World Education is dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education, and economic and social development programs.

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Timor-Leste Financial Literacy for Women

Dates: 2012-2016

Country: Timor-Leste

Client(s): New Zealand Aid

Service: Capacity Building

Expertise: Microfinance and Livelihoods Development, Sustainable Agriculture/Food Security


In Timor-Leste, women face many challenges, including high rates of illiteracy (approximately 65%), limited access to education and formal institutions, and high rates of gender-based violence. Women also hold most of the household responsibilities and are typically in charge of managing small business activities. However, low literacy and numeracy levels make it especially difficult for women to build solid businesses or take advantage of existing microfinance opportunities.

With funding from New Zealand Aid, World Education partnered with Moris Rasik, a microfinance institution that provides loans exclusively to women, to improve the lives of women in Timor-Leste. Building on two years of pilot projects, the overall goal of this Phase III Timor-Leste Financial Literacy project was to empower and educate women in rural Timor-Leste to improve the way they manage their money, and develop elementary skills and knowledge in building microenterprises to support their households’ income and contribute to community well-being.

To achieve this goal, World Education developed Moris Rasik’s non-financial services unit in three key areas that benefitted women and their households: basic numeracy, financial literacy, and agriculture.