MSSI – UNICEF hold graduation ceremony for eight Social Welfare Workers

MSSI – UNICEF hold graduation ceremony for eight Social Welfare Workers

Image TATOLI/Antonio Daciparu

DILI, 21 october 2023 (TATOLI) – With the support of UNICEF, the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion (MSSI) held today a graduation ceremony for eight Social Welfare Workers that have finalized their 10-month courses, including four weeks in Australia. The graduation ceremony took place at the Palm Business Center, in Dili, today.

Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Veronica das Dores, Minister of Health, Elia dos Reis Amaral, Country Representative of UNICEF in Timor-Leste, Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani handed over the certificate of Community Service Certificate II to:

  • Guido Ricardo Belo, MSSI Director General of Administration and Finance;
  • Gil da Cruz, Coordinator of the Social Service Technical Working Group;
  • Florencio Pina Dias Gonzaga, Director General of Social Solidarity;
  • Angelo Freitas, Senior Social Work Staff;
  • Domingos Fernandes, Senior Social Work Staff;
  • Neda Maria da Cruz, Senior Social Work Staff;
  • Joana Almeida, Child Protection Officer;
  • Paulo Pinto, Director of the Social Solidarity Center of Lautem;

These eight graduates have completed Certificate IV Training and Assessor in february 2023, making them qualified to develop and certify training in Timor-Leste with international standards.

During the 10 months of training, the Graduates study hands-on practice and theory on working to empower vulnerable family, children, and people with disability, the elderly and brings positive changes and improve well-being with appropriate measures that fit positive Timorese values and culture.

The graduates spent four weeks in Brisbane Australia where they had the opportunity to observe and practice in various facilities such as aged care, child protection, disability, and diverse population.

They also had a chance to speak and learn from local government and social service education to understand social work professionalism.

“The graduation of these eight professionals is, therefore, a mark of the great strides which the Government of Timor-Leste is taking towards having structured systems which are in place to prevent and respond to violence, discrimination, social exclusion, and a range of other social and economic challenges which children and their families face,” said Bilal Durrani, UNICEF Country Representative.

Durrani highlighted that these professionals will contribute to the effective delivery of protection services in various sectors including social services, justice, law enforcement, education, the disability sector, mental health, faith-based organizations, or community or suku level, and through their services, every child is given a fair chance to develop.

Durrani congratulated each of the graduates for their hard work and commitment to completing the course, which earned them an internationally recognized Australian Qualification: “Having this trainer’s qualification, in addition to your academic qualification in Social Welfare and your vast experience in this field, will elevate the standard of quality training that you will deliver to social welfare workforces in Timor-Leste.’

UNICEF is committed to supporting the government of Timor-Leste through MSSI to strengthen the child and family social protection system through the professionalization of the social workforce and the legal framework, among others.

Minister Dores said that these Social workforces will support MSSI to achieve social goals in 2024 such as reducing the poverty rate and ensuring social protection and social justice for those who are living in vulnerable situations.

“On behalf of IX Constitutional Government, I really want to express my appreciation to our development partners who are working with MSSI in social areas like ISAT and UNICEF. I really thank UNICEF for their firm commitment and for consistently working closely with MSSI since 2000 to establish a child protection system in Timor-Leste. MSSI really appreciates this cooperation,” said Dores.


Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Filomino Martins


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