Plan researcher presents Timorese youth perspectives in Italy
Noemia Amaral, a researcher from Plan Timor-Leste today (14 September) presented the perspectives and ideas of Timorese youth at a conference in Naples, Italy. She spoke about the experiences of young Timorese during the crisis in 2006, as documented in Plan’s report, ‘Like stepping stones in the river: youth perspectives on the crisis in Timor-Leste’.
Noemia described youth opinions about the crisis, including why some young people became involved in the violence and who was in fact behind the crisis. Young people argued that the country’s leaders authored the crisis. They did not believe in a historical division between ‘westerners’ and ‘easterners’ and they definitely did not want this to become a bigger issue. They acknowledged that some young people did participate in the crisis, but the majority did not get involved in the violence.
Noemia said, ‘I feel honoured to be able to come to this conference and present the thoughts and experiences of young Timorese people during the crisis.’
She added, ‘we faced major challenges as we conducted this research, because it was in the middle of the crisis. But we were privileged to be able to meet many young people in various different communities and hear their viewpoints.’
The conference, hosted by the European Association for South-East Asian Studies, discussed a variety of issues relating to the Asia-Pacific region, and attracted people from many countries.
Noemia will be returning to Timor-Leste on…. and looks forward to sharing her experiences with her colleagues, young people and others working on youth issues in Timor-Leste.
For more information, or to get a copy of this report, please contact Luis Moniz Cardoso Pereira at Plan, on 331 2492.
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