AHISAUN Disability Foundation
AHISAUN is a non-government organisation that has been operating formally since 1999.
Ahisaun's mission is to work with young disabled Timorese people to develop their potential through formal and informal education, so that they can live independently and contribute to Timorese society.
The idea to establish Ahisaun began when Father Adrian was conducting a census in 1996 in the city of Same. He was struck by the number of people with a physical disability who were otherwise capable and intelligent and was inspired to set up a foundation to support, train, and mentor these young disadvantaged Timorese. They were given the loan of a house in Fatuhada in Dili and Father Adrian invited one of the disabled young men from Same to become the first member of the new foundation.
In 2010 Ahisaun has its own, purpose built residential and training facility in Dili and they provide a home for 28 disabled young Timorese plus staff members. Ahisaun provides education in computing, music, handicrafts, sewing, and sport, and supports members to attend mainstream schools and universities. Through this they are helping to change public perceptions around disabilities issues. Ahisaun also runs training and outreach activities in Dili and some of the surrounding districts and they are in the process of developing centres in Emera and HatoBuilico. They currently have 6 staff and 4 helpers.