TOMAK attracts interest of Timor-Leste PM at Australian Aid Showcase

TOMAK has displayed its wares to the Timorese public and the broader donor community at the Australian Aid Showcase held at Timor Plaza on March 8 and 11. The showcase coincided with the launch of the Partnership for Human Development Program (PHD) and featured colourful and informative displays from close to 20 Australian Government-funded development projects.

Engaging with leadership

During a tour by dignitaries, TOMAK’s display attracted particular attention from Timor-Leste Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo. The Prime Minister asked a range of questions about the agricultural products TOMAK is currently working on, and discussed the rationale for these with TOMAK staff members. He was particularly interested to learn more about the productivity gains that farmers can achieve, and how these could make them more competitive in the market.

The ‘Mums’ group in the nutrition competition. Roundly beaten by the ‘Kids’ group, but having a lot of laughs in the process.

The ‘Mums’ group in the nutrition competition. Roundly beaten by the ‘Kids’ group, but having a lot of laughs in the process.

Testing family knowledge of nutrition

The showcase also involved a series of stage events. TOMAK’s contribution, led by key partner Mercy Corps, was a nutrition competition between kids and their mums. Accompanied with much laughter and fierce competition as they raced against the clock, the various groups were asked to sort different foods into protein, carbohydrate, and vitamin/mineral groups.

The result? Kids beat the mums, hands down.

TOMAK launches first round of NGO grants

TOMAK is designed to work closely with the NGO community to help improve food security and nutrition across key target areas.

The process of selecting a lead NGO (or consortium of NGOs) for Bobonaro, Baucau and Viqueque municipalities kicked into gear on March 6 with a general briefing on the proposed scope of services and selection process. The briefing was held at the East Timor Development Association (ETDA) in Dili.

TOMAK plans to identify one NGO (or a consortium of NGOs) to lead activities in each of the three municipalities. These lead NGOs will be strategic coordinating partners for TOMAK through to the end of its first phase in mid-2021.

The briefing was well attended by 37 people representing 23 different international and national NGOs.

NGO representatives

Selection of lead NGOs will follow a 2-step process:

Since the initial briefing, around 11 organisations have registered their interest in working with TOMAK.

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