Since 2000, we have had a formal commitment to support our friendship between communities in Port Phillip and Suai, Covalima in East Timor.
Through the Friends of Suai/Covalima, we are doing all we can to assist the people of Suai in their efforts to claim a new future. In the spirit of friendship, people from both communities are working together to create opportunities for development for communities throughout the district of Covalima.
Support and funding are provided to the Covalima Community Centre in Suai to implement community development programs, with a strong focus on education, health, gender equality, livelihoods and sustainability.
To keep up to date with the latest Friends of Suai/Covalima news, follow the Friends of Suai on Facebook or subscribe to the e-newsletter via Get involved, donate or contact us links below.
Art of Friendship exhibition
'Art of Friendship', an exhibition reflecting on the strong ties between Port Phillip and Suai/Covalima, Timor-Leste, will be on show at Carlisle Street Arts Space until 18 August 2021.
The exhibition features artefacts and photographs of the cultural life in Timor as well as images that capture programs supported through the friendship over two decades. It also includes artwork by local artists and explores each individual’s connection to Timor-Leste through their work.
For more information, visit the Carlisle Street Arts Space webpage.
Trivia Night fundraiser
On 8 April 2021, Friends of Suai/Covalima held a very successful trivia night at Middle Park Bowls Club, with 95 residents and friends attending. Many donations were provided by local businesses, artists and individuals for a raffle and silent auction.
The event raised over $7,600 for the scholarship program and an additional $2,550 for a disaster flood relief appeal. The Friends of Suai/Covalima were overwhelmed by the generosity and concern from the community, especially after the recent devastating floods and the growing COVID-19 cases.
Donations to the Friends of Suai/Covalima scholarship program can be made on the Give Now appeal page or by contacting the Friends of Suai Covalima Coordinator via the Get involved, donate or contact us links below.
2019/20 Annual Report
The Friends of Suai/Covalima 2019/20 Annual Report provides information on the activities and achievements of the Friendship, including updates on all of the development programs delivered in the Covalima district through the Covalima Community Centre. This includes an update on the COVID-19 response activities undertaken by the Community Centre staff throughout the district.
The link to view the report can be accessed from the bottom of this page, or for a hard copy, contact the Friends of Suai/Covalima Coordinator via the Get involved, donate or contact us links below.
Friends of Suai/Covalima are assisting our friends and colleagues in Covalima district Timor-Leste during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
We are supporting the Covalima Community Centre with their work to share clear and simple information with communities on handwashing and hygienic practices. Basic infographics from the World Health Organisation have been widely distributed to schools, villages and public venues. The staff are also visiting remote communities to share information in their local dialects.
The Community Centre has also been invited to join the district government COVID-19 taskforce and through this collaboration, government and NGOs are working together to continue to share updated information with all villages in Covalima.
The Centre are doing their best with their limited resources. With no running water and limited access to soap in many villages, the team are being innovative and proactive so that they can role model behaviours at the Centre and embed health training in all training activities.
For more information, or to make a donation to this program, contact the Friends of Suai/Covalima Coordinator via the Get involved, donate or contact us links below.
Since 2012, community donations have provided 161 scholarships to students from Covalima district to further their education at a senior secondary, vocational and tertiary level. Covalima district is one of the poorest in Timor Leste and the scholarship program is providing access to education and preparing students for future employment.
Donations are needed for education programs and to fund new and ongoing scholarships for the 2021 school year.
The scholarship program encourages gender equity and focuses on students from disadvantaged families from many villages and sub-districts within Covalima district.
Donations by credit card can be made on our Give Now appeal page.
20-year anniversary celebration
In celebration of the 20-year anniversary of friendship, a commemorative booklet has been produced and was launched at an online event on Thursday 2 July.
The launch included guest speakers from Australia and East Timor and photos from the booklet which highlighted the achievements of the friendship. The recording of the event can be accessed through YouTube.
The booklet is available at Port Phillip libraries. For more information see our Get involved, donate or contact us links below.
Get involved, donate or contact us
Friends of Suai Covalima is a relationship that goes beyond the usual concept of financial aid. It connects the community in the City of Port Phillip with the community of Suai in order to enrich and enhance the lives of all involves. The participation of the community is key to the success of the friendship.
Get involved by volunteering your time, making a donation, attending our events and joining our mailing list.
Contact the Friends of Suai Covalima Coordinator.