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“Great cause BUT”

Alola Foundation Center & Shop
Ranked #2 of 2 Shopping in Dili
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Attraction details
Owner description: Alola Esperansa, the business arm of the Alola Foundation, was established in 2006 to promote cultural preservation and economic empowerment of women.
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I loved the idea of it and it is a really worthy cause but you wouldn't know it from the displays and talking to the women. Unless you know people with some familiarity of it, it is just like any other store selling crafts. There is a good story here but they are not telling it.

4  Thank RonWamberal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 7 of 7 reviews

Reviewed 17 August 2010

I would agree that this is a great place to pick up some local goods (Tais, bags, etc) - and the cause the these people support is fantastic - I fully support it. However, I would not say that this is the best place to get local goods - there are other places around that offer the same goods for a lot cheaper (but, obviously, these other places don't support a cause like the Alola foundation does).

6  Thank FunWithDaFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2009

As anyone working for UNMIT knows, there isn't much to do in Dili and finding souveniers is among the hardest. The best shop by far is the Alola foundation, a women's collective that supports local craftswomen through the sale of traditional arts. The shop is located off the traffic circle (most taxi drivers know it well) and is extremely well run. The best part is watching the women working in the shop. It doesn't feel exploitive or sad - it is an extremely positive experience and the crafts are of the best quality (by far), compared to what little is available elsewhere. The prices are clearly marked and haggling is neither necessary nor accepted. All the proceeds go to the women and the foundation and the merchandise is neither tacky nor cheap. Tais and products made from them (including great bags, purses, computer bags and pillows) are very well made, there is a small amount of carvings (also well done), some baskets and woven products and some cards. It is definitely worth the stop and the prices are very good. Hours are limited on Saturday - closed Sunday.

13  Thank Bonedigger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2009

This foundation was originally established to address the attacks on women during the troubles in East Timor in 1999.

The foundation covers a number of projects for women and children in East Timor.

I found the centre interesting for its approach to deal with a humanitarian crisis. But as someone interested in arts and culture I found the centre a valuable repository of the arts and crafts of East Timor. I fyou want to familiarise yourself with the different textile crafts of East Timor. Visit the centre. Articles purchased in the shop will have the ethical benefit of helping to sustain the livelihoods of the Timorese and ensure the continued material culture of the country.

If you don't want to shop - drop in anyway to get some idea of Timorese traditional culture and its recent history.

10  Thank RafikiLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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