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The locals of Atauro are humble and proud, economically challenged yet dignified, religious and a joyous people. Their traditional culture, language, customs and knowledge are strong. They are poor monetarily, but rich in life. Do not feel sorry for them; there is nothing to feel sorry for, as their lives are ‘full' and they are genuinely happy. They sing at the drop of a hat. Our Atauro ‘family’ have asked for assistance in the areas for which they feel their government hasn’t responded adequately. Our aim is to provide assistance which builds on the richness and strengths of peoples’ way of life, without creating a mentality of welfare or aid dependency. We believe that, however well intentioned, handouts and donations may discourage people from coming up with their own solutions and innovations to their local issues. In order for a program or project to be sustainable
and successful, a continuous trusting and transparent relationship is vital. Accordingly our lodge has always supported Atauro’s local communities through a simple process of trust, respect, transparency and the willingness to listen to the Ataurians’ requests, differentiating between what is a ‘need’ and a ‘want’. We
engage the Chefe Aldeia, Chefe Suco, Administrator (Sub-district), local police, doctors, nurses, teachers, NGOs, Church leaders, and community in an ongoing dialogue about their future; where they are going as a community, and what they identify as important to them. Not what we think should be important!

We, as an economic hub on Atauro, are obliged to walk with our community and provide opportunities for them to meet their own needs or achieve their own goals and vision. This we do through ‘forming links with organisations, aiding local networking, gathering information, educating and providing economic assistance for programs/projects.
By walking together with the Atauro community we are assisting to facilitate knowledge, and their right to choose what is best for them through making informed decisions. How they wish for ‘things to evolve’, in their time (i.e. Timor time/coconut time/Atauro o’clock). Making mistakes is all part of the learning process. Mistakes, can be, and are good, as long as they are learnt from, and blame isn’t assigned to anyone.

The Atauro people come from an oral tradition. Therefore information, stories and knowledge passed down and along generations aren’t always 100 percent accurate or true. There are many shades of grey in the truth of a ‘story’. Hence ‘seeing is believing’ is integral to the relationship and success of a project or program through to its completion. ‘Ita hein hare!’ (Let’s wait and see!), is commonly heard at the beginning of a project as the locals ‘size up’ the situation and all involved.



Like all who live in this Global Village, the Atauro people know that their children are their future. Education, health, church, livelihoods (fisheries, agriculture), arts and crafts, sport and music are their highest priorities.

In keeping with these community priorities, our lodge, together with the following generous donors, has:

  • Supported 5 local young people at university for 6 years; 4 in Jogjakarta, 1 in Cuba, with assistance from Emmaus College Rockhampton, Old, Australia(2005-2013)

  • Raised awareness and funds in Australia for the re-connection of the Beloi village water supply with assistance from St Vincent de Paul, Emerald, Qld, Australia. The community supplied free labour and now enjoys reliable access to clean water. (2005)

  • Raised awareness and funds for training trainers in Permaculture, seeds, seed collection, water pumps and tools. Assistance from Rob Swain, Julianne Ilartmann, Steve Cran and Ego Lemos (2005, 2006).

  • Assisted in the supply of funds for and installation of a 'Skyjuice’ water filtration system at the Community IIealth Clinic in Vila and another in Maquili village, with assistance from Australian Aid International (AAI 2007)

  • Assisted in the supply and installation of a solar power system for the out-post clinic in Anartutu, Makadade, with assistance from Australian Aid International (AAI 2007)

  • Raised awareness and funds for the rehabilitation of the Junior High School’s staff-room and office, and the local Beloi community office/centre with assistance from Rockhampton Diocese, Qld, Australia (2007)

  • Resourced, painted and provided furniture for the local Beloi kindergarten 'Naroman' with assistance from Margaret River Rotary club. (2010)

  • Donated and installed a playground and water pump together with the ‘Margaret River school leavers 2011 and 2012' for the local Beloi kindergarten 'Naroman' with assistance from Margaret River Rotary club. (2011,2012)

  • lnstalled a battery back-up and solar system for the Atauro Senior High school donated by the Margaret River School Leavers 2012 in order to charge their 10 laptops donated by this group for the teachers to do computer courses for the students. (2013)

  • Donated soccer and volleyball uniforms and equipment to various clubs across Atauro. (Annual donation)

  • Donated to local musicians and carvers in order to exhibit their talents and culture in Dili at Expos and festivals. (Annual donation)

  • Used guests and our lodge's donations to purchase a brick making machine on request from our village chief of Beloi, to create youth employment and livelihoods. We encourage non-local construction companies to buy locally. (2013)

