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Timor-Leste: Ba Futuru Receives STARS Foundation Star Award

Timor-Leste: Ba Futuru receives STARS Foundation Rising Star Award for children in conflict work

Final Call for 2012 Asia-Pacific Applicants

The STARS Foundation has selected Dili-based Ba Futuru as this year’s Rising Star of the 2011 Asia - Pacific Impact Awards. Ba Futuru’s was selected for its innovative approach to using transformative arts, music, drama and participatory training sessions to facilitate the healing and empowerment of children affected by conflict

Through its activities, the organisation contributes to peace-building and sustainable human development by facilitating the psychosocial recovery of conflict-affected, vulnerable and at-risk children, and by developing the knowledge, skills and values of community leaders, young people and their care-givers in the areas of human rights, children’s rights and non-violent conflict transformation. It works closely with adults in the community to transform mistrust and violence into peace and self-directed growth.

“Every so often, we come across an organisation whose potential leaves us with no doubt that it is a rising star. Ba Futuru’s contribution to loosening the grip and influence of Timor-Leste’s cycle of violence, by placing children’s rehabilitation at the forefront of the country’s reconstruction, is an inspiration to us all,” said Cecile Hyafil, Programme Officer, Asia-Pacific, STARS Foundation.

Timor-Leste’s strife-ridden history - punctuated by the Indonesian occupation, internal conflict and violence – continues to manifest itself in the population’s collective psyche, with children bearing the brunt of the country’s traumatic legacy. Nearly every child in the country has been affected by conflict. Older youth witnessed crimes against humanity perpetrated by both Indonesian and East Timorese forces and then replayed these scenarios during the social unrest between 2006 and 2008 which still leaves Dili struggling to overcome gang problems and a high level of youth violence in the capital. Today violence against children remains rampant in homes, on the streets and in schools. In this challenging context, Ba Futuru has managed to become a leader in the development of a child protection and conflict resolution training.

Launched in 2004, Ba Futuru has reached more than 15,000 children with its Transformative Arts and Human Rights Education (TAHR) programme, which was inspired by the belief of the transformative power of human rights education in post-conflict situations coupled with the vision of creating an environment in which children’s voices and hopes can be expressed and nurtured.

“We are deeply honoured to receive the STARS Foundation Rising Star Award. With the additional funding, we aim to raise the level of our engagement of teachers, parents and care givers in positive discipline and the use of non-violent discipline strategies, while also assisting the country in strengthening the child protection system,” said Sierra James, Program Manager & Co-Founder, Ba Futuru.

About the STARS Foundation Impact Awards The STARS Foundation supports frontline, impactful initiatives improving children’s health, education and protection needs. Through the Impact Awards, the STARS Foundation helps already effective organisations, such as Ba Futuru, become even stronger by enhancing their capacity to deliver vital services on the ground. The Rising STARS Award bestows $25,000 of unrestrictive funding and consultancy support, giving recipient organisations the flexibility to respond more effectively to the challenges they face and to the needs of the children they serve. This smaller Award is made at the discretion of the STARS Board of Trustees to recognise the work of an organisation whose application demonstrates potential as a ‘rising star.’

STARS Foundation is inviting non-governmental organisations working with children in Asia- Pacific to apply for the 2012 STARS Impact Awards. The Awards recognise outstanding organisations working in children's health, education and protection. The closing date for applications is 1pm GMT Monday 7 November 2011. All information regarding the application process and the eligibility criteria is available at

This year, thanks to a partnership with the Ashmore Foundation, STARS is able to increase the number of Awards it intends to offer to 14. Of these, 6 Awards are made up of US$100,000 of unrestricted funding and additional consultancy support and the other eight Awards will range in value from US$15,000 to US$60,000.

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