May 20th this year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Restoration of Independence in Timor-Leste. There will be enormous celebrations and you could be there!
Our first Intrepid trip of the season starts on this anniversary, so it’s well worth arriving in the capital, Dili, a day or two early so you have plenty of time to kick up your heels with the locals. There’ll be parades, music and dancing in many of the districts, so no doubt the celebratory feel will carry on throughout Intrepid’s 15 day adventure.
One of our first special visits will be to the Alola Foundation, who last year celebrated their 10th birthday. The Alola Foundation was founded by former First Lady, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, to advocate for the rights of women and nurture female leaders. Their wonderfully passionate and committed CEO, Alita Verdial, is one terrific example of leadership, and Alita will enthusiastically welcome Intrepid travellers to Alola and give a personal presentation on the challenges facing Timorese women and their families and also of the progress and achievements for women and their communities.
Kirsty Sword Gusmao also gives Intrepid travellers a great welcome to her adopted homeland, as she recognises the benefits that visitors travelling with an open mind and a gentle heart, offering their hand in friendship, can bring to a young developing nation.
Alola, the nation and the women and children of Timor-Leste have come a long way since 2001 and while there is still a long way to go, the Alola Foundation vision of ‘strong women strong nation’ continues to be realised in some small and sometimes big ways every day. Their work is still as important as ever. In 10 years Alola has grown to be a proud and strong organisation that delivers practical and strategic development support for women and children through education, livelihood, maternal and child health and advocacy programs. Come and see for yourself!
There are currently places available on all 5 trips scheduled between May and Oct, 2012, but the first trip coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the restoration of independence celebrations is filling fast.
The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
You can help support Alola and other great organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus your donation could be doubled* by Intrepid Travel!
* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.
Photo: Jane Crouch