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About us

The Nazareth Foundation was founded on the 1st of August 2014 by Mario Cardoso, Padre Adriano Ola and Sabino Soares from Timor-Leste. It is supported by Chris Hollonds from Australia.

Many disadvantaged people in Timor-Leste do not receive adequate care and support due to limited facilities and resources. There are minimal employment opportunities, and many people have difficulty obtaining the basic necessities of life.

As a result, Mario Cardoso the former Director of AHISAUN, established a social enterprise – the Nazareth Foundation – to promote and build the capacity of disadvantaged people. The Nazareth Foundation provides training to build skills and equip them to gain employment and/or operate small businesses in Timor-Leste.

The aim of the Nazareth Foundation is to develop the capabilities of disadvantaged people in Timor-Leste to enable them to realize their potential.

Nazareth Foundation objectives:

  1. Promote the dignity, rights and equality of disadvantaged people as contributing members of the community.
  2. Help create a secure and healthy environment for disadvantaged people to live in.
  3. Strengthen the confidence and self-esteem of disadvantaged people and to realise their abilities and talents.
  4. Represent the right of these people to non-formal education, health care and disabled access to community infrastructure.
  5. Help disadvantaged people become more self-sufficient by providing support and training to obtain employment or establish a small business.
  6. Encourage and support disadvantaged people to participate more fully in their community activities.


Disadvantaged people of Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste’s population is approximately 1,200,000, and it is estimated that about 15% (or 180,000) are disabled*. 

According to the United Nations Human Development Report (2016), 680,000 people in Timor-Leste are disadvantaged and living in poverty (on less than $1.90 per day). That is 64.3% of the population. 

The circumstances and needs of disadvantaged people in Timor-Leste are far reaching. In particular, disadvantaged and rural poor people have limited opportunities for employment and experience a poor quality lifestyle. The majority do not have the means, without assistance, to overcome their circumstances.

*% of disabled people is based on the Work Health Organisation report in 2011. Local census data suggests the number is around 5% however, this is considered an under-representation. Learn more