Plan has been working in Timor-Leste since 2001, helping poor children and youth to access their rights to education, health, livelihoods and protection.

They currently implement projects in Lautem and Aileu districts, and did extensive work in camps for internally displaced people in the capital, Dili, after the political crisis of 2006.

During their first 10 years of operation in Timor-Leste, their programs have aimed to improve early childhood education, water, sanitation and hygiene services, child protection, youth livelihoods and youth participation.

Please see the following for further information on Plan Timor Leste, or visit

Students are asked to please respect the privacy of Plan Timor Leste and not to contact them directly! All questions regarding Plan Timor Leste, their work or any queries regarding the Lautem region should be directed to EWB who will find the answers on your behalf! Students are encouraged to post all questions on the EWB Challenge discussion board.

Plan Timor Leste Programs

Plan has had a presence in Timor Leste since 2001 with relief and emergency programs. Often in
partnership with other agencies, such as UNICEF, Plan initiated some national-level programs, including pre-school curriculum development and the recommendations in the UN study on Violence Against Children. Since 2005, Plan has focused attention on the geographical areas of Aileu and to a lesser extent Lautem, with the following programs:

Education: Learning for Transformation: The program commenced in 2004 and its main objective is that “children in Plan-assisted communities will participate fully in society through the acquisition of appropriate development, education and life skills.” Neighbourhood playgroups have been piloted in ten villages in Aileu where sessions are managed by over fifty trained play facilitators.
Child Protection: The program, which commenced in November 2004, is implemented with the Ministry of Social Solidarity (formerly the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion or MTRC) and in coordination with other agencies (e.g. UNICEF). Its main objective is that “children will live in safer and more secure environments as a result of their greater participation in community life, greater community understanding of child rights, and increased protection from human rights  abuses.”
Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES): The program, which commenced in 2006, delivers sustainable, community-managed WES services. Its objective is that “children and their families in communities benefit from safe water and sanitation facilities and improved hygiene behaviour.” The WES program targets communities in Aileu and more recently, Lautem District and includes a significant capacity-building component for Plan staff, local NGOs, and local community water management committees.
Youth in Society: The program commenced in 2007 and has the objective that “young people will participate more effectively in their own development and act as catalysts and key players in Timorese society.”
Youth Livelihoods: The program commenced in 2007 and has the objective that “young people will have access to adequate income and have the opportunity to participate productively in their communities, through the generation of training, employment and self-employment opportunities.”
Emergency Response/Disaster Risk Reduction: This is a cross-cutting program that arose out of the 2006 crisis and has the objective that the “impact of the current conflict and of future disasters will be mitigated by providing targeted support to those children and families most affected.”

Current Programming Focus

As a result of the humanitarian crisis in 2006, the profile of disadvantaged areas altered. The eastern districts, particularly Lautem district, were negatively affected by the crisis, with an influx of as  many as 10,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), putting an increased strain on livelihoods and household resources. The  displacement to the east is the main reason behind Plan’s intention to increase its presence in Lautem  district. Plan responded to the 2006 crisis with an emergency program targeting youth in the district of Lautem.

• The youth employment pilot program complemented the government’s Cash for Work Project implemented in 21 aldeia across nine sucos in Lautem based on numbers of IDP aimed at youth aged 15-25 years to work on prioritised community projects.
• The second year youth livelihoods project is currently being implemented in 32 aldeias four in all five sub-districts. This project includes cash-for-work and youth community empowerment training followed by a week long life-skills training focusing on job seeking and self-employment opportunities.  There are 800 beneficiaries of the first two stages. This is followed up by the provision of vocational  training for 300 of the beneficiaries.
• Training centres offering training in areas such as cooking, carpentry and handicraft have been identified for the training of 300 participants.
• The Youth In Society program has commenced operation in Lautem initially starting with community based initiatives focusing on sport, a Jamboree for peace and reconciliation for Aileu and Lautem youth and cultural events including singing, dancing and theatre competitions.
• The Lautem WES program is piloting a new approach to sanitation, called Community Led Total  Sanitation (CLTS) in a village in Lautem sub-district, to benefit 144 households (792 people). As part of  the CLTS process, over 80 households have committed to build their own latrines prior to building  the village water system. A water and sanitation committee enables beneficiaries to take a lead in  planning and implementation and a children's club is involved in planning, monitoring and  preventing open defecation.
• The Child Protection Network (CPN) was established in Lautem in May 2006 to strengthen the protective environment for children through coordinated approaches to violence, abuse and exploitation. Its members are drawn from legal services in the district including education, health, the  national police and the human rights sections within the district administrator’s office. A number of  training sessions have been held at the district level introducing human and child rights, case  management and child protection and participation. A CPN workshop has been held to identify initial  strategies for extending the reach of the network to sub-district and suco levels.