March 2022 – A letter from Maria Bohan and Helen Skinner, Alola Australia Co-Chairs
20 years ago, due to a lack of legal structure in Timor-Leste, first lady Kirsty Sword-Gusmão established The Alola Foundation Ltd, a company limited by guarantee in Australia. This went on to become Fundasaun Alola, the first NGO to be registered in an independent Timor-Leste in 2008.
An organisation that has paved the way for better health, safety, education and opportunity for all women and girls in Timor-Leste.
Why are we sharing this history?
Because as Australians, we are deeply tied to our friends and sisters in Timor-Leste. Many of our supporters from 20 years ago, who helped lay the foundation of Fundasaun Alola, are still sending their support through donations via Alola Australia today.
Which is why our friends at Fundasaun Alola are now turning to our Alola Australia community with an important request.
Why? Because the past two years have been financially devastating for Fundasaun Alola.
“The global Covid-19 pandemic and associated economic downturn has caused many of our existing and potential donors to tighten their purse strings, leading to gaping holes in the resourcing of some of our key programs,” says Alola Founder Dr Kirsty Sword-Gusmão AO.
While Alola Australia has managed to send record donations to Fundasaun Alola thanks to the generosity of our supporters, supporting flood relief and pandemic provisions, the long-term sustainability of Fundasaun Alola’s key programs remains at risk.
Programs cannot run without being able to “keep the lights on” – that is, without buildings and maintenance, salaries for staff, IT infrastructure, transportation, administrative support and so on.
Such things are not often considered attractive to donors. Helping pay for an electricity bill might not be considered as impactful as helping to safely deliver a baby.
But here’s the thing. You can’t do one without the other.
Effective service delivery is dependent on a strong organisational foundation. This requires reliable, consistent and untied funding.
Funding that can only come from a stable base of regular donations.
A regular donor is someone who makes a recurring monthly direct debit donation to Fundasaun Alola via Alola Australia. The process is automated, with a single tax deductible receipt received at the end of the financial year.
Most people would say it’s easier for them to contribute in this way. Less hassle – set and forget!
While mechanics are one thing, the reason why regular donations are needed is far more important.
The future of Fundasaun Alola depends on it.
Your options to set up a regular donation: