-Leste

Three young people are inspiring and leading their peers after taking part in ChildFund Timor-Leste’s Inspiring Youth Changemakers program.

The program brings together youth from diverse backgrounds to learn leadership, economic empowerment and other vital life skills they need to become resilient individuals. It equips young people with the skills and knowledge to manage a variety of social challenges, including domestic violence, young marriage, conflict, unemployment and other issues they face.

Meet Sidalia, Juvêncio, and Brigita, three young people establishing themselves as community leaders.


To a young woman like Sidalia, 23-years-old, this training represents a change.

“I need to make a change for myself and for my family. After I participated in those trainings, I became a stronger woman”.

The most significant change she experienced after the training is that she became more confident in herself.

“Before I attended the training, I was a shy person, I could not even walk through the crowd. But now I feel more confident in public and am brave enough to speak in front of a crowd about issues impacting other youth.”

After the training, she was excited to build on her knowledge of leadership and be able to emulate different leadership styles. She was also able to share what she learnt with her peers in her village.

“When I shared information about leadership with other youth in my village, they were excited to listen. They received the information very positively and as the facilitator, this made me very happy.”


Juvêncio, 25-years-old, believes that the youth changemaker program is helping to prepare young people for the future.

“Other youth should participate in the training because it will increase their resilience to any challenges they might face in the future.”

Like Sidalia, Juvêncio valued the leadership training. He said that he now has a clearer idea of what makes a good leader and how he can use these skills in his own life.

“Before the training I didn’t know the difference between a leader and leadership, but after training I know the definition for both those things. I know how I can be a good leader for my community.”


Brigita, a 17-year-old is a high school student, shared that the training motivated her to seek higher levels of education and has had many positive impacts on her life. She strongly encourages other young girls in her village to take advantage of this opportunity.

“I should not miss out on any opportunity to learn just because I am a woman. Women and girls should take part in the training. Just because we are women does not mean we don’t have power. As women we need to take these opportunities in front of us to become more empowered.”

The Youth Changemakers project is supported by ChildFund New Zealand and implemented in Lautem municipality by ChildFund Timor-Leste and local partner, Ba Futuru.

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