Subject: District people asked to help shed light on Timorese villagers' future

Inverell Times

District people asked to help shed light on Timorese villagers' future

By Ned Makim

Tuesday, 29 July 2003

Inverell district people have been given a practical way to help the people of East Timor shed a little light on their future.

Residents and businesses are being asked to help provide household lighting for mountain villagers.

The solar-powered lighting systems cost $240 per house and will be installed by a Rotary-sponsored team, probably next April.

One of the men behind the project is Greg Moran who said he had 16 of the lights funded now but had set a target of 50 to make the project worthwhile for the team and the Timorese people.

The lights will go to the village of Samalete in the mountains above Dili, the same village that hosted an Inverell Rotary-sponsored construction team in June last year.

Mr Moran said the need for lighting in the village homes was obvious.

"There's now power in the hills and the village children can't do any of their school work once the sun sets," he said.

"With these simple lights, families will have a few more options and the children can study to improve their chances of improving their life."

Every one of the 56 Rotary clubs in the district have been approached for support with eight providing donations so far.

Schools have also been approached to involve their student representative bodies.

Mr Moran said he also hoped businesses and individuals would see the value in helping our northern neighbour.

He said some people might even like to band together and jointly finance a lighting kit, to keep the cost down for each donor.

The kit consists of a light, solar panel, deep cycle battery, wiring and switches.

The plan is to purchase the kits, have them shipped to Darwin and then to Dili where they would be collected and checked by the Dili Rotary Club.

Mr Moran said the installation team wanted to know the kits were in Dili and intact before the team left Inverell.

Anyone who thinks they can help can contact Greg Moran at the Inverell Shire Council on 67288 288.

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