Kria dalan’s primary project is to conduct a seminar in Timor-Leste over 6 days in early August 2018.
We want to contribute to sustainable development in Timor-Leste by facilitating students and young farmers to collaborate on sustainability projects. To achieve this we will facilitate dialogue, create commitment to the UN’s sustainability goals and build entrepreneurship skills. The seminar will be conducted in cooperation with volunteer student groups at the University of Dili (UNTL) and in the long term, Timorese students will take over all responsibility for the implementation of future seminars. Before the seminar starts, we will spend 3 days to train the volunteers in dialogue facilitation and hold leadership training to strengthen the voluntarism.
5.1 Focus area and objectives
The UN’s 17 sustainability goals form an overall framework for the seminar and it is especially Objective 2 on hunger and sustainable agriculture, Objective 8 on work and economic growth, and Goal 13 on stopping climate change and, in particular, climate adaptation. Timor-Leste has well documented challenges with food safety and malnutrition. In addition, climate change causes increased risk of devastating floods and landslides. Therefore, we want to pay particular attention to 1) sustainable agriculture and 2) climate adaptation during the seminar. Following the completion of the seminar in February 2017, it was precisely the theme of sustainable agriculture and climate that the participants wanted to focus on further.
Goals for the seminar:
5.2 Target group
The goal of Kria dalan is to continue the wishes declared in the Dili Declaration and the main target group that is pointed out in this document is among the most important aspect of this project as it is directly sought after by the people who know it best; the locals. There is especially a need for communication and increased solidarity locally in Timor-Leste between urban and rural areas, and it was the same target group set by the Peace Project 2017; namely young farmers and students. It is therefore of great importance that urban and rural residents can work for a common vision for the future of Timor-Leste. We in Kria dalan strongly believe that young people through dialogue based on respect and openness can come up with the best ideas and solutions for the community. Creating a safe meeting place for young farmers and students is a good starting point for this, considering the challenges Timor-Leste is experiencing now and in the foreseeable future.
In Timor-Leste a large proportion of the population are farmers and Antero Benedito da Silva is highly committed to working for their rights. In 2017, volunteers from Norway met representatives of the agricultural organization União Agricultori Ermere (UNAER), based in the Ermera region. By continuing the relationship with this organization as well as da Silva’s contacts at the agricultural school, we can safeguard the perspective of young people in agriculture during the seminar. Therefore, we urge that half of the participants be young farmers.
Kria dalan also wishes to build on the work of the volunteer group Women, Peace and Leadership, and thus ensure equal gender distribution among the participants by involving the knowledge of the volunteers in WPL and by requiring that half of each target group also consist of female participants. This is a particular focus due to the challenges Timor-Leste faces in regards to gender equality and women’s role in society.
It is crucial to continue the cooperation with volunteers from the Peace Center who participated in the planning and implementation of the seminar in 2017. In 2018, we want to spend more time on dialogue facilitation and leadership training of a group of selected volunteers in order to give students in Dili increasing responsibility. This is done by providing more learning and experience from voluntary organizational work, while at the same time we have a goal that the seminars will eventually be conducted exclusively by volunteers in Timor-Leste. This means that the volunteers at Peace Center will also be part of the target group of Kria dalan, and the same demands will be made for mixed gender participation here.
Dialogue is a popular method in peacebuilding, as it allows for the relevant actors to meet and be heard as equals. While societal, financial and religious positions, or access to different networks might distinguish them, the participants are treated as equally important in understanding the issues at hand. In our case, it is not hard to imagine that life in Timor-Leste for a young farmer is quite different from a university students’. In order for us to have a productive seminar, we need participants to look beyond their initial assumptions and dispositions in order to listen to the ‘other’. Only by achieving this may we find sustainable and equitable solutions to climate change and peace in Timor-Leste. This is why dialogue is a crucial element to our project. Only by creating a level playing field will the different voices of the participants be heard. This way we make clear that gender, financial and societal dissimilarities do not lead the conversation in such a way that only a few are able to express their experience.
Sultiest is an online test, designed to promote “sustainability literacy”. The test is developed in cooperation with many well known international actors, such as the United Nations, and the International Association of Universities. The test has been taken in more than 700 universities, and 62 countries, and is currently in cooperation with NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology). The test can be modified to fit an individual organisations needs, and thus Kria dalan can use the test to evaluate the ‘sustainable literacy’ of the projects participants both before and after the seminar, and such have a statistic to show progression in its participants.
While assuring this ‘literacy’ is important for our goals, it is equally important for us to inspire and focus on entrepreneurship as a driving force for change, as well as a show of progression after the seminar. UNDP (UN development program) has since 1999 worked to promote entrepreneurship, civil engagement and community building in Timor-Leste. Thus, Kria dalan wishes to use parts of the seminar to focus on building a foundation of knowledge and competence for youth entrepreneurs, in cooperation with UNDP, by finding speakers and ensure a long term follow up of startups. Specifically we wish to give a platform where one can learn project management, budget planning, needs analysis, as well as the creation of a projectfund of NOK 20 000,- which startups can apply to for funding. By doing this we hope to establish new, sustainable, projects which help solve local issues and create employment opportunities.