10 December, 2008

Establishment of a new national Scout organization in Timor Leste

Dear Colleagues:
Establishment of a new national Scout organization in Timor Leste
Greetings from Manila!
We are pleased to announce the establishment of a new national Scout Organization in Timor
Leste, which is officially called União Nacional dos Escuteiros de Timor-Leste (UNE-TL).
Scouting began as far back as 1971 and a formal Task Force was formed under the auspices of
the Asia-Pacific Regional Committee. Following the first WOSM field visit in September 2003, the
Asia-Pacific Regional Office coordinated the creation of the new association and assisted in
drafting the Constitution and By-Laws. Today in all there over 5,000 boys and girls enrolled in
Scouting throughout the country.
On 2 December 2005, the first General Assembly was organized in Timor Leste to adopt the new
Constitution and By-Laws forming a new national Scout organization and electing its new office
bearers. Below is the list of the new office bearers of União Nacional dos Escuteiros de Timor-
President: Mr. Jose Manuel Fernandes
Vice President: Mr. Mario Nuñes
Vice President: Ms. Maria de Fatima da C. Soares
Chief Commissioner: Mr. Abel Boavida dos Santos
International Commissioner: Ms. Filomena Barrros dos Reis
Treasurer: Ms. Hergue Luina Alves Fernandes
Adult Resources Commissioner Ms. Maria Solana da C. Soares
Programme Commissioner Mr. Isolina Vaz de Alegria
Chief Executive: Mr. Joao Carlos Sarmento
Timor Leste is located in South-eastern Asia, northwest of Australia in the Lesser Sunda Islands at
the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. The country has total land area of 15,007 sq.km.,
with a coastline of 706 km. The country is tropical, hot, humid and with distinct rainy and dry
seasons. Its terrain is mountainous and only 4.71% is arable land. Floods and landslides are
common as well as earthquakes, tsunami and tropical cyclones. Wide spread use of slash and
burn agriculture has led to deforestation and soil erosion.

The population is estimated to between 1,040,880 while other estimates as low as 800,000 as of
July 2005. Out of the population 37% are below 14 years of age while population growth is
2.09%, birth rate 27.19 births per 1,000 population and death rate at 6.3 per 1,000 population
based on 2005 estimates. Life expectancy is 63.63 for males and 68.29 for females. The
population is predominantly Roman Catholic (90%) and Muslims consist of 4%, Protestants 3%.
The official language is Tetum and Portuguese with over 16 indigenous languages. Literacy is low
with 58.6% (2002 figures). The country has 13 administrative districts, with Dili as the capital.
Voting age is 17 years of age with a unicameral National Parliament.
In late 1999, about 70% of the economic infrastructure was laid waste. However, during the
following three years massive international programme led to a substantial reconstruction in both
urban and rural. By 2003, about 30,000 of the refugees had returned. One promising long-term
project is the planned development of oil and gas resources in the nearby waters. The purchasing
power parity is low with US$400.00 as of 2004 estimates and there is high unemployment of 50%
(2002 estimates) including under employment.
Let us support their endeavour to become a new member of the World Organization of the Scout
Thank you and best regards.
Sincerely yours,
Abdullah Rasheed
Regional Director

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