Friday, February 23, 2018
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Traditional artisans urged the government to reactivate the Dili Weekend Market and allocated them space where they can sell their traditional wares.

Traditional artisans urged the government to reactivate the Dili Weekend Market and allocated them space where they can sell their traditional wares.

The Coordinator of Group Tais Hadadi, Elda Ferreira de Oliveira said they have been able to earn money for three months because the government stopped the weekend market program and they have not been able to sell their products.
"We hope the government will reopen the program so we can sell our products," she said after participating in the Easter exhibition organized by Alola Foundation in Mascarenhas, Dili.
She said the money they get in every exhibition is shared among the members of the group to pay for their children’s school and to respond to the daily needs of the family.
She added the groups weave tais, make bags, wallets, window and door-curtains in combination with tais.
She also expressed concerns with the presence of Chinese entrepreneurs in Timor as they represent a big threat to their small business and sell their products cheaper.
Meanwhile, Moris Foun Handicraft Group, Homan Maubara, from Liquisa municipality, Virginia Serão said the Dili Weekend Market program was very helpful even during the times they did not make much of a profit.
"The government should create a permanent space for us to keep our products so tourists can come and visit our space," she urged.
She said their groups continue to make products while waiting for exhibitions to be held by the government and civil society organizations like Alola Foundation twice a year where they can sell their products.
In 2016, the government through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment (MCIA) and the Dili Administration organized the Dili Weekend Market aimed at facilitating small traditional groups sell their products, and earn some money but this initiative has stopped.
On the other hand, President of Commission D (economic and development affairs), Jacinta Abu Cau Pereira, said the Dili Weekly Market was a very good initiative and as such should be reactivated.
"It was very good; our traditional artisans could sell their products on the weekend. I do not understand why it was stopped,” she said.
She encouraged the government to restart the program so local artisan can display and sell their traditional wares.

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