Her Brighter Future

Marisa* is a 16-year-old high school student. She lives with her parents and four siblings in a remote farming village in Timor-Leste.

Marisa approached our local partner, PRADET (Psychosocial Recovery and Development in East Timor), for counselling and support after she was raped.

Upon meeting Marisa, we discovered that her whole family was struggling to survive. They lived in a tiny bamboo house that couldn’t keep out the rain. The parents barely had enough to keep everyone fed and in school. They had no way of saving for their children and giving them a pathway to a better life.

The entrance to Marisa's kiosk - Action on Poverty

The entrance to Marisa’s kiosk

Investing in Marisa’s future

With PRADET, we helped Marisa set up a small kiosk in her house selling everyday items such as rice, toothpaste, noodles, cooking oil and detergent.

The kiosk took off, and the family was soon able to upgrade their home with brick walls and a concrete floor. They also reinvested in the kiosk and began selling products catering to their customers’ requests, such as sweets for children.

Marisa is now saving up to $15 per month to pay for her future university education. The kiosk also helps cover the school fees for her siblings.

Marisa outside her kiosk - Action on Poverty

Marisa outside her kiosk

Help for the whole family

Marisa’s parents are working hard to diversify their income. They used some leftover profits from the kiosk to build a greenhouse and are now selling their vegetables to traders in Dili, earning up to $70 per harvest.

“Now we can buy flour and other items we couldn’t afford before,” said Marisa’s mum. “We want to keep diversifying our income so we can earn more and save for our children.”

Marisa's family's new greenhouse

Marisa’s family’s new greenhouse

Donate now to help more girls like Marisa overcome trauma and lift themselves out of poverty.

*Name has been changed


Sustainable Development Goals

1. No Poverty    8. Decent Work and Economic Growth  10. Reduced Inequalities

17. Partnerships for the Goals


This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).



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