Strengthening Peace in the Lives of Children

Strengthening Peace in the Lives of Children

Nation-wide, Timor-LesteDili, Timor-Leste
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Transform school environments throughout Timor-Leste by equipping children & their teachers with collaborative positive-discipline & child-protection skills.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

As a consequence of the brutality experienced during colonization and occupation, and recent period of civil unrest, Timorese society is heavily laden with a cycle of violence. Young people, who make up approximately 75% of the population, are the ones most affected, due to their vulnerability and dependence. Often this culture of violence manifests itself in the classrooms of Timor-Leste, with physical abuse commonly used to ‘discipline’ children, which has detrimental impacts on children’s development, empathy and, consequently, the nation’s development. Many people do not realize the negative impacts from violence, and have little knowledge of positive-discipline strategies.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Children and their carers need to be empowered with the knowledge and skills to transform their own lives, and to create nurturing, safe learning environments so that children can develop empathy for others and break the cycle of violence in Timorese society. Children themselves need to be able to recognise violations of their rights and work together with adults to find positive-discipline and conflict-resolution methods which respect everyone’s rights and well-being. Recognising this, Ba Futuru’s project provides training on positive-discipline for individuals who impact the lives of children, so they can help to protect children from abuse and neglect, ensure victims’ access to justice, and work directly with children in a participatory process of creating positive-discipline models and stopping the use of violence in classrooms.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

By sharing information about the impact of abuse on children’s development and psychology, children and their carers are better equipped to stand up for children’s rights. This in turn helps to foster children’s psychosocial and empathetic development, which is crucial to creating peace in Timor-Leste. Ba Futuru’s trainings in non-violent discipline strategies have being extremely successful. For example, before following positive-discipline training with Ba Futuru, only 9% of teachers in three Dili schools could list non-violent discipline strategies. However, after the training, 69% of the same teachers were able to list these. The primary activities of this project include: - teachers training on positive discipline and child protection, including access to justice - student briefings on human rights, access to justice, positive-discipline and conflict-resolution - bi-monthly meetings for teachers, parents and students to develop collaborative solutions to discipline issues appropriate to their own school environment - develop child-protection and positive-discipline policies for each school The development of an educational toolkit including a publication and DVD will assist in extending the model to teachers nationally, through teacher trainers who receive coaching from Ba Futuru in Dili and then engage in skills transfer with educators in their own local districts in 2012.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Ba Futuru is Timor-Leste’s pre-eminent local child-protection and positive discipline organisation. Its inspiring, highly-qualified and experienced Timorese staff, including many women, model positive behaviours and share crucial knowledge with local communities. Ba Futuru has strong partnerships with international NGOs, national organisations, government and local community leaders. Ba Futuru has a strong reputation locally and is growing its international support base. Ba Futuru is involved in national protection networks, which helps us remain up-to-date on protection developments and practices, and able to collaborate with other organisations to ensure we enhance and complement, rather than duplicate, one another’s programming.
About You
Ba Futuru
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Ba Futuru

Organization Country

, Dili

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Nation-wide

Your role in Education


The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Transform school environments throughout TimorLeste by equipping children & teachers with positive-discipline & child-protection skills.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

By adapting international positive-discipline principles to the local context, this project contributes to breaking cycles of violence.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

So far the project has involved three secondary schools in the Dili district, impacting over a thousand students and a hundred teachers, parents and school-administrators. Evaluation results show that participants drastically increased their knowledge and are changing their behaviour to enhance the learning environment and nurture children’s empathetic and psychosocial development.

Before the trainings, 47% of teachers thought that children learn better with the use of physical punishment to control their behaviour; following the training, this had dropped to 25%, with 73% expressing the opinion that physical punishment was not an effective way of controlling students’ behaviour. Bi-monthly meetings between teachers, students and parents, and student peer-mediation groups have been established and supported by Ba Futuru to collaboratively develop positive-discipline strategies for these schools.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

The 2012 continuation of this project will train approximately 90 secondary school teachers in Dili, and 30 teacher trainers representing all districts in Timor-Leste, in child-protection and positive-discipline principles and techniques. Into the future, the Lessons Learned educational toolkit developed from the first stage of the project will allow positive-discipline strategies and information to be extended nationally to more districts and schools than Ba Futuru can physically reach. Through this resource, hundreds of additional teachers will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to empathise with the experiences and development of their students, and protect them from abuse and neglect.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The principle barrier is a history of occupation and brutality, which has led to an embedded culture of violence – this means that Ba Futuru sometimes faces resistance in changing the mindsets of project participants. However, Ba Futuru’s Timorese facilitators represent eleven of the thirteen districts in Timor-Leste, speak more than 10 dialects (which is particularly important due to Timor-Leste’s recent history of regional conflict) and are highly skilled and trained. Another barrier is the potential for election violence in 2012. However, Ba Futuru has successfully met similar challenges previously, including continuing its programming throughout the 2006 crisis.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Expand project’s impact nationwide through engagement with district teacher-trainers & distribution of an educational toolkit.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Finish, produce educational toolkit (publication & DVD) compiling positive discipline strategies relevant to Timorese classrooms

Task 2

Recruit & coach teacher-trainers from all districts of Timor-Leste, monitor implementation with additional teachers in districts

Task 3

Implement intensive training & on-going mentoring with 90 teachers from 3 Dili schools to transform local classroom environments

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Children & teachers throughout Timor will be engaged in transforming their schools through implementation of positive discipline

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Secure the support of the Ministry of Education to coordinate the implementation of training in all 13 districts

Task 2

Review quality & relevance of project monitoring & evaluation tools to adequately capture the transformation process in schools

Task 3

Incorporate lessons learned from evaluation review to enhance the overall effectiveness of ongoing project activities

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

This project builds off of Ba Futuru's years of experience working with children and their carers. Through this work, Ba Futuru staff became increasingly aware that there is a widespread lack of understanding of the negative impacts of the use of violence with children. Despite the Minister of Education’s 2008 declaration of a ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ against corporal punishment in schools, teachers haven’t been provided with the skills to change their discipline methods and model empathetic behaviours with their students.

While we may not change the whole world, we can create a ripple effect of behavioural change, one classroom at a time, which makes the world of Timorese children and youth a safer, happier and more positive place, where empathy is modelled and valued.

Tell us about your partnerships

This project has been possible through the generous support of the East Timor Justice Sector Support Facility since 2010. An ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Education will allow us to extend the project nationally through district-based teacher trainers, and to distribute the Lessons Learned educational toolkit to secondary schools through-out Timor-Leste. The insights, experiences and strategies shared by project participants to date have informed the ongoing refinement of the project and the content of the Lessons Learned toolkit.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

Ba Futuru has a local staff of over 30 full-time employees, plus eight international staff and various part-time facilitators and volunteers. This particular project team includes a national project coordinator, three facilitators, an international advisor and the support of various part-time facilitators and advisors when necessary. All staff working on this project have considerable experience and training in areas related to child-protection and positive-discipline, and all have tertiary education covering teaching, trauma recovery, and sociology.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Ba Futuru tries to continually update and refresh its project materials to ensure they meet international standards of best practice, while also remaining relevant and appropriate to the Timorese context. Therefore, information sharing is an important part of our networking and development to ensure projects are as effective as possible.