2010 April Alola Foundation
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Lesley McFarlane, AM
The Alola Foundation is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation operating in Timor-Leste to improve the lives of women and children. Founded in 2001 by the then First Lady, Ms Kirsty Sword Gusmão, the organisation seeks to nurture women leaders and advocate for the rights of women.
The Alola Foundation was originally created to raise awareness of the widespread sexual violence against women and girls in Timor-Leste during the militia attacks of September 1999. Though this is still a key issue, Alola today also provides a wide range of vitally important support programs for the women and children of Timor-Leste.
The programs work with community groups and individuals to improve maternal and child health, create employment, promote human rights, strengthen community development and improve the status of women. Now employing over 100 staff, the Alola Foundation is committed to developing strong women who will be the leaders of the future in Timor-Leste.