Dollars for Dili

Dollars for Dili

Make a tax-deductible (over $2) donation online now.

Donate online.Dollars for Dili, a Centenary of Canberra project, has been established in the spirit that it is better to give than to receive.

Canberra’s friendship city Dili, the capital of Timor Leste, is the focus for an ACT Government, Scouts Australia and Rotary Club of Dubbo South project, aiming to contribute to capacity building among thousands of young people in that very young capital.

Timor Leste is the world’s second newest nation. It is also one of the world’s poorest nations. Half of the population is under 15 years of age, and coupled with 90 per cent youth unemployment, the country faces significant challenges. Many families live on just $2 a day.

Dollars for Dili is helping to fund two major projects. The first project involves the construction of sanitation and health (toilet) blocks in nominated Dili schools. These improved sanitation and health facilities will encourage more girls to attend school, gain better access to education and increase employment opportunities. The first toilet block has been built, but we need your help to build more.

The second project is the construction of an activity centre for Timor Leste Scouting. Scouting is the world’s largest youth development organisation and is widely recognised for its programs. They build confidence, self esteem and resilience amongst young people, and also develop their leadership and teamwork capabilities.

You can support this initiative by nominating Dollars for Dili as your charity for 2013 or by making a tax deductible donation directly to the fund at

Donations may be made as follows:

By Phone: Scouts Australia, National Office on 02 9413 1133. We accept Visa and Mastercard

By Mail: "Dollars for Dili", Scouts Australia, Level 1, 8 Help Street, Chatswood NSW 2067. Cheques and money orders should be made payable to "The Scout Association of Australia"

By Paypal (including Visa and Mastercard): via the Scouts Australia website

Jose Luis Guterres, Timor-Leste Foreign Minister and Scouts Australia's Neville Tomkins recently spoke with Adam Shirley on 666 ABC Canberra last week about the Dollars for Dili project. Listen to the interview here

Project No. 1 – Capacity Building of young people

Scouts Australia as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and through its volunteer membership is undertaking capacity building in leadership, skills development and community engagement in East Timor. In the first instance, this will involve the construction of a Scouting Activities Centre. The Centre will become a base for Scouts activity and from which community services will be delivered. A joint project being delivered by Scouts Australia and Timor-Leste Scouting, starts with a campground on the outskirts of Dili which has been set aside for the local Scouts to construct the activities centre. When completed, the centre will be used for training and activities as well as a meeting place for the estimated 15,000 young scouts in Dili and surrounds. 

Project No. 2 – Enhanced Education Opportunities for young women and girls

Scouts Australia and Rotary International have identified that there is a real need for separate female sanitation facilities in many schools in East Timor. The absence of these basic facilities is a disincentive to female attendance at the schools and has a direct impact on education take up for young women. The project will involve the construction of female sanitation and health facilities in schools in Dili and if funds permit, within the Dili surrounds.

This project will be delivered in partnership with Rotary Internationals Dubbo and Dili branches and with Scouts Australia and Scouts Timor-Leste. Volunteers will include members of local Venturer and Rover groups.

Image: One of the toilet blocks under construction.

Image: One of the completed toilet blocks

First Build – Aumutin Public School Dili 

The first build of sanitation block was at Aumutin Public School in Dili. Approximately 1200 students attend the school over two shifts each day. There were only three functioning toilets with one reserved for teachers prior to the build of a new sanitation block with the assistance funds raised through Dollars for Dili. Scouts Australia and Rotary International facilitated the construction of this toilet block and the local Scouting group also got involved. As part of the build, a hand washing basin was installed with running water – a rarity in public schools. 

Next build - Fatuhada Primary School, Dili, Timor Leste

Fatuhada Primary School has been identified as the next school to receive funds through the Dollars for Dili project . The next project will require approximately $40,000 to build a high standard toilet block. Student enrolment at Fatuhada Primary School currently exceeds more than 1,600 students, attending school in three shifts, with more than 600 students and 30 staff attending at any one time. Currently there are only two functioning toilets for use by both staff and students and a number of issues have been identified including a septic tank which is too small and overflows, limited water supply and a section of sewer line broken and open to the air. 

Show your support 

The Centenary of Canberra Unit is encouraging organisations and businesses to raise group funds towards the much needed build of this next sanitation block or to nominate Dollars for Dili as their charity for 2013. Please contact the Centenary of Canberra on 02 6205 8618 if you would like to request a presentation about the project to your staff. 

Dollars for Dili was officially launched on 11 March 2011 to mark Canberra’s 98th birthday. On this day the ACT Chief Minister donated $20,000 to start the appeal.

Dollars for Dili is administered by Scouts Australia in partnership with the Centenary of Canberra.

Images: By Chris Whitelaw