Rosalia Tereza Pereira is a 24-year-old employee of Associação de Deficientes de Timor-Leste (ADTL), an advocacy organization for persons with disabilities in Timor-Leste and the national umbrella body for disability organizations country-wide. Having grown up in Metinaro, she joined ADTL to realize her dream of becoming an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and to increase awareness of and inclusiveness for disabled persons on a national scale.

In August 2022, the USAID/Timor-Leste NGO Advocacy for Good Governance Activity, in collaboration with ANZ Bank, conducted a five-day training of trainers for ANZ’s MoneyMinded program on financial literacy and planning. Pereira attended, along with representatives from seven other partners of the governance activity funded by USAID and the NGO Forum. Developed by ANZ, the MoneyMinded program is designed to build financial literacy and instill confidence in a person’s ability to manage their daily and long-term financial needs and goals. Pereira told the activity team members how eager she was to learn new skills and information from the program, especially as she looked to save money for the future.

In addition to the training, Pereira was one of only a handful of participants from the activity’s NGO partners to also achieve accreditation in the MoneyMinded program, enabling her to use the information and tools provided in the training for her own need, and to provide the full training to others at ADTL and its participants. Passionate about the specific hurdles faced by Timorese who experience a disability, Pereira expressed her excitement to gain additional experience and tools that she can pass along to the ADTL community, enhancing their overall knowledge, attitude, comfort, and skills.

“It’s a great opportunity to be part of ADTL and to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to access the skills training and self-development courses that are provided,” she said.

Since taking the MoneyMinded course, Pereira has had many opportunities to attend additional trainings on social inclusion and advocacy, as well as critical program administration skills. She shared that when she started working at ADTL, her experience and abilities were limited. Through the organization and its partnership with the NGO Advocacy for Good Governance activity, she took advantage of opportunities to learn and apply new concepts and skills. Taking to heart ADTL’s mantra, “No One Left Behind,” Pereira is wasting no time in applying her knowledge and experience to her work and the ADTL community as she works toward her lifelong dream of a more inclusive and diverse country for people with disabilities.

For another story about the impact of the NGO Advocacy for Good Governance Activity in Timor Leste, click here.

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