East Timorese exiles trapped in poverty

For nearly two decades, life has never been a celebration for Maria Pereira. Since she fled her home in Timor-Leste due to conflict in 1999 that led to the country’s independence in…

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Mobile phones help expectant mothers in Timor-Leste

What Maria Marquez wants is common among pregnant women. She would like to have regular health checkups, no complications or hemorrhaging, and easy access to healthcare facilities. Instead, she hardly…

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Former Timor Timur refugees face a difficult choice: returning home

When Arminda Morera fled her native Timor-Leste as the fledgling nation chose independence 15 years ago, she knew she was abandoning her life for an uncertain future in Indonesia. The…

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In Timor-Leste, access to clean water remains key concern

Without access to clean water, Juliana Martines De Araujo’s family has suffered immensely over the past 33 years. Five of nine children died within their first few months, and another…

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College seeks to end corporal punishment in Timor-Leste

When Helio Ramos, 25, decided to join a three-year teacher training course at a Catholic college in Baucau, the second largest city in Asia’s youngest country, he hoped he would…

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Fifteen years after war, Timor-Leste must ready itself for a new fight

Rofino’s children look on anxiously as their father, all skin and bones, coughs away on his bed, his breath fluttering and weak. The 45-year-old has had tuberculosis for six years,…

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Timor-Leste’s ticking time bomb

When Christovao Freitas Almeida graduated from high school in 2007, work was thin on the ground. Too poor to go to university, the 26-year-old found himself stuck in his village…

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