Throughout CEPAD’s 2007-2009 countrywide consultations, participants consistently identified the need to establish neutral spaces for community dialogue, as a key platform to facilitate peace building.
Addressing this need, Peace Houses were developed, based on the traditional Timorese custom of ‘rolling out the mat’ (nahe-biti boot) – or meeting to discuss and resolve disputes. These safe, neutral and community owned venues act as a bridge between municipalities and Timor-Leste’s capital by fostering local debates and linking these to issues of national importance. Peace Houses are also designed to host a range of complementary activities that bring people together and encourage civil society participation, including youth group meetings, workshops on craft commercialization and language classes.
CEPAD and local communities have so far launched five Peace Houses in the municipalities of Bobonaro, Baucau, Aileu, Ermera and Manufahi. The construction of the Manatutu Peace House was launched in August 2015.
Aileu Peace House
Aisirimou village, Aileu Municipality. Construction launched November 2010, inaugurated August 2011.
Baucau Peace House
Fatin : Triloka village, Baucau Municipality. Construction launched March 2011, inaugurated October 2011.
Maliana Peace House
Holsa village, Bobonaru Municipality. Construction launched August 2011, inaugurated December 2011.
Ermera Peace House
Talimoru village, Ermera Municipality. Construction launched October 2012, inaugurated March 2013.
Same Peace House
Letefoho village, Manufahi Municipality. Construction launched September 2014, inaugurated April 2015.
Manatutu Peace House
Ma’abat village, Manatuto Municipality. Construction launched August 2015.
Looking for partnership opportunities
CEPAD’s Peace Houses have been supported by The Charitable foundation (Baucau, Ermera, Bobonaro, Aileu) and the Prime Minister’s Office Civil Society Fund (Manufahi, Manatuto). To continue expanding its network of Peace Houses, CEPAD is actively seeking partnership opportunities and welcomes expressions of interest. Please contact director João Boavida for more information.