The Mário Soares Foundation is a public-interest non-profit entity incorporated under private law, related to the person of the former President of the Republic of Portugal, Mr. Mário Soares.
It started its activities in March 1996, being one of its main goals the processing of the data contained in the personal Archives of Mr. Mário Soares. Using the modern information technologies – namely, the digitization – it succeeded to expand its action to many other document funds and, also, in a later phase, to photographic, sound and video collections.
On other hand, the Foundation soon established co-operation agreements with countries and entities of Portuguese-speaking nations, aiming to preserve key documents of our common history, with a special reference to the struggle for freedom of the former Portuguese colonies.
Hence, in the framework of the Independence ceremonies, foreseen to the 20th May 2002, a co-operation agreement was established with Mr. José Ramos-Horta and the Commander Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, at the end of 2001, to prepare, in Dili, an exhibition, to honour the Memory of the People of East-Timorese Resistance. This Project counted on the attentive co-operation of Professor Barbedo de Magalhães.
Accordingly, the Mário Soares Foundation sent to Timor technical teams that, with the necessary local support, defined the conditions under which the named exhibition would take place and, at the same time, acknowledged the existence – in very fragile conservation conditions – of important Struggle Command documents (especially the one that was at the underground shelter of Mirtuto, Ermera) and other collections kept by the leaders of the Armed Resistance, the Clandestine Front and the Youth Resistance.
During this process – with the constant intervention of Professor José Mattoso, in Dili –the Mário Soares Foundation developed a Project to support the recuperation, processing and classification of the East-Timorese Resistance Documents, with the involvement of the main authorities of the new Country – ending with the signature in Lisbon, on 7th October 2002, of a protocol between the President of the Democratic Republic of East-Timor, Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, and the President of the Mário Soares Foundation.
From that moment on, it was possible to develop abundant activities, both in East-Timor and in Portugal, with the following main goals:
For the purpose, considering the length of the proposed tasks, the Foundation seeked to get, from several entities, the financial support that will allow the viability of these efforts.
Systematizing what was already accomplished and making this Project more visible, the Mário Soares Foundation published on 20th May 2004, in co-operation with Fado Films and the magazine Visão, a DVD and a CD-ROM dedicated to East-Timor.
A special reference is necessary to reinforce the support given to the preparation of the fundamental book "A Dignidade - Konis Santana e a Resistência Timorense", by Professor José Mattoso.
Meanwhile, the Foundation continued to be engaged with other projects related to the preservation and dissemination of the East-Timor Memory, namely the activities related to the Archives & Museum of East-Timorese Resistance preparation and the assembling of several exhibitions held at the AMTR’s premises.
Finally, it is important to register the pursuit of the main goal, which is the retrieval and processing of the Documents of East-Timorese Resistance, which included the preparation of the Archives & Museum of East-Timorese Resistance Webpage.