Innovating the automotive industry in Timor-Leste!

  • CMMS
  • Timor-Leste
  • #Employment

Innovating the automotive industry in Timor-Leste!

88% $4,400 Achieved Achieved


Funding Target ㅣ$5,000

D-58 2024-09-20is the last day


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Impact Employment 60% Education 40%
CMMS Timor-Leste
Impact Employment Education

Meet Natalino Cardoso, a Timorese migrant worker embarking on a new chapter of his life, determined to innovate the automotive industry in his homeland, Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is a small Southeast Asian nation located on the eastern half of the island of Timor, situated between Indonesia and Australia. Timor-Leste is marked for the first new sovereign state of the 21st century and ongoing efforts to build a stable and prosperous nation.

A young boy amidst the mountains of Suai in Timor-Leste, helping his parents in selling farm products, learned the ropes of entrepreneurship at a tender age. Natalino moved to Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste, to find the job. After attending a one-year mechanical course training, he began working as a young mechanic in an auto repair shop in Timor-Leste. 

"I moved to Dili from the rural village to look for job opportunities. I learned auto repair skills and started working at an auto repair shop. While working alongside my colleagues, I had a dream: to open an automotive repair shop where young people, like myself, who struggle to find employment, could be trained in repair skills and work together."

Natalino has to provide for his family. His salary as a mechanic was not enough to support his family, so he came to Korea as a migrant worker with the desire to create better opportunities for himself and his loved ones.

His experience in Korea was challenging. He had to work from early morning every day and endure the hard work of the abalone aquaculture industry. Yet Natalino remained steadfast in his dream to return to East Timor and open an automotive repair shop for unemployed youth.

"Bracing myself against the wind, I head out to the abalone farm at 4 a.m. every day. The work is exhausting, but I persevere, thinking about the future of my family and East Timor. One day, I envision coming back to open an auto repair shop and provide jobs so that the youth of East Timor can live happily with their families.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

Despite the manual labor, Natalino's passion for starting a car repair shop never wavered. However, he faced the struggle of lacking the know-how to kickstart a business. Then Natalino joined the Timor-Leste Foreign Worker Entrepreneurship Capacity Building Program, organized by UNDP Timor-Leste and implemented by The Bridge International.

Through the program, Natalino identified problems in Timor-Leste's auto repair industry and created a business model to solve them. It helped Natalino develop a concrete plan to start his auto repair business that he had only vaguely dreamed of.

“Timor-Leste does not have many auto repair shops. People often have to push their broken-down cars to the shop because Timor-Leste does not have a tow truck. There are also not enough professionals to repair the cars, which leads to poor vehicle maintenance. This often leads to dangerous accidents. When I return to Timor-Leste, I will open a car repair shop where I can teach young East Timorese car repair skills and work with them.

Natalino's auto repair shop, Cardoso Mobile Mechanic Service, will train young East Timorese in vehicle maintenance skills and provide mobile vehicle maintenance services so that customers can have their vehicles diagnosed, serviced, and repaired at their convenience. In this way, Natalino will help prevent traffic accidents in East Timor and employ local youth so that they can live with their families in East Timor without having to work abroad.

Will you join us in supporting Natalino return to East Timor and start a car repair business with the youth?

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