  • Assisted with hospitality and eco-tourism training for 20 women from NGO Haburas Moris (OHM) of Maliana who had funds to establish an eco-tourism venture with the local Morobos community at the hot-springs in Maliana. (2013)

  • Assisted Fred Hollows Foundation in collaboration with the Atauro Community Health Centre, Rotary International and Lions International, with the logistics in building the ‘Eye clinic surgery’ in Vila. (2o12,f2o13)

  • Constructed a Multi-purpose Court (Volleyball/Basketball court) in 2013 for the Beloi village Primary school with the 2013 Margaret River School Leavers and Margaret River Rotary and Lions club. (2013)

  • Worked with Bairo-Pite clinic from Dili, installing, trialling and reporting on a prototype water filter system (Rota Pota) in Beloi village. Donated from Rotary Australia and the 'Mens’ Shed’. (2013)

  • Worked collaboratively with MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) and local authorities (Community Ilealth Clinic of Atauro), to lobby the Timorese government to reopen the Atauro airstrip for medivac capabilities. (2013/2014)

  • Added a Futsal court to the Multi-purpose Court ( now a Vollcyball/Basketball/Futsal court) for the Beloi village Primary school. Donation from Radford College Canberra. (2014)

  • Assisted with the logistics and distribution of 35 laptops and school resources across Atauro in 2014, donated by the 2013 Margaret River School Leavers and Margaret River Rotary and Lions’ clubs. (2014)

  • Assisted and supported NGO Empreza Diak with land, water, electricity and building material supplies for the ‘Atauro Diak’ training centre. Shared our philosophy and observations on Atauro community developments and needs. (2014/2015)

  • Assisted with the logistics and distribution of 25 laptops for the Atauro Senior High school’s computer lab (Eskola Secundaria 99 de Atauro), and 30 laptops for local authorities and organisations across Atauro. Donated by All Saints College Perth with Margaret River Rotary and Lions’ clubs. To be managed and instructed by ‘Ba Futuru’ NGO. (2015)

  • Organised and funded the inaugural Atauro schools’ aerobic/gymnastics competition for the 20th May Independence celebrations. 115 students across S local schools participated. (2015)

  • Assisted with the logistics, organisation and management of the extension of the Beloi Catholic community centre with Bright and Frankston Sunrise Rotary clubs and Atauro’s Italian priest Fr. Chico. (2015)

  • Assisted with networking and proposal writing for the Atauro Schools ‘Merenda’ (lunch break) program providing water filters for primary and secondary schools on Atauro. (2015)

  • Organised and funded the construction of 2 toilets/bathrooms and laundry area for the local SOLS (Science of Life Systems) English school in Beloi, which have up to 30 students boarding full-time. (2015)

  • Organised and managed the logistics, materials and construction of the Ilitimur Primary school in collaboration with the Ilitimur village chief on behalf of donors - Kununurra Rotary and Dili Rotary clubs (2015)

  • Assisted with the logistics and construction of a well, tank stand and water trough for the local Beloi livestock/buffalo cooperative. Supported and constructed by the Margaret River 2015 Leavers group and Margaret River Rotary and Lions clubs. (2015)

  • Assisted ‘Blue Ventures’ with logistics, community relationships and establishing a ‘research and dive base’ for their inaugural Timor-Leste expeditions in marine conservation (2016)

  • Assisted with the logistics and mounting of a water solar pump and two water hand pumps in Beloi and Biqueli villages. Technical expertise supplied and funded from Kununurra Rotary. (2016)

  • Organised and funded a musician/artist ‘Aurouotones’ to perform at Impreza Diak for the Beloi community.(2016)

  • Organised and funded the second Atauro schools’ aerobic/gymnastics competition for the 20th May Independence celebrations. 9 local schools competed. (2016)

  • Procured parts and assisted with the re-build of the Atauro Community health centre (CHC) generator. (2016) Thanks to RMS in Dili. (2016)

  • Assisted ‘Feto Atauro’ women’s group with organising first aid training, airstrip clearing and maintenance (for MAF medivac), maintenance of their Tuk-Tuk ambulance and marketing (and taste-testing) of their delicious coconut chilli. (2016)

  • Assisted with logistics, translation and donated materials for the rehabilitation of the Atauro Community Health Centre (CHC) surgery/operating theatre funded by Fred Hollows Foundation and Andreas Kreis. Rehabilitated by Bright and Frankston Sunrise Rotary clubs. (2016)

  • Funded, assisted with logistics, and organised 30 women from 'Feto Atauro’ (Women of Atauro) to participate in the inaugural, 3 day, national ‘Poco-Poco’ (Aerobics/Zumba) health promotion competition in Dili. (2016)

  • Assisted with the logistics of guttering and tanks for rain water catchment for the newly constructed Ilitimur Primary school funded by Kununurra Rotary. (2016)

  • Managed and constructed a 2 room dormitory for the SOLS (Science of Life System) English school in Beloi with financial assistance from Mana Clare Batten and friends, and Ignatius College Geelong, Australia. (2016)

  • Networked and assisted with logistics for the construction of a playground for the 'Fitun Esperansa’ kindergarten in Vila. Donated and erected by the 2016 ‘School Leavers’ group of Margaret River and funded by Margaret River Rotary and Lions club. (2016)

  • Assisted with the Beloi village, Atauro Home Stay Accommodation initiative and concept. Advised and participated in initial community consultations and workshops. Program of 'Blue Venture Conservation'. (2017)

  • Assisted with the purchase and distribution of school resources and sports equipment for the Beloi Primary school. Kindly donated by Marryatwille High school and facilitated by Dr Susanne Owen. (2017)

  • Hosted Australian army veterans from their Timor Awakening program and assisted with the distribution of school resources and sports equipment donated by the group. (2017)

  • Assisted with the logistics and networking for 5 Australian Dentists (Adelaide) who pulled teeth on their annual one-week Atauro visit. (2017)

  • Hosted the annual TedX Dili event for 100 guests. Assisted with logistics, catering and accommodation. (2017)

  • Assisted the Berau community with the purchase of poly-pipe and fittings to bring water into their village centre from the main line. (2017)

  • Assisted with the organisation and logistics for 2 first aid courses for the ‘Feto Atauro’ women’s group. Administered by Australian Catholic University. (2017)

  • Assisted with organising passports and visas for 2 local Beloi soccer coaches to participate in a three-week Australian Futsal soccer accreditation course in Canberra. Sponsored by Radford College Canberra. (2017)

  • Coordinated and managed the building of a community kitchen in Usubemasu. Funding and part labour provided by the 2017 Margaret River School Leavers, Rotary and Lions clubs. (2018)

  • Supported and funded the purchase of wheelie bins for the ‘Ekipa Tasi Mos Atauro’ (Clean Ocean Atauro team) local initiative at the Beloi Port area. (2018)

  • Assisted with the organisation and logistics for 4 first aid courses for the ‘Feto Atauro’ women’s group. Administered by Australian Catholic University and ‘The Wild Medics project’ X 2. (2018/2019)

  • Networked and assisted with logistics for the construction of 2 playgrounds for the Pala and Dotan kindergartens. Donated and erected by the 2018 ‘School Leavers’ group of Margaret River and funded by Margaret River Rotary and Lions club. (2018)

  • Donated land and constructed the Work shed for the ‘Ekipa Tasi Mos Atauro’ (Clean Ocean Atauro team) plastic recycle centre. (2018/2019)

  • Fundraising for the ‘Ekipa Tas Mos Atauro’ recycle/upcycle plastic program. Preparing for the purchase of 4 recycling machines: Shredder, Extruder, Compression and Injection machines. (2019)

  • With massive assistance from Jeff Dusting 0rdered and had fabricated in Indonesia and arranged logistics for the delivery of the 4 Plastic recycle machines to Atauro. 10 month process (2019)

We are often asked by our guests how they might contribute to the needs as defined by our local communities on Atauro lsland. At present our lodge is currently working on:

  • Working with the Atauro community to strengthen their local Tourism association - ATKOMA, in order to have one yoice’ in negotiating with relevant Timorese Government departments and ZEEMS (Special Economic Trade Zone), to ensure that local opinion and desires are adhered to when discussing the future direction of tourism on ‘GREEN’ Atauro. 

  • Working with the local education authorities to help resource Atauro’ Kindergardens, Primary schools, Middle schools, Senior schools, SOLS/AHHA English school and Kristal University with laptops, solar systems, sporting equipment and general classroom supplies in order to enhance our Atauro children’s limited learning experience.

  • Supporting the 'Feto Atauro’ (Women of Atauro) initiative which aims to build the capacity and potential of local Atauro women through providing opportunities to create and form Village (Suco) networks to disseminate information, training, first-aid training,  guest speakers and dignitaries. 
  • If you would like to make a donation towards any specific programs we are currently supporting, please have a chat with Barry or Lina.


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