This year Tyneside East Timor Solidarity plan to start raising funds for a community project in Mehara. Planning stages for the project began in 2006 when Lidia (one of our members) was living in Timor-Leste. Narciso, Rosa, and other villagers have costed the project and are in a position to begin work.
The plan is to build a small community centre, which would be used as a base to help the community turn their language, Fataluku, an oral language, into a written language. Women and children would particularly benefit from this, as for many of the men, Fataluku evolved into a written language whilst they were living in the diaspora.
Anyone wishing to learn English (there is a great demand by the youth to learn English) would be taught by Timorese who learned English whilst living in exile during the 25 year occupation, with the support of solidarity visiting from abroad. Hopefully computer skills will be taught, again by Timorese who learned these skills while in exile from their country, often with the support of Tyneside East Timor Solidarity. Narciso attended English and computer courses at Gateshead and Newcastle College but his skills were greatly enhanced by living with family and friends.