Having lived through the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste, Bella survived human trafficking, forced sterilization, brutal massacre, sexual and physical abuse while fighting for her country’s liberation until she defected in Canada. When Timor-Leste was finally liberated in 2002, Bella returned to work for a UN agency and later became an advisor to the President. During the last TL government elections a ministerial role was promised to Bella, but during government formation has been denied as her sexual orientation could damage the reputation of the government. It is Bella’s life mission to inspire, transform and rebuild Timor-Leste.
Born into a large, North Indian Muslim family, Iram is at home in both Delhi and Dili. Iram has two decades of experience as an international development professional working with UN agencies and many renowned NGOs. Her areas of focus include the empowerment of women and youth, LGBTI, and reproductive health. As a trained social worker, she believes that communities should be at the center of all actions and benefits.