While I Can Lift My Hands is a short documentary - a portrait of women in a business co-operative in Timor-Leste (East Timor). This collective of women - who are building up from subsistence living in remote rural areas towards financial independence-- is called HAFOTI.
Starting from the resources they have - plants from their gardens - the women create security for themselves and their families. Although many of the women are illiterate themselves, they are often able to send their children on to university.
I worked with HAFOTI as a VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad, New Zealand's wonderful international volunteer programme), volunteer marketing advisor, and came to admire the strength of the HAFOTI women as they went about built their businesses in often very tough circumstances. Following on from the VSA role, I had a short volunteer assignment taking photos and videos for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand (who support HAFOTI)
While I Can Lift My Hands, I Work is premiered in Timor-Leste's very first film festival, the Dili International Film Festival in October.
Want to make a donation to HAFOTI? The button below links to Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand's Empowering Women gift card