Rosalia E Madeira Soares was first introduced to the traditional woven textiles of East Timor in 2004 at Timor Aid, the national Timorese NGO where she was working as Programs Coordinator. She was appointed then as project officer of the Timor Aid weaving project, to work with Mr Antonio Coelho, a Timorese Portuguese designer, and Mrs Ofelia Napoleão, a Timorese expert on Timor textiles. Her role was to work with the weavers and to start collecting the Timorese traditional textile known as tais. Since then, she has continued to work in different projects at Timor Aid to empower weavers in income generation and to safeguard this tradition. She slowly developed a passion towards this unique tradition of Timor-Leste and committed herself at Timor Aid towards the preservation and promotion of tais, which serves further to strengthen national cultural identity.
She has since been involved in various major weaving-related activities such as documenting, exhibiting and publishing on the textiles of Timor-Leste. Through networking with national and international partners, she developed the Timor Aid Cultural Program focusing on Timorese traditional textile historical origins, evolution, creativity, and technical Museum skills for preservation. Timor Aid’s work on weaving has since become the reference for national and international cultural institutions working with textiles.