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Project report

Mini Market and Bus Shelter Timor-Leste , RUN BY: CARE Australia | STATUS: COMPLETED

The Halimesak mini market under construction

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 20,412

Raised from 8,185 people


The objective of the Mini Market and Bus Waiting Shelter project implemented by CARE International in Bobonaro District, Timor Leste is to develop rural transportation and market infrastructure.  This will support the objectives of an existing community empowerment project to rehabilitate rural roads, encourage entrepreneurship, and link rural communities with essential services

The Mini Market project is designed to support the IGAs and improved access to expand market opportunities in local areas.

The Bus Waiting Shelters will enable community members to use their improved roads to access essential services by creating comfortable areas for children, elderly, pregnant women or sick people can wait for transportation.

Project Planning

Because the Halimesak site is located in a more central position in the Odemau  succo, the project team and the local community agreed that the Halimesak market will be slightly bigger (5x 15m surface) that the Ilebole market (6 x12m). Both sites are on the side of the main district road connecting Maliana town to Bobonaro, and at strategic intersections with rural feeder roads.

22 crew, of which over 40% are women, were selected to become labor workers on two mini-market construction sites .

Halimesak location

Construction of the Mini-market and bus shelter occurred between November 2008 and March 2009 .

The mini-market finished and ready to go. The market management committee will be in charge of coordinating the proper usage and maintenance of the markets going forward.

The completed bus shelter is a safe place for women, children and elderly people to wait for the bus and should improve the access to markets for residents.

Illebole location

Construction of the Mini-Market in Ilebole began the third week of January 2009. A bus waiting shelter and public toilet facilities were also constructed at the site. Construction was completed mid July 2009.

Choosing a site for the Illebole Mini Market

Under construction in mid 2009

The finished mini market in Ilebole

Challenges & lessons learned

  • The first challenge was the difficulty in procurement of quality construction material, and the logistics of delivering them to site.  In the context of Timor Leste, materials were often out of stock or of insufficient quality, and the poor condition of the trucks used by the project which encountered frequent breakdowns lead-ing to regular delays of delivery of materials to the field.  Delays were further exacerbated in February and March with the peak in precipitation during the rainy season
  • The contracting method for the labour was initially based on a daily wage basis, however incentives for prompt completion of works were non-existent.  The project partly addressed this issue in the later phase by changing the labour contracting method from input-based (daily labour) to output-based payments, using lump-sum contracts and building on established work teams and leadership.
  • The third main challenge faced by the project was the difficulty in mobilizing the community leadership to take responsibility for the market.  The hand-over ceremony for the mini market only took place in July 2009, once market management committees had been created and individuals had attended a training session.

The finished bus shelter in Ilebole

Feedback from community

A survey was conducted in in 7 sub-villages near the project area in March 2009, after one market construction was completed and the second one was under way. During the survey, about 150 individuals were interviewed, evenly split between men and women, and between crew workers under the CEIC project and non crew workers.

Below are some relevant survey results:

  • 100% of women and men crew workers and 70-90% of non workers thought the mini markets would have a positive impact on their lives.
  • The top 3 reasons provided for why the mini markets would have a positive impact were the following:
  • (i) will sell things there (95-100%)
  • (ii) will buy things there (90%)
  • (iii) will help save time (over 80%).

The lesser reasons were: to visit friends or relatives (10-25%) and to seek transportation (5-15%).

What next?

The project has ended in July 2009. However, CARE still has an agricultural development project and an Integrated Rural Development project taking place in the area, and for which the target beneficiaries will continue enjoying the newly constructed mini markets in the future.

(Update Posted: 25 Sept 2009)

How was it this funded?

Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.

World Nomads USA
World Nomads Canada
***World Nomads UK
Travel Insurance Direct AU
Travel Insurance Direct NZ
CARE Australia

CARE is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting global poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities. As a non-religious and non-political organisation, CARE works with communities to help overcome poverty by supporting development and providing emergency relief where it is needed most.

Last year, CARE assisted 122 million people across 84 countries through 1,015 poverty-fighting projects.