Friends of Suai (FOS)

Friends of Suai/Covalima Appeal

The people of Suai in East Timor need your support.

Since the year 2000 the City of Port Phillip has a formal commitment to support the Friendship between City of Port Phillip and Suai, Covalima East Timor. Friends of Suai/Covalima is doing all it can to assist the people of Suai in their efforts to claim a new future. We provide support and funding to the Covalima Community Centre. It's still very difficult but people are working together to create a new future for their district and East Timor.

The Community Centre in Covalima (CCC), supported by the City of Port Phillip, is growing both in staff capacity as well as the programs provided. Achievements include;

  • A busy centre offering community training showing an increase in younger people's participation.
  • A Rural Womens' Development Program based at the CCC is reaching over 100 women in the district.
  • The IT social enterprise provides refurbished computers, free domain software and training to the community
  • The CCC is now registered as a not for profit organisation and a vocational training provider with the government and is seeking accreditation in training for Information Technology and later agriculture training.

Your donations will support the ongoing work of the CCC and ensure these achievements continue into the future.

Covalima Community Centre Leadership Team

Education and Training

Friends of Suai/Covalima is processing applications for scholarships in nursing, trades, hospitality, administration, primary teaching and senior secondary technical school. This year there will also be a new tertiary Commmunity Development Scholarship. The candidates are from a variety of villages and sub districts in Covalima.

It will be a mixed group with university entrants, vocational training and senior secondary technical students. The scholarship program encourages gender equity and focus on students from disadvantaged families.

At the end of 2016 5 nursing students will complete the first of 4 year course. Two students at the Baucau Primary Teachers College will graduate with a 3 year degree.  Two students who gained entry to Don Bosco Technical School in Maliana will complete year 10. It's a government funded school managed by the church, with a great curriculum and offers opportunities for technical and academic skills, not too far from home.

Approximately seventy six students over four years have now been trained under Friends of Suai scholarship program. According to CCC records, 50% of the students are now in employment. This is a great outcome as employment figures in Timor Leste are very low.

It costs approximately $1000 to fund a scholarship but any amount is welcome.

Friends of Suai is seeking donations to fund 2017 candidates, if you can help please make a donation online.



Please support these young people to be trained in vocational training in 2017 by contributing to our Scholarship Fund at

Higher education in East Timor is not easy to get and often unavailable in rural areas. Covalima is a remote and poor district in this new nation in which half the population fall below the poverty line. Fifty per cent of the population is under 19 years of age, and although the education system is slowly rebuilding, the need is still huge. Girls are the first to be withdrawn from these opportunities. Most families are poor and cannot afford to pay fees or send their children to live away from home. Donations are needed now to fund the 2016 scholarships - it costs about $1000 to fully fund one scholarship. Any amount is welcome.

Contact Details

c/- City of Port Phillip Private Bag No. 3

Are donations tax deductible?


Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.