The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor), is located about 640 km north-west of Australia and covers the eastern portion of the island of Timor. Timor-Leste was a Portuguese colony from the early 16th century until 1975, and was then occupied by Indonesia from 1976. On 30 August 1999, the people of Timor-Leste voted overwhelmingly to become an independent nation.
World Vision Timor-Leste (WVTL) began its first project in 1996 in Aileu District. After the referendum and an emergency period, World Vision opened its Dili office in September 1999. Since then, WVTL has implemented a range of community-based programs and currently works in Bobonaro, Aileu, Baucau and Dili.