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Moonee Valley City Council

Our Friendship City

Liquiçá, East Timor

We have a ‘friendship city’ relationship with the Liquiçá District in East Timor dating back to 2003.

East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the world - more than two in five people live on less than 55 cents per day, with only 58 per cent of people having access to clean water.

Since 2003, we have provided support to the Liquiçá District through governance activity, project support and local community engagement and fundraising.

We work closely with the Friends of Liquiçá, a community group first established in 2003.

We meet to discuss potential projects to raise funds and awareness for the people of the Liquiçá District and to develop recommendations on furthering the friendship arrangement we have with the region.

 

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Maternal Child Health Program

In July 2017, we donated $10,000 to support the health of mothers and babies through the Liga Inan (connecting mothers) Maternal Child Health Program.

The Liga Inan Program aims to improve women’s knowledge of healthy behaviours before, during and after childbirth. An impact evaluation undertaken in 2015 showed that in places where Liga Inan was implemented, women had:

  • twice the odds of delivering with a skilled birth attendant and delivering in a health facility
  • seven times the odds of having a post-partum check-up within two days after their delivery
  • and their babies had five times the odds of a having a post-natal checkup within two days after birth.

Since the program started in August 2014, it has serviced more than 4,500 mothers across 27 health facilities, many of them in remote parts of the district.

Our donation has been used to purchase 33 smartphones, and these will assist health professionals to provide a higher quality service and better health outcomes for mothers and their babies, connecting women to information and to the health providers who serve them through text messaging and facilitated voice communication.

Technology resource hub

In 2012, we entered into an agreement with the xpand Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that creates and supports enterprises that encourage social inclusion of disadvantaged people to build their social and economic participation.

In June 2013, the xpand Foundation established a Technology Resource Hub in Liquiçá, in partnership with Info Timor, a local not-for-profit social enterprise focusing on using information communication technology as a primary tool to create positive social change.

This Hub will allow the community access to quality, affordable technology. Initially funded by Council, the service is built on a social enterprise model to ensure its ongoing viability and sustainability.