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News | Many Hands International


  • Establishing a Community Driven Alliance for Sustainable Cultural Alliance Planning in Lautem

    Tuesday 04/10/22

    In partnership with communities, the Municipal Administration of Lautem and the State Secretariat for Arts and Culture, and with support from UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) and the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Many Hands International (MHI) is proud to be supporting culture and development in the Lautem municipality through the Establishing a Community-Driven Alliance for Sustainable Cultural Development Planning in Lautem Project.

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  • New Children’s eBook: Naughty Naldo available in four languages

    Wednesday 28/04/21

    Many Hands International along with local art students from the Lautem Cultural Centre in Lospalos have partnered with Mornington Peninsula Friends of Lospalos to produce a very cute children’s picture Ebook. ‘Naughty Naldo’ is a story about a boy named Naldo who threw tantrums whenever things did not go his way. After being warned that his ancestors may get mad at his poor behaviour, and ignoring this warning, Naldo learns a hard lesson. ... Read article

  • Time for creativity, flexibility and learning: how MHI is adapting its programs during COVID-19

    Monday 11/05/20

    As we have witnessed the impacts of COVID19 around the world, many of us have had to reimagine the ways in which we interact and connect. Over the past few weeks, our team has been exploring the flexible ways that we can continue to work together with communities, art students and project beneficeries, in this rapidly changing environment. The Many Hands team has ethusiastically been advancing their skills in video production, online lessons and sharing and exhibiting creative works online.... Read article

  • New Project: Digitising the Valentim Collection of Vaihoho Sung-Poems, Lautem, Timor-Leste.

    Thursday 30/04/20

    In 2020, MHI and the Valentim family, with the support from UCLA Library’s Modern Endangered Archive Program, commenced a digitization project, intended to support the preservation of critically endangered Vaihoho sung-stories of the Fataluku people of Timor-Leste. Vaihoho are considered the Fataluku’s most valued repertoire, as the major form of their continuing oral tradition (Rappaport, 2015).  Despite this, both the poems and accompanying music of Vaihoho are considered critically endangered, with an estimated thirty percent already lost ... Read article

  • Celebrating 10 years of friendship with the Lautem Community

    Monday 20/04/20

    District Administration of Lautem holds special acknowledgement ceremony to give thanks for more than a decade of friendship with Dr. Kim Dunphy and Many Hands International.

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  • An intergenerational home reading program and publication of four children’s books in three language

    Thursday 20/02/20

    In 2019 and with the support of the Government of Australia through an Australian Aid Friendship Grant, MHI sucessfully implemented an intergenerational, creative home reading project across the Lautem District. The approach drew on evidence-based prevention messages and behaviour change theory to counter social norms that do not support healthy childhood development. Working with the local Ministry of Education, MHI identified some of the most disadvantaged schools across the district of Lautem and invited teachers, students and parents to develop their... Read article

  • Many Hands International now welcoming tax-deductible donations.

    Monday 22/07/19

    MHI is pleased to announce achivement of tax deductibility status after years of work by our volunteers. Our Gift Fund has been declared as a developing country relief/gift fund (under subsection 30-85(2) of Income Tax Assessment Act 1997) allowing all donations of $2 and over to be tax deductible.   Our work is supported by those who share our values and goals and we welcome donations to continue and grow our work with people in rural Timor-Leste. Your donation will support... Read article

  • Save the Date: MHI Annual General Meeting 2018-2019, Saturday 31 August 2019

    Monday 22/07/19

    We welcome our members and supporters to join us for our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 31 August, from 4pm-5pm, at the University of Melbourne (Southbank Campus).  This meeting will be an opportunity to meet with our network of supporters and friends and to present our annual report. An email will be sent to all members in the coming month with further details.   Please RSVP to Executive Officer Amy Stevenson on amy.stevenson@manyhands.org.au Read article

  • Read here: Many Hands International quarterly newsletter

    Monday 22/07/19

    As we reach the half way mark of 2019 we are pleased to share with you our latest activities, news and successes from the year so far.  We hope you enjoy reading and we thank you for your continued support and engagement with our work.  MHI NEWSLETTER  Read article

  • Opportunity: Digital Collections Management Intern for Many Hand International

    Monday 18/02/19

    Many Hands International is seeking an intern who would like to work in collaboration with our Special Projects Officer based in Timor-Leste, to catalogue and exhibit our collection that documents endangered forms of cultural expression of the Fataluku people, using the web-publishing platform OMEKA.

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  • MHI Team Leader shares her reflections on studying English in Melbourne, Australia

    Monday 26/11/18

    In 2018 MHI Team Leader, Nelinha Pereira received a scholarship to study English in Melbourne, Australia for 10 weeks. The scholarship was awarded by Matadalan Ba Malu, a scholarship program established for women from Timor Leste who display outstanding community-mindedness and leadership. At the end of Nelinha's three-month stay in Melbourne, she shares with us her new insights as she reflects on her experience. Reflection report from MHI Team Leader, Nelinha Pereira I am Nelinha Pereira. I living in a small... Read article

  • New resource now available online: Documented Endangered Forms of Fataluku Cultural Expression

    Tuesday 13/11/18

    Documented Endangered Forms of Fataluku Cultural Expression now available in an online gallery exhibition format

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  • MHI Team Leader, Nelinha Pereira receives a Matadalan Ba Malu scholarship to study in Australia

    Monday 10/09/18

    From September-November 2018, MHI Team Leader, Nelinha Pereira will be studying in Melbourne at RMIT English Worldwide, having received a Matadalan Ba Malu scholarship. The MBM scholarship targets women working within a community context or local organisation in Timor-Leste and who would benefit from high-quality English training and the experience of a cross-cultural exchange in Melbourne Australia. The learning and experience gained through the program are also designed to benefit the participant’s community in a number of ways,... Read article

  • Many Hands International’s 2017-2018 Annual Report now available online

    Monday 10/09/18

    Many Hands International is delighted to present its 2017-2018 annual report and financial statements.

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  • Many Hands International receives UNESCO accreditation

    Thursday 30/08/18

    On 5th June 2018, MHI was accredited by the United Nations General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage to provide advisory services to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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  • Reflections from MHI’s 2017-2018 Creative Arts Program

    Tuesday 07/08/18

    This financial year community members in Lospalos continued to have opportunities to develop their creativity through participation in MHI’s regular art classes and specific projects run by Youth Arts Development Officer, Cesario Lourdes. Public art classes were offered every weekday at the Lautem Cultural Centre over 40 weeks of the year. With increasing demand, MHI’s Creative Arts Participation Program has expanded to include an additional three classes, seeing a total of eight weekly classes available... Read article

  • Many Hands welcomed new VSA volunteer, Nicky Brown

    Monday 02/07/18

    Many Hands was delighted to welcome a new volunteer to MHI this year. Nicola (Nicky) Brown is undertaking a volunteer assignment in Lospalos where she will take on the role of Family Relationships Mentor, working with our Health Promotions Officer, Thomas Lopes.  Nicky is a registered counsellor and has extensive experience working with groups, including school students and individual clients. From 2009 to 2011 Nicky volunteered with VSA in Cambodia as a Shelter Services Management Adviser. In this role she... Read article

  • New resource: Safeguarding critically endangered Fataluku heritage

    Monday 07/08/17

    Safeguarding the critically endangered cultural heritage of the Fataluku people: an e-inventory of intangible cultural elements  and A salvaguarda do património cultural criticamente ameaçado do povo Fataluku: um e-inventário de elementos culturais imateriais, Memoriamedia Art project, 1(3).  This publication in English and Portuguese documents the development of our resource, e-inventory of intangible cultural elements of the Fataluku people of far eastern Timor-Leste and its promotion and take-up through social media. Read article

  • New resource on our site: Creative health and wellbeing program in Tetun

    Monday 07/08/17

    MHi is pleased to publish a new resource in Tetun:  Promove bem-estar iha Timor-Leste liu husi arte kriativu: Rekursu ba konselleira, terapeuta no fasilitadora. (Promoting wellbeing in Timor-Leste through the creative arts: a resource for counsellors and therapists), Marita Jacobsson, Kim Dunphy and Karma Barnes (2016). This booklet provides ideas for activities to support heath and wellbeing through creative arts. It was produced by MHI, based on the work of three creatve arts therapists who have recently undertaken work in... Read article

  • MyCause campaign to support young people’s art participation: Grandparents’ Portrait project

    Friday 10/03/17

    Australian grandmother Annette Dunphy is running a MyCause campaign to support Many Hands young peoples' arts participation program. Annette wants to help children of rural Timor have opportunities like her grandchildren do, to express their creativity, develop skills and knowledge, learn to work and create with others and develop their sense of belonging to Timor's unique culture.  The first project this year is 'Avo (Grandparents) Portraits' where the young people will develop their painting skills by undertaking portraits... Read article

  • New on our website: Annual Report 2015-2016

    Wednesday 28/12/16

    2016 was MHI’s eighth year of operations in Timor-Leste, in which our work progressed us towards our goals of improving the quality of life for people in impoverished communities.  In this Annual Report we present a summary of activities and progress towards goals, and discussion about some of the challenges we face in going forward.  Read article

  • New resource on our website: Promoting wellbeing in Timor-Leste through the creative arts

    Wednesday 26/10/16

    This resource was developed to provide ideas and inspiration to individuals and organisations seeking to include creative arts activities in approaches to promote wellbeing. It includes a description of activities that use creative arts practices such as dance, movement, mindfulness, writing and visual art to promote health and wellbeing. Find it here Read article

  • New publication: tribute to Sr Justino Valentim

    Sunday 28/08/16

    MHI staff pay tribute to Sr Justino Valentim, Senior Researcher on our Fataluku cultural heritage research project 2012-2014. Sr Justino was an inspiring leader in his own community and for the MHI team he led so capably during this project. The team acknowledge his contribution as a leader and family man in this story which David Palazon published in his beautiful book of photos and essays, Timor Runguranga: a photographic journey through Timor-Leste. Blurb Books (2016).   Read the tribute here Read article

  • New articles published: on Fataluku culture and children’s playgrounds

    Friday 26/08/16

    The MHI team were proud to achieve new milestones this month with published articles that were the first for most team members to have contributed to. The proceedings of the Timor Leste Studies Association Conference in 2015, Timor Leste: the Local, the Regional, the Global, published by Swinburne Press as a hard copy book in four languages was launched this month in Melbourne and Dili.   The MHI team documented their work in two separate projects in... Read article

  • Australian-Japanese dancer-choreographer Yumi Umiumare hosted in Timor-Leste, July 2016

    Monday 11/07/16

    Internationally recognised Australian-Japanese dancer-choreographer Yumi Umiumare visits Timor-Leste this month as artist-in-residence with Lospalos-based NGO Many Hands International. Yumi seeks to observe and learn about Timorese culture, especially ideas around ritual and magic. She also hopes to exchange dance practices with Timorese dancers and share informal Japanese Tea ceremonies with community members. Yumi was recently awarded a prestigious Fellowship by the Australia Council for the Arts (Dance Board) to explore new artistic directions around the ideas of spirit, ritual and... Read article

  • New web resource on Fataluku culture/ Rekursu web ida-ne’e dokumenta kultura Fataluku

    Friday 12/02/16

    This new web resource documents 30 elements of endangered forms of cultural expression of the Fatakuku people of far eastern Timor Leste, identified through a research project undertaken by Many Hands International.  Rekursu web ida-ne'e dokumenta elementu 30 husi kultura Fataluku ne’ebé ameasadu atu lakon. Elementu sira ne'e identifika liu husi Many Hands International nia projetu peskiza.dokumentu elementu 30 konaba kultura Fataluku ne’ebe ameasandu atu lakon, identifika husi projetu peskiza husi Many... Read article

  • New report: Intangible Cultural Heritage of Tutuala in relation to rock art

    Thursday 21/01/16

    This research sought to map intangible cultural heritage practices associated with rock art sites in Suku Tutuala, Lautem, Timor-Leste. The project supports the Secretariat of State for Tourism, Art and Culture, Government of Timor-Leste, in their ongoing investigation, safeguarding and promotion of the rock art heritage in the Lautem Administrative Post. Abstract: The Tutuala region in far eastern Timor-Leste is one of the richest regions of rock art in island South East Asia. More than 30 sites of rock art on... Read article

  • New position: Organisational Development Mentor closes 6 March

    Thursday 21/01/16

    MHI has a new position for a volunteer from New Zealand, through NZ VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad). MHI is seeking to increase the capacity of local staff with the aim of becoming increasingly sustainable and independent of international staff.  To meet this goal, the organisational development mentor will create professional development plans based on the needs of staff within the organisation. The volunteer will mentor the Team Leader to develop their leadership, communication and strategic skills, as well as... Read article

  • New report: Tobacco Prevention in Timor-Leste

    Friday 08/01/16

    Report summarising findings from consultation about the problem of tobacco use in Timor-Leste by MHI staff member Thomas Lopes. This is the first study to investigate the attitude of leaders in Timor Leste regarding the important issue of tobacco control. The findings suggest that there is likely to be strong support and low resistance from Timor Leste leaders to progress tobacco control. The findings suggest that well organised tobacco prevention efforts are likely to be well-received by the Timor Leste... Read article

  • Australian musician Lina Andonovska continues collaborations with Timorese community and musicians

    Thursday 07/01/16

    Talented young Australian musician Lina Andonovska continues her two month musical visit to Timor Leste this week, exploring collaboration with Timorese musicians and community. Lina’s skill as a flute player has seen her play in Europe and Asia in the last months, interspersed with her time in Timor.  Lina was invited to visit Timor by host organisation Many Hands International, who have been working to promote development in and through culture in Timor since 2009. Many Hands staff... Read article

  • MHI and Deakin University collaboration progress

    Monday 21/12/15

    Over the past three years, MHI's work has been developed and expanded through a partnership with Deakin University's Faculty of Health. One major activity of this collaboration is Timor's first Tobacco Use Prevention programs, initiated and led by MHI staff member Thomas Lopes.  Thomas undertook study of English for academic purposes at Deakin in 2014, and then continued his learning with a subject in a Bachelor of Health Promotion, studied on-line from Lospalos in 2015. MHI acknowledges significant... Read article

  • Many Hands farewells long standing volunteer Lucia Pichler

    Saturday 19/12/15

    This month Many Hands farewells longstanding Australian volunteer Lucia Pichler who has lived and worked in Lospalos, Timor-Leste for almost three years.  During that time, Many Hands achieved much, including activation of the Lautem Cultural Centre, with the first community programs being established, documentation of the endangered cultural heritage of the Fataluku people, creative inspiration for young people through our youth arts program, and much professional skill development of our staff and colleagues in Timor-Leste. We have also been... Read article

  • Stimulating creative play in early childhood: Lospalos playspaces project

    Wednesday 03/06/15

    In a new initiative Many Hands is seeking to promote development in early childhood through the provision of creative places for play. Whereas spaces for creative play are the norm in schools, kindergartens and other public places in the developed world, in countries like Timor this is not yet the case. Whilst children in Timor Leste have ample time to play outside school hours, the crucial learning experiences of play in education could be better supported in a country... Read article

  • Lina Andonovska wins 2013 Freedman Classical Fellowship

    Tuesday 29/10/13

    MHI member and volunteer Lina Andonovska wins the 2013 Freedman Classical Fellowship.

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  • Finalist: Australian Arts in Asia Awards

    Monday 19/08/13

    MHI was a finalist in the Australian Government’s inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards. The awards recognise, celebrate and promote the significant number of Australian artists and arts organisations engaging in Asia, contributing to stronger, deeper and broader cultural links with Asian nations.

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  • New Volunteer Opportunity: Youth Arts Program Mentor

    Wednesday 03/07/13

    MHI currently has a position for a Youth Arts Program Mentor to work with our team in Lospalos. This position is supported by Austraining through AusAID’s Australian Youth Ambassador for Development Program. Application close 21 July.

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  • Lautem Cultural Festival 5-7 April 2013

    Wednesday 24/04/13

    The inaugural Lautem Cultural Festival in Lospalos that took place over the weekend of 5-7 April 2013 was an amazing success.  Perforrmers from the five sub-districts and three language groups of Lautem district shared their cultures with each other and visitors from near and far. Read more about the Festival. Read article

  • New article about community music residency in Timor-Leste

    Tuesday 26/03/13

    Australian community musician Gillian Howell writes about her work as an Asialink resident in regional Timor-Leste in her article,  ‘From Verandah Jams to Toka Boots’, Music Education UK, Winter 2012-13, Issue 4.

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  • Music-making in the mountains of Ainaro district, February 2013

    Thursday 31/01/13

    Many Hands was delighted recently to host talented young Australian musician Lina Andonovska.  As a flautist of considerable renown, Lina has travelled the world, performing in world-class venues including the Barbican in London, the National Performing Arts Centre in Beijing and the Sydney Opera House. In February her work took a different tack, when she led music programs with rural schools and communities in the mountainous region of Ainaro.

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  • MHI on ABC TV

    Wednesday 07/11/12

    Watch a story about the One Culture: Many Different Stories theatre project as shown on ABC 1’s Asia Pacific Focus program.

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  • MHI receives grant to preserve endangered forms of Fataluku cultural expression

    Tuesday 18/09/12

    One of only forty-three successful applications worldwide, MHI has received funding from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and the U.S. Embassy in Timor-Leste for MHI’s Preservation of Endangered Forms of Fataluku Cultural Expression Project.

    Read article

  • Sustainable Development: Why Culture Matters

    Tuesday 18/09/12

    Director Holly Schauble’s article on the importance of culture to achieving sustainable development published.

    Read article

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