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EWB Australia has worked with communities in Timor-Leste for over a decade to create positive social impact.
Population: 1.3 million
Capital City: Dili
Language: Portuguese and Tetun

Timor-Leste is still in recovery post its fight for independence in the late 1990s, which saw years of conflict that significantly damaged infrastructure and dislocated thousands of its people. It continues to be one of the world’s poorest countries (ranked 147/186 on the UN’s Human Development Index). Health and education remain important challenges and development priorities.


Of population uses basic sanitation services 


Schools have fully functional toilet facilities


Households that use clean energy (electricity and gas) for cooking


Women in the labour force (of total working age population) 

* Sources: UNICEF, Asian Development Bank

Our Work

EWB Australia works to improve the quality of life of people living and working in disadvantaged communities in Timor-Leste.

Our work is impact-led, with a focus on positive, sustainable and long-term change. We do this within local communities, to ensure we build the capacity of the people who live and work in them.

Through this approach, we have established long-term relationships with local organisations with whom we partner, to ensure the solutions developed are evidence-based, relevant and, importantly, approved by each community. 

In Timor-Leste, we work across a specific range of thematic programs, including Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)Education & Training, Professional Skills Development and Women In Engineering 

Read EWB Australia in Timor-Leste Strategy on a Page 2022-2026 (available in Tetun and English).

Our Impact

EWB Australia in Timor-Leste is currently engaged in a range of technical solutions and sector/systems-strengthening projects.

Our Team

Key to this work are our in-country EWB Australia staff and our volunteer Field Professionals. Our Field Professionals are technical or thematic specialists from Australia and New Zealand who volunteer in Timor-Leste to provide critical expertise, mentoring and capacity-building. These technical professionals are not only skilled in the development of appropriate systems and solutions, but also in community-led design and engagement. Our Field Professionals work closely alongside local counterparts in a mentoring and coaching role, sharing knowledge and bringing innovative approaches to the development of appropriate solutions for communities. 

Felisbela Guterres Pires
Felisbela Guterres Pires
Country Manager - Timor-Leste

Felisbela is a former company chairperson with extensive experience overseeing and directing budgets and programs. Her expertise extends to the establishment, implementation, and enhancement of integrated management systems, marked by certifications in ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System, and ISO 45001:2015 Health and Safety Management System. Felisbela has dedicated considerable time to refining these systems, ensuring compliance with rigorous standards.

Felisbela also has experience in shaping and improving project management processes, where she places particular emphasis on the meticulous initiation and planning stages preceding project implementation. Beyond her corporate roles, Felisbela has served as a national advisor, offering invaluable support and capacity building to various government institutions. Academically, she holds a Bachelor of Applied GIS majoring in Environmental Science from Flinders University, South Australia, and a Master of Environmental Management from the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia. Complementing her academic achievements, she possesses a Diploma of Business Administration.

Elsa Ximenes
Elsa Ximenes
Program Support Officer
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João Soares
João Soares
Mobilisation and Partnership Coordinator

João is an architect with a great passion for designing and building sustainable and affordable projects. After graduating from university, he founded a local training center to train youth in Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings. He has been involved with EWB in a volunteer and work capacity for almost four years. He first joined EWB as an intern in 2017, working with one of the local partners, Community Housing Limited (CHLI).

As Mobilisation and Partnership Coordinator, João works collaboratively with local and international partners, government institutions and local authorities to develop and implement sustainable and appropriate technology solutions.

Romeo Atildus Pereira
Romeo Atildus Pereira
Technology Development Lead

Romeo joins the EWB Australia team in Timor-Leste with 9 years’ experience working for a number of organisations in the engineering sector at both the national and international level. Romeo graduated from vocational technical school, specialising in general construction. in addition to his work with EWB, Romeo also provides voluntary technical assistance on engineering projects in his community.

Our Partners

Our Timor-Leste programs are supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Our current partners in Timor-Leste include:

Other Programs

Alongside our Community Program within Timor-Leste, EWB Australia facilitates a range of education, research and training programs for Australia students and professionals that aim to broaden awareness  about the challenges in Timor-Leste and mobilise expertise to create even more opportunities for impact.

Impact Stories

Inside the Dili Water System Emergency Repair program 30 November, 2023 - The Dili Water System Emergency Repair Program (DWSERP) addressed the catastrophic flood damage to Dili’s water transmission systems wreaked by heavy rains in April 2021. The program, funded by the… read more
Gavin Blakey with the local Timorese crew drilling boreholes as part of the Dili Airport Redevelopment Feasibility Study. Nation-building for Timor-Leste 18 January, 2023 - EWB’s engineering skills and in-country presence in Timor-Leste has been utilised to support an important nation-building project. read more
Volunteering for skills and to contribute to ‘my beloved country’ 5 December, 2022 - We celebrate the amazing contribution of our volunteers every day! But United Nations International Volunteer Day, on December 5th each year, is a time to give an immense thanks! Volunteers… read